Praying for Ansley

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Adoption and Attachment 101

It's a small world - therefore- there are just so many original thoughts out there. I am copying from a blog, that copied from another blog to give some advice to well meaning friends and family members who just don't understand all the intracacies of adoption and adopted children. Read, learn and enjoy...
Do's and Don'ts for Family and Friends of Adoptive Parents regarding attachment
Do
1. Offer household help (running errands, preparing meals that can go right from the freezer to the oven, etc.) so the mother can spend more time holding the child.
2. Accept that attachment issues are sometimes difficult for anyone outside of the mother to see and understand. The mommy knows her child the best.
3. Be supportive even if you think everything looks fine to you.
4. Allow the parent(s) to be the center of the baby’s world.
5. As hard as it may be for you, abide by the requests of the parents. Something as simple as passing the baby from one person to another can make the attachment process that much longer and harder.
6. Accept that parenting children who are at-risk for attachment issues often goes against traditional parenting methods and beliefs.
7. Remember that there is often a honeymoon period after the child arrives. If the parents are taking precautions, they are smart and should be commended and supported!
Don’t
1. (Don't) Assume an infant is too young to suffer from emotional issues related to attachment. Babies are not immune. If they've had different caregivers all their little lives, who could they have attached to?
2. (Dont') Judge the mother’s parenting abilities. What looks like spoiling or coddling may be exactly what the child needs to avoid a serious attachment disorder.
3. (Don't) Take it personally if asked not to hold the baby for more than a minute or maybe not at all depending on the situation. This is not meant to hurt you. It is meant to help prove to the baby who her mommy is and help her to form a positive attachment with her. Some babies have had many many caregivers in their lifetime so this is very important.
4. (Don't) Put your own time frames on how long attachment should take. Every child is different.
5. (Don't) Offer traditional parenting advice. Some well-meaning family members will tell a new mother not to pick the baby up every time she cries because it will spoil her. A child who is at-risk from attachment issues must be picked up every single time she cries. She needs consistent reinforcement that mommy will always take care of her and always keep her safe.


I hope this is an insight to the idea that attachment can occur even in infants. If you consider the percentage of their lives where they haven't attached to anyone (probably 100%), then it doesn't matter if the child is 8 months old, 18 months old or 3 years old. It is still 100% and they don't know any different. They need to learn to accept a parent and learn to rely on them, 100%!

1 comment:

Jennifer M said...

I love this!! This is SOOOO great! I applaud you for posting it. Had someone posted this before I traveled, I would have shamelessly copied and pasted it into my blog (ok, ok, I would have asked permission and given you credit, but nonetheless, that's how much I like it). :-)