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 Bonding with your adopted child

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luckystar
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Number of posts : 93
Location : Birmingham uk
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Registration date : 2008-09-25

PostSubject: Bonding with your adopted child   Thu 25 Sep - 13:41

Once your adopted child comes home, the real work begins. Here's how to smooth out those early days and start to build a bond

by Eleni Kyriacou

Get clued up
Before he arrives, find out your child's likes and dislikes as well as his routines. His foster carer can tell you. Your child will come with a Life Story book – a simplified, child-friendly version of his personal history. Ask his social worker to make sure it's as complete as possible. He'll find it invaluable when trying to make sense of what happened and why.

If he's been abused or neglected, ask his social worker for any information that may affect how he bonds with you. It's a good idea to join an adoption support group (try Adoption UK).

Build happy memories
Going on a walk? Collect leaves and make a picture later. Let him decorate a small box to keep as a 'memory box'. He can store precious items here, including anything from his birth parents that might have sentimental value. His past is part of who he is, so embrace the good bits and you'll be able to help him come to terms with the rest.

Mother, don't smother
It's natural for him to feel insecure. Give reassurance and affection without being overwhelming. Ask if you can comb his hair, give him a cuddle or kiss him goodnight. Offer the affection but don't expect it back immediately. If he seems reticent, tell him it's ok to leave the kisses and calling you 'mummy' till he feels ready (and mean it!)

Don't be afraid to discipline
Like any child, he'll need to know what's expected, what isn't acceptable and what will happen if he misbehaves. Bedtimes routines, a few simple rules and respect are vital. They can help him feel secure and speed the bonding process as he'll quickly see how he fits into the family. If he's been let down by adults in the past, he'll test you to see if you'll do the same. He may reject you, be unkind or deliberately misbehave. Be fair and consistent at all times.

Build a social network
Make sure he has other children to play with, like cousins and friends from nursery. If you're a lone parent, build a network for days out. Be careful not to swamp him with new family members early on – he needs to feel comfortable in his surroundings before meeting several strangers
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