If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying "I will try again tomorrow"

As it is now a countdown until placement (12 days to go)I thought that I'd share some of the preparation that we have had to do over the last 13 months. It's also a really good reminder for me, like revising for that huge exam, only this is a life choice!

1. Think younger - feed child 4 with love, food and attention on demand, play baby games like peek a boo. Regression is good, don't worry if he wants a bottle or baby cuddles. He is reinventing his past. Don't use controlled crying you cannot spoil an adopted child.
2. Learn/Teach play. Use sensory play to wonder. Use sand, play dough, and water, visit the park, the woods, the beach. Make collages and nature tables. Curious is good
3. Singelese - use a gentle singsong voice. Praise often, say I love you all the time, keep instructions really really simple.
4. Divert biting and hitting. Change those smacks to patter cakes, try teething rings. Teach him to be gentle with his touch. Trace the features of your faces together, talking positively about eyes, nose and freckles.
5. Take care of me - eat well, go to bed early, find time for me time.
A happy mum = a happy household. I know by experience that this is a fact!
6. Join support groups, ask for help. Have positive people around you, who can offer a shoulder to cry on and a bottle of wine to share
7. Keep life simple, calm and interesting.  Only do what you can really manage in a day. Adopted children often cannot cope with noisy households as they have frequently been left to their own devices and ignored in their birth homes. Try feely boxes to encourage child 4 senses, simple routines and visual timetables help keep things calm.
8. Constantly explain your role, I cook your dinner because I love you, I bath you because I love you, I read to you, play with you, talk, sing and dance with you, I take you out on dog walks all because I love you.
9. Be aware of signs that things are not quite right, children should be seeking out their parents for affection and play or when they are hurt or scared. As child 4's parent I should be able to calm him, soothe him and interact with him on different levels. Ask for help. That's what post adoption is there for.
10. Be positive, empathic and playful.Don't  be dragged into a cycle of negativity, have fun, be gentle, be patient, encourage him to try, after all the worst thing you can do is fail and is that so bad? And surely its better than doing nothing.

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