“Attachment” is the work in adoption circles today just as trauma informed care is the methodology of choice. But to be honest, when you are in the trenches with a sibling group of adopted kids, you don’t have a lot of time to read the latest research and attend trainings. At least I don’t. So here is a list of small changes we can all make to foster a stronger attachment with all our children (recently adopted or not). Don’t try to do them all, just pick one or two and make a small change:
- Look for love-ops. Like a photo op, these are the little moments in the day to make eye contact, stroke a shoulder, or give a quick hug.
- Be a ready reader. Announce to the family that henceforth, you always have time to read a book. (Don’t panic–that’s ONE book!) Be ready and willing to drop everything (except the baby!) to read that story.
- In difficult times, strive to make eye contact with the struggling child every 5 minutes of their waking day. It’s miraculous.
- Cook together – it doesn’t have to be a special occasion, just your next meal.
- Have a family cuddle before bed.
- Create a new routine and stick to it for a week. Publicize and promote it as if were the greatest invention ever.
- Or — throw out the routine and do mad, fun things like spend a day lobbing snowballs and sledding or swimming at an indoor pool. Fun is connecting
- Grow something together. Whether a bean sprout or a puppy, growing things somehow grows love.
- Have tea time (aka snack time) after school or mid-afternoon.
- Spend time outdoors every day, together. My grandma called this “airing the baby.” Fresh air gives fresh perspectives. If it’s cold, bundle up and do it anyway!
Let’s try baby-stepping our way to attachment this week!
Photo credit: Dreena T