More Activities that Encourage Attachment with your Adopted Child
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Last month, I had the opportunity to speak to a diverse group of individuals at Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA). AKA is a non-profit educational organization that brings together adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. Being involved in this organization is amazing, but speaking to such a diverse audience is even greater!
During the presentation, I asked the audience to write on a post-in note what activities THEY have used with their families to encourage attachment. Everyone posted their notes on the window and then I promised to blog about all of their wonderful ideas.
My point? Attachment enhancing activities are as natural as breathing. There is nothing special about any of the ideas or activities I’ve posted about in the past. Healthy families are always encouraging attachment simply by being loving and attentive caregivers.
Typing this list out, I’m so thrilled at all the great things parents are doing and how they realize what they are doing is so important! I’m also thrilled at how many post-it notes I have! So many people came to the meeting. One very intuitive individual asked “aren’t these activities good for ALL kids, even if they are not adopted?” ABSOLUTELY!!!
- Slings (baby-wearing)
- Eye Gazing
- Reading Dr. Sears’ books
- Bottle feeding for an extended period of time
- Attending to baby’s emotions
- Being involved parents
- Unconditional Love
- Being the other guy’s “go to” person
- Coming to AKA
- Time together doing nothing
- Playing Games
- Preparing/eating meals
- Dancing together
- Shopping together
- Telling Stories
- Drawing Pictures
- Singing and Playing Music
- Being open and honest about adoption with your child
- Physical Contact
- Meeting an infant’s needs consistently
- Positive Regard
- Love and laughter
- Dancing to the same music each night
- Focused Attention
- Allowing your feelings
- Attachment Therapy
- Undivided Attention
- Sharing Experiences
- Co-sleeping (or next to parent sleeping)
- “Getting to Know You” conversations
- Being a stay-at-home-mom
- Reading together
- Talking about the truth (adoption)
- Acts of Love
- Acts of Sharing
- Making it known how impact the child is
- Regression Activities (holding, rocking, bottles etc.)
- Comfort when crying or distressed
Thanks to everyone who participated. Please, feel free to add your comments below about what attachment enhancing activities worked for you. Also, remember that the list above is simply a list of other’s experiences- it is recognized that not everything on the list is needed to develop a secure attachment, nor is everything on the list going to be “the best” for your child.
Do you feel like your child or family could use help with attachment? The majority of my clients are adoptive families and I have an office in North Austin and Bastrop. Look around my website for more information: Gobbel Counseling & Adoption Services.
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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin and Bastrop Texas specializing in adoption and attachment.