When adopting a child at any age, attachment and bonding should be topics that are taken seriously. Attachment looks different at different ages, and is affected by the developmental stage that the child is in at the time. There are hundreds of great resources on attachment. Some examples include:
Adoption Resource Website
A 4ever Family
Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents
Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft
Connecting With Kids Through Stories: Using Narratives To Facilitate Attachment in Adopted Children (Kindle Edition)
Below is a list of activities that could be used to help promote attachment and bonding with your newly adopted child. (younger children) It is not a comprehensive list, and if your child is showing red flags as far as attachment goes, please seek the help of a family therapist and/or adoption expert.
With younger children:
- Following baths, rub lotion on your child's skin. Skin-to-skin contact is important. Brush their hair. If they're old enough, allow them to brush your hair.
- If your child does not have good eye contact, place them in your lap facing away from you, but in front of a mirror. This seems a safer route for them to look at you. Make silly faces and see if they can mimic you.
- Blow bubbles for them. As you draw the wand up to your mouth, this will encourage your child to look at you in the eyes.
- Sing songs together.
- Instead of time outs, do time ins. Have them sit quietly on your lap or near you.
- Play games across from one another. This allows them to see your facial expressions and look into your eyes.
- Get down to their level to play.
- Roll a ball back and forth.
- Answer any need they have immediately.
- Play peek-a-boo.
- Carry them in a baby carrier as often as possible.
Do you have any activities that went well with your child? Any that did not work, or that your child did not care for?
We're in this together! Share your successes!