10 Baby Steps to Attachment

All but Sunshine“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In difficult times, strive to make eye contact with the struggling child every 5 minutes of their waking day.  It’s miraculous.
  4. Cook together – it doesn’t have to be a special occasion, just your next meal.
  5. Have a family cuddle before bed.
  6. Create a new routine and stick to it for a week.  Publicize and promote it as if were the greatest invention ever.
  7. 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
  8. Grow something together. Whether a bean sprout or a puppy, growing things somehow grows love.
  9. Have tea time (aka snack time) after school or mid-afternoon.
  10. 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