Building the Bonds of Attachment with Adopted Children

Source: https://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport

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Attachment is vital to emotional development. What can adoptive parents do to build the bonds of attachment with their adopted children? Join guest Dr. Dan Hughes, a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children with attachment issues. He is the author of five books including Building the Bonds of Attachment and Attachment-Focused Parenting.

Highlights of the show

  • How much of an issue is attachment in different types of adoption (domestic, international, older child, etc.)?
  • How does the inter-uterine environment affect a child?
  • How does fetal alcohol syndrome affect attachment?
  • Tips on building attachment with young children
  • How can parents transition an adopted child to a daycare program without ruining attachment bonds?
  • How can parents help their children work through attachment issues?
  • How important is it for parents to make sure they are taking care of themselves?
  • What can parents do when they feel like they do not love their adopted child as much as their biological child?
  • How long is normal before parents feel attached to their children?
  • Why do some children have an easy attachment process and other children have a difficult attachment process?
  • Attachment issues in biological children.
  • Unevenness in attachment
  • Can attachment issues appear later in life?
  • How can parents find a good attachment councilor for their children?
  • Attachment issues with trans-racial adoptions

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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This beautiful child, orphan no more…

12900990_10100258181484761_1123416002041417476_o This beautiful child, orphan no more… one year ago today! Thanks to our Hopscotch family, the Janes – pretty awesome!

Read more.

Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns on Tuesday, February 25 at 7:00p Central Time

 

February 25, 2014  7:00 PM Central  Q&A: 8:00 PM

Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns

Attachment is a process that can take time. Adoption often poses challenges to that process, leaving parents with concerns and questions.

If you’re concerned about your child’s attachment process with parents, siblings, or peers there are practical steps and ideas you can try at home right away. Or maybe you just want to know what’s typical and what’s adoption related.

Join Regina Kupecky as she discusses the Top 5 attachment concerns and what to do about them!

Practical ideas for the top 5 concerns she hears from parents including bonding to siblings, parents and peers as well as what’s typical and what’s not

Expert insights into attachment and attunement

Advice on connecting with your child throughout their development

Register Here!

Joint Council | (703) 535-8045 | info@jointcouncil.org |
117 South Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

New Webinar! Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns

February 25, 2014 
7:00 PM Central
Q&A: 8:00 PM

Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns

Attachment is a process that can take time. Adoption often poses challenges to that process, leaving parents with concerns and questions.

If you’re concerned about your child’s attachment process with parents, siblings, or peers there are practical steps and ideas you can try at home right away. Or maybe you just want to know what’s typical and what’s adoption related.

Join Regina Kupecky as she discusses the Top 5 attachment concerns and what to do about them!

Practical ideas for the top 5 concerns she hears from parents including bonding to siblings, parents and peers as well as what’s typical and what’s not

Expert insights into attachment and attunement

Advice on connecting with your child throughout their development

Register Here!

Joint Council | (703) 535-8045 | info@jointcouncil.org |
117 South Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Study Volunteers Needed: Bonding of Mothers to Children With Special Needs

School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University

Volunteers Needed For Research Study About How Adoptive Mothers Create Their Emotional Bond With Their Child Who Has Special Health Care Needs.

70c5f341250c24734a47d2431dba50fd I am a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University and am seeking volunteers to participate in my research study:

  • Mothers need to be 25 years of age and older, in an intact heterosexual marriage, with an adopted child with special health care needs who is between 3 and 8 years of age and who will have lived in the adoptive home at least one year.
  • Special health care needs: Developmental disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and/or chronic health conditions (such as congenital heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma).
  • The study cannot include, unfortunately, adoptive mothers of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders or reactive attachment disorder.
    The time commitment would be approximately ninety minutes and the meeting would be arranged at the convenience of the participant. The volunteer’s confidentiality will be assured. The principal researcher of this study is April Fallon, Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University.

This research study has been reviewed and approved by the Fielding Graduate University Institutional Review Board. If you have any questions about the Fielding Institutional Review Board or Research Ethics review at Fielding, please contact Mike Meraz, Administrator, Institutional Review Board of Fielding Graduate University: mmeraz@fielding.edu or (805) 898-4033.

Interested mothers can contact Ileana Lindstrom, MA:

(410) 810-3916 or (410) 699-1161, or slindstrom@email.fielding.edu

Announcement of Conscious Discipline Session in Greensboro, NC all day on Saturday, October 13, 2012 — Conscious Discipline Infant & Toddler Workshop: Baby Doll Circle Time FREE with Paid Tuition!

“When to…” Suggestions: The Beginning Months

During the first months after arrival home, when should parents…?

Be concerned that same your child just adopted internationally is not at the level as other children you know the same age:

  • Children who have not had the affection and attention of family care are usually behind those who have. Children in orphanages also usually haven’t had the same level of health care and nutrition. This is typical for children in international adoption.
  • Studies have shown that the majority of children adopted internationally make significant gains in overall development, size, and health after being with their families for a while.
  • Your pediatrician should compare your child’s patterns of development and growth against those of other adopted children adopted from the same country, not against other children born into families in your community.
  • Your adoption agency and other adoptive parents may have some of the resources, charts, and articles you and your pediatrician may need about development and international adoption.

Worry about the bonding process between you and your child:

  • While some children seem naturally to be adaptable and open, it may take weeks, or sometimes even months, before your child really feels comfortable with you and safe at home. Then attachment can grow.
  • Children who miss their familiar home and caretakers grieve these losses, and may hold off from making connections with you because of this. You may not, however, be able to plainly see their sad feelings: instead children may seem standoffish, withdrawn, angry, overly compliant, or have acting out behaviors.
  • Talk with other parents who have adopted children who were the same age as your child at arrival home, especially those who have adopted from the same country. Share with them your concerns and ask for advice and suggestions.

Worry about attachment problems for your child:

  • You will probably feel and be able to act on feelings of attachment well before your child feels this and is able to feel safe in expressing it. You, as parent, have responsibility for of guiding and encouraging attachment with your child.
  • Some behaviors that grieving children display are also symptoms of attachment problems. It may take time, and professional assistance, to determine if there is a real problem.
  • Check in with your agency and support group for suggestions about resources in your community knowledgeable about attachment and international adoption resources in your community.

Attachment and International Adoption. From Choices and Challenges in International Adoption by Joan McNamara ©2009

Preparing for Nesting and Bonding at Home: Practical Suggestions for Simplifying the Arrival Home

Keep it simple

  • Complete or delegate (or postpone for a much later date) as many chores, responsibilities, and obligations in and out of the house that you can before you make your adoption trip.
  • Get a trusted person to help you with routine chores like meals and cleaning when you return, so that you can rest, recover, and spend time together alone with your child.
  • Let your answering machine do it’s job: record a message announcing your good news, and that you are spending time as a family resting, recovering, and bonding. Limit visitors to very short visits, one or two at a time, after the first two weeks.
  • “Cocoon” together as a family, blocking out as much of the world as is practical, and concentrates on learning about and enjoying each other.
  • Keep the home environment, especially your child’s room, simple and uncluttered. Reduce possible sensory overload.

Build a secure structure and routine.

  • Try to arrange a simple routine that lowers stress and helps your child feel that things in this home are dependable.
  • Expect that a somewhat untidy house is a positive reflection on your commitment to spend time first with your child.
  • Take time for yourself and take care of yourself, but in ways that allow the child to have the consistency of parent as caretaker.
  • (sitters after bedtimes or during naps; switching off childcare with the other parent.)

Don’t expect instant attachment or parenting perfection

  • Attachment is not a prize you win or an immediate goal, but a developmental process that keeps growing over time.
  • You didn’t create the issues your child struggles with. Your child’s behavior or misbehavior should not be viewed as a personal and purposeful insult to your parental skills, authority, or love.
  • Children don’t need (or appreciate) perfect parents. Children need parents who are there for them, no matter what.
  • Although we learn from our mistakes, so do our children: they learn from our example how to graciously admit mistakes, correct them and ask for forgiveness.

Focus on your child above all.

  • Your most important role right now is parent. Your most critical job right now is parenting. All else is secondary.
  • Attachment takes time. It also takes effort from you to keep it growing.
  • If you are having a hard time connecting with your child, you may need to find even more ways to enjoy each other, to share healthy touch and share fun. Usually the more than children (and parents)resist this, the more they need this vital connection.
  • Hold, rock, cuddle, touch, soothe, sing, play, laugh, tickle, smile.

Attachment and International Adoption. From Choices and Challenges in International Adoption by Joan McNamara ©2009

The Waiting Game: Coping With Stress During The Wait

loveInternational adoption is universally stretching over longer processing times.  With the introduction and implementation of Hague procedures and regulations, the process to adopt a child is much longer when compared to a few years ago.  Longer wait times for adoption can result in greater anxiety for prospective adoptive parents, as they worry about issues like bonding, health and adoptions falling through. Hopscotch is pleased to share this terrific and insightful article, by Dawn Davenport, on anxiety and adoption and how to help to put these issues into perspective.

This article is shared with our viewers with permission of Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, a nonprofit providing education and support for adoption and infertility, and host of the weekly podcast-Creating a Family: Talk about Adoption and Infertility available for listening or downloading at www.CreatingaFamily.org.

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