AdoptResources's Blog

blogging about adoption, attachment, parenting & family life


with 4 comments

A lot of the things that I’ve found helpful in our adoption/parenting  are not rocket science concepts, they are simple and straightforward elements of parenting, things that are done subconsciously and often go unnoticed. The one difference is in the timing, when you use them and sometimes using some of the ways of relating to younger children & babies with older children. I don’t mean using the goo goo gaa gaa of baby babble but capturing some of it in an age appropriate way…

Noticing is a favourite of mine – it can buy you a bit of time if things are getting a bit heated but the key benefit is in helping children to develop an awareness of their behaviour.

Picture a parent-baby interaction:

  • baby gurgles & smiles….
  • parent notices and responds with something like… “oh look you’re smiling … what a gorgeous smile … etc etc”

The parent and child have a positive interaction, there’s a bit of mirroring/copying , the babystarts to become aware that they are doing something that someone else recognises, there’s also some neurobiology going on positively reinforcing the interaction for the parent and baby.

Now, picture an older child throwing stuff around their room, the initial reaction might be, in the interests of safety and avoiding destruction of stuff, to say “Stop!” … but the child may be absorbed in their actions without realising what’s going on “Stop” is unlikely to have an effect – “Stop” is about you and what you want… Amazingly, responding with “You’re throwing stuff around your room”  can help focus the child’s attention on what they are doing and quite often the behaviour stops or at least lessens. I know it seems a bit lightweight for some situations but it’s worth a try and it can help take the confrontation out of the situation.

Another good time to notice things is when children are acting out, you can use a bit of guesswork too.. “you seem angry/upset/…..” again helps children regulate more than “why are you…”

Children who have experienced early trauma or neglect are likely to have missed out on consistent positive parent/baby interactions and the trust and security that develops from these. Noticing behaviours in children can help in the development of self awareness, trust in relationships and in moving on to understand how their behaviour impacts on others.

Not rocket science but it might be worth a try…

Written by adoptresources

January 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Great info for a foster/adopt mom-to-be! Thank you for sharing!


    January 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm

  2. Thanks for the well-written article. I liked it. You have a very well-done blog.

    Virgil Vasallo

    January 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm

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