First few days of placement!(30 Posts)
Our little sausage 3.5 yr old little boy moved in yesterday. We have had a really good start - he seems settled and haven't had any tears for FC yet. He went to bed easily last night and slept through the night, tonight he went down easily again.
He's a lovely little boy and we're really starting to bond with him. We're doing lots of positive praising but I was just wondering what sanctions people use if they continue to be naughty?
Wow, a lot on this thread!
Firstly, congratulations on bringing your son home! This is an amazing time, but it is so intense, overwhelming, and emotional, for both you and your son.
Secondly, soft play is the devil's playground, and even on a quiet day, suggest you keep to calmer stuff for the early days.
Thirdly, we use a "naughty cushion" for DD, because she does need time out occasionally (she can get really worked up, and is so stubborn she finds it hard to step back from her position) but the threat of it is usually enough. We only use it in the room we are in at the time (if we are out and about I say I will look for one, but have only had to improvise a few times!)
Fourthly, I do agree somewhat with michmumm that not all adopted children need a very different parenting style, but DD did have the very unusual start that Kristina mentioned (one set of fabulous FC from birth) so in many ways she is not like many adopted children. I fully expect us to have horrific teenage years or something as payback, but at present we aren't having to deal with the issues that many of our prep group friends are struggling with. And we do mostly forget that she is adopted.
Fifthly, nothing wrong with a bit of CBeebies! All the other suggestions that people have put out are good. Personally, I found a mixture of playgroups / toddler singing on a couple of days, plus a couple of days with no commitments the best combination. Downtime is really important, don't try to cram too much in. Eating at regular times helps break up the day into a routine, but i think most toddlers like regular patterns to their time. And avoid soft play! And Kristina is spot on about making sure that the parents are the only ones who do the key care things (washing, nappies, feeding etc)
michmumm- I'm not sure what has lead you to believe that I have "pathologised" DS's past. I regret not being more understanding of where DS's behaviours came from in the early year or two, I regret being proud of the fact that he had so few problems, that he went to bed on his own so readily, was very compliant with authority etc on the surface he was the epitome of an adopted child with no issues at all. I regret that I valued this conformity because it actually enabled me to ignore some of the issues that were bubbling under the surface around his separation and abandonment issues which I had to tackle later rather than earlier.
Yes of course every child and every family is different but I don't see it being a problem listening to the experiences of others further ahead in the game of adoptive and taking from it things which help my family. I still learn much from this forum and adoptive parents in real life whose family are further down the road from me.
I'm grateful for the advice and support I've had from others and I wish I'd realised that the additional parenting requirements that DS had were really only going to be apparent in his case from around age 3. I do feel that if I'd had my wits about me a bit more and was more attuned to his additional needs caused by the life he'd had before me that I would have tackled some of his issues from day one (or at least not two years later).
So I make no apologies for drawing attention to the fact that many many adoptive children are going to require some additional parenting skills and the earlier you recognise what your child requires the better for them. And if they turn out to have none, then lucky you, you haven't lost anything by being vigilant.
it is done and now part of his history but to your son and the general public that isn't true I'm afraid. He will start to tell people he is adopted if he is anything like DS when he starts school and very quickly you will find that it isn't something so easy to consign to "history". "Why did your real mum give you up" will crop up and need to be dealt with not just on a practical level but an emotional one too, you will have lovely school projects involving bringing in baby photos and projects to write about what you experienced in your first year, science projects plotting your parents/grandparents/siblings eye colour and yours to show how genetics works. All of these don't just raise practical issues but emotional and sometimes behavioural ones too. And if you are going to wait for them to arise and deal with them as they happen then you're going to be hijacked quite frequently when your DC start school.
I understand that you don't agree but I took a similar approach in the first year or so after DS came home with me and I regret it. I'm not saying you will but I hope that there is some value in my admitting my shortcomings publicly to other parents with this ahead of them otherwise I'm washing my dirty linen in public for nothing!
Anyone who has met me will confirm that I am the least likely parent to use DS's adoption as some kind of cop out for bad behaviour or that he somehow needs a label. But I firmly believe in our case that my gradual acceptance that his adoption did indeed cause certain behaviours help me parent him more effectively. Treating his adoption as an irrelevance certainly wouldn't work for us but its not a overwhelming presence in ours lives.
sorry that turned into a bit of an essay
Tish I don't know much about adoption yet - as still only at the start of our journey - but just wanted to say congratulations.
I also wanted to answer your question about what to do to fill the time with a little one.
I have birth DD who loves craft and we do a lot of craft. We use every day stuff like safe junk, (cereal boxes, washed platsic food cartons etc, chocolate boxes etc), our DD creates robots, rockets and everything imaginable. We also buy paper, stickers etc to add to the materials we can use. We trail jumble sales and charity shops, and Christmas Bizarres, for second hand craft stuff. We also found the dressing up box a great play thing for DD when little friends visited (as I am sure they they will in the future). NCT sales of second hand toys are good places to get 'new' stuff and dressing up constumes.
You can also make stuff like bird feeders out of apples and yoghurt pots, and insect houses out of boxes and cardboard bits. Part of the fun being to watch for the visitors (not yet been brave enough to put the insect house in the garden yet!).
In the past few years we have tried gardening and we have enjoyed going out to all kinds of places like garden centres (they sometimes have pets!) and actviely look for places unusual to visit like the wolf sanctuary, which is only open about three times a year (yes, that will all be for the future when you are going out more).
I am hoping (if we are lucky enough to get through this journey) to collect the art work and other stuff the little one will produce. I'd recommend making compiling them into some sorts of scrap books all part of the fun, otherwise you end up (as we have) with a wardrobe full of art and no idea of when it was created.
IF your little one is not arty you could find a lot of other stuff, like music, listening to it together, making it together, making instruments (maracas) and recording the sound of playing or singing etc, making up songs together, or whatever.
If they are sporty have a sports day, running races together round the garden (if you are lucky enough to have the space) and playing simple versions of all the usual sporty things.
We have just found some of this stuff more fun, cheaper and more enjoyable than bought toys. You'll also find some things more enjoyable, if you record your fun with lots of photos etc it might help him later to identify what was good, what he's like to do more or again, especially if he doesn't always have the language to remember what you did, what you made etc. Does that make sense?
Enjoy it all and congrats again.