"orphanage behaviors"
I read with interest the thread about rocking, and that this seems to be a pretty common behavior for orphanage kids. I also remember the thread about kids HATING water/bathing.

For those of us in the many varied stages of waiting for our children, I wonder if you experienced post-adopt parents would share with us some behaviors or obsticles that you had to overcome with your children, so we have a better idea what to expect/be prepared for/look for?

Our little guy adopted in August is having a hard time with bitting. I know that this behavior is not limited to kids that have come from an orphanage. However, from what I have read, experienced, and learned from others who have recently adopted, it is something the toddlers especially use in the orphanages to express themselves when they feel powerless. Our twenty month wants to bite everyone when he feels frustrated. He will even clamp down on the nearest toy.

I meant to add... as for water our little fellow loves it! Of our five children he has had the least fear of water pouring right over his face!

bad reaction to...
dropping food on the floor. We adopted two preschoolers and for the first couple of months they were home, if they dropped any morsel of food on the floor when they were eating, they just screamed and cried. We didnt know if it was because food was so scarce they hated to lose any of it or if they were punished in the orphanage for wasting food.

Either way, its much better now!

Both of my new babies enjoy their bath. Haydon, too loves to have water poured over him. Laura gave him a little plastic cup, that is now officially his bathtub cup. He pours water over his head, and then wants someone to pour water over his back. I didn't notice him getting upset about dropping food, but he does get upset if crumbs are thrown away.
Hayden does freak out if he drops food on the floor. He ALWAYS wants to get it picked up right away if he realizes he did it. He loves water poured over his back - but SCREAMS when we wash his hair! He gets really mad when the plug is pulled on the tub. He would spend the night in the tub if we let him! He has began to brush his teeth with toothpaste the last couple days. The first week or so - he flipped out completly when we tried to brush his teeth. We backed off and stopped for a couple days and then started letting him get used to the feel by doing it himself with a wet toothbrush. Now there is no issue at all. We guess that he never had his teeth brushed in the orphanage. He also rocks his head and body back and forth and sucks his hand at bedtime (along with sobbing and crying the entire time - even with us rocking him). Helena likes to be rocked to sleep by me in the rocker or falls asleep in her swing. I'm not sure if that is orphanage or just a baby thing. She falls asleep really easily at night and nap time with no odd behaviors or rituals.

One very odd behavior is that Hayden knows how to operate a shovel and a dust pan and broom properly, as well as check rugs to see if they have airdried completely outside. We are VERY suspicios that it was a "hard knock life" and that "Annie" isn't all fictional. What three year old picks up a shovel like a man and begins to dig holes in the mulch or sweeps up after himself? He certainly never saw either of us doing it - so he must either be very observant or we adopted a member of the orpahange staff!
well, since Laura let the cat out of the bag.....

Our preschoolers also take their plates (and ours) over to the kitchen after we eat and they insist on wiping down their areas where they ate... there are very few "messes" in our house... I think the orphanage staff must have made our boys little neatnicks!

They also like to wipe their face and hands off and be neat and clean which is sort of unusual for preschool boys... now they WILL get dirty like all boys like to, but they also like to clean up!

I noticed one night too that Tim (the older one) folded his towel and washcloth after a bath... which cracked me up! they also love brooms and dustpans and try to help often

They also know how to make their bed... its just a sheet and comforter, very do-ab le for a4 and 5 year old but i've taught them to make their bed and dress themselves in the morning before school and then they get their morning treat. I have to admit that they are great helpers and work really hard to please..... I feel like I've fell into a dream compared to other mothers with Biological kids that i've talked to! Smile

poop spreading
My son, now 9 years, had a horrible habit of taking off his diaper and spreading poop everywhere-- finally we solved this by dressing him in blanket sleepers, cutting out the feet, and zipping them up backwards.
Ok - we definately brought home two members of the baby home cleaning staff! My girls are hilarious...they like to steal a few baby wipes while I am cleaning the house - the next thing you know I hear them "mama clean" and they are wiping everything down with the wipes...and they actually do a pretty good job! They actually argue over who gets to clean up the occasional spill in our home! I read in some book that a proactive punishment for drawing on the walls with crayons, was to give the child a rag and soap and have her scrub it off...HA! My girls would die and go to heaven if I gave them a bucket of water and a rag...LOL!

The only other issue we dealt with was the bath issue for the first two weeks or so. The girls would FREAK if a hair or fuzz was floating in the bath water...it was like Jaws had just emerged from the deep! Now we have finally taught them that the hair is not alive and it is not coming to get them!
My son would FREAK about food. The first time I took him to eat at K-Mart, the cook thought he was soooo cute, that she gave him a cookie in a little baggie.

He loaded EVERYTHING (salt, pepper, sugar, jelly packets, toast crusts) into the baggie and carried it with him everywhere. Even to sleep.

And he carried a bag of Mega Bloks everywhere. I guess it was the only thing that was every really his. We walked the dog and the Mega Bloks, we went for a ride and so did the Mega Bloks.

He insisted at 2 1/2 to wash himself in the tub. He balled up the cloth and scubbed himself down. Then folded his washcloth neatly and placed it over the faucet.

And everything had to line up and be in it's place.
Our child was only 9 months when he got home, but we noticed that he ate everything we displayed to him - whether he was full or not. He would eat until honestly, it was spilling right back out his mouth. It took a few months to teach him what "full" felt like.

He also hated water in the bath at first, and still hates when a wipe or wet washcloth touches his hands or face. Makes it a challenge to clean up after meals!
Great thread! I was absolutely not prepared not to snuggle with my little one constantly. I've talked to several friends, and same experiences. My daughter was 1 when we brought her home. She had to learn how to hug (even though we observed her caregivers doing it often in the orphanage.) At first, I thought she just wasn't a snuggly baby. She'd give a quick snuggle, and be off.

When she had her first bout with the flu (fever, etc.), she laid in my arms constantly, and I cuddled her. She didn't have the strength or desire to move, and learned that cuddling was comforting.

My pediatrician said this is normal behavior for institutionalized kids. When they are ill, they are given meds perhaps, but not hours of TLC with touching.

She now comes to us regularly initiating hugs, kisses, and snuggles more as a toddler. Hope this helps....one thing I wish I'd known.

carrying things around....
oh yeah, that is a good one,... our youngest one will carry as many things as he can in as many types of containers he can find. If he has a gift bag or a box or a backpack or anything and you'll find many things crammed in there... .this is really bad when you bring his backpack home from preschool and he's squirred away several school toys! Smile
My pre-schooler has been home 6 months. She was terrified of the bath for the first weeks we were in Russia, but by the time we came home, she asked for it!! She loves the water now!1

She still has trouble chewing meat, or any food that requires much chewing, I believe that the food they got in the orphanage was oatmeal consistency, or yogurt.

She also squirrels away toys and small parts to toys, she picks up fuzz from the floor, paper, anything she can see,pick and collect ( which we are working on).

She is fastidious about herself. She will use 3-4 napkins per meal, each time she takes a bite, she has to wipe her mouth!! She is always wiping her hands and face.

Also, when I am cleaning the house,she will take a doll blanket or wipe and imitate me cleaning, and gets great pleasure of "tiding up" her room of all her toys. When she is done with a toy, she will always put it away without us asking her to do so!! They must have been very well trained to pick up after themseves. She also dresses herself with minimal assistance. They truly are amazing children!!
My son proclaims everything as "mine." He even constantly says,
"my mommy" and "my daddy." Obviously he is reminding everyone around him that he owns whatever it is, especially when other children are around.

The water thing is interesting. Our son did not like baths at all for the first month, now he loves them. But, he is still absolutely scared to death of the shower. I'm guessing that at his orphanage they must have sprayed the kids with water at bathtime.

Our son also used to turn his head back and forth before falling asleep and sing a little song to himself. He doesn't do it anymore. He has been home for about 16 months now, so maybe he has forgotten it.
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