Planning for intros - 10 things I need to know!!!

(16 Posts)

OK so I know we have been over this a million times before but humour me, please, guys, I am a planner.

When little one is here can I...

1) Have a friend over for a coffee if DH is here to entertain my new little one?
2) Go out to a friends for a coffee if DH is here to entertain my new little one?
3) Go to Taekwan-do at tea time if DH is here to entertain my new little one? (Or is it better to go at bed time, one class would have me out of house 6.15 to 7.45 and the other from 7.00 to 9.00?_if DH is here to entertain my new little one?)
4) Let whole family Skype with my sister (the most significant family member for me) before he meets her?
5) Let whole family Skype with grandparents, my in-laws (the most significant family member for DH) before he meets her?
7) Let new Little one meet family after 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks? A fairly informal meeting e.g. lunch in a cafe/pub lunch or soft play?
8) Go to soft play at all!!! (Been told it is a no no but he has been before and loves it?
9) Go to church, when to start, I do feel it is easier for him if it is just part of life but social worker said do nothing for a month and everyone on Mumnset adoption boards said varying degrees of several months up to the rest of my life (joke wink)
10) How do I find the balance between being his most significant other (with DH), letting my world revolve around him, having some semblance of normality for me, DH and DD and resisting urge to show off my gorgeous new son to friends!!!

BE KIND WITH ME (I expect you told me it all before).... some history. He is a very well adjusted and socialised child but also can be anxious. He has come from foster home where there were lots of other people, especially kids but also extended family etc so busy life is normal for him BUT of course I know we need to bond, then attached and I am a hopelessly sociable person too!

If you are not an experienced adopter please do feel free to comment but please let me know your experience (and lack of it) in this area as, obviously, weight will be give to the been-there-done-that crew!

PS to entertain 'my new little one' is tongue in cheek, he i snot just my little one, he is all of ours, mine, DH and DD and he will not just be being entertained but will be therapeutically parented, we hope!!!!!

odyssey2001 Fri 02-May-14 10:55:39

Before I answer. how old is little one?

Mutley77 Fri 02-May-14 11:51:39

I am an adoption sw so can comment based on the experiences of my adopters - I think odyssey's question is pretty key regarding the age.
1) and 2) - would probably go for 2 if you are going to want the support and chat with a friend as it would probably be harder for child (dep on age) to understand that you are at home but not fully emotionally available. Can you do this after bedtime? If a friend is coming to see your DS I would probably leave it a couple of weeks.
3) This really depends. Are you going to be the "main carer" or are you and your DH having a shared care arrangement? My experience is that the child often needs to attach to one carer first and you really need to be there and available for the first few weeks. Tea and bedtime are very key times IME and I would try and avoid being out at those times for a few weeks, it could be confusing for your DC if you are the main attachment figure and disappear at the key times he "needs you".
4) Yes fine
5) Yes fine
6) - think you've missed this out!
7) Play by ear but probably fine from 4 weeks.
8) Play by ear - not immediately but just observe and be prepared to leave if necessary - esp as weather probably improving so can do park instead where it is a less "sensory intense" experience and not such a concentration of people (obviously term time during school hours is not such a big deal as the soft play would generally be a lot quieter).
9) Again would probably wait 4 weeks.
10) Just focus on the needs of your child. the understanding of which will kick in once you meet him. For example I always advise meeting a key other person (family member usually?) fairly early on esp as you have another DC already - this is just incase (worst case scenario) back up was needed in an emergency and therefore better to know another person sooner than later. So focus on "DS needs to meet this person" rather than "I want to show off my DS" - which will be instinctive to you fairly quickly esp given you are a mummy already. I would keep things as normal as possible for your DD (i.e. her school, activities, playdates - but playdates at her friend's houses rather than yours to start with) and referring back to 3 - if you are the main carer get your DH to take DD out and about.

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 02-May-14 13:18:20

OK so I know we have been over this a million times before but humour me, please, guys, I am a planner.

When little one is here can I...

1) Have a friend over for a coffee if DH is here to entertain my new little one?
2) Go out to a friends for a coffee if DH is here to entertain my new little one?
3) Go to Taekwan-do at tea time if DH is here to entertain my new little one? (Or is it better to go at bed time, one class would have me out of house 6.15 to 7.45 and the other from 7.00 to 9.00?_if DH is here to entertain my new little one?)
4) Let whole family Skype with my sister (the most significant family member for me) before he meets her?
5) Let whole family Skype with grandparents, my in-laws (the most significant family member for DH) before he meets her?
7) Let new Little one meet family after 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks? A fairly informal meeting e.g. lunch in a cafe/pub lunch or soft play?
8) Go to soft play at all!!! (Been told it is a no no but he has been before and loves it?
9) Go to church, when to start, I do feel it is easier for him if it is just part of life but social worker said do nothing for a month and everyone on Mumnset adoption boards said varying degrees of several months up to the rest of my life (joke )
10) How do I find the balance between being his most significant other (with DH), letting my world revolve around him, having some semblance of normality for me, DH and DD and resisting urge to show off my gorgeous new son to friends!BE KIND WITH ME (I expect you told me it all before).... some history. He is a very well adjusted and socialised child but also can be anxious. He has come from foster home where there were lots of other people, especially kids but also extended family etc so busy life is normal for him BUT of course I know we need to bond, then attached and I am a hopelessly sociable person too!

If you are not an experienced adopter please do feel free to comment but please let me know your experience (and lack of it) in this area as, obviously, weig

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 02-May-14 13:19:02

SORRY! I was trying to copy and paste the questions so I could answer them!! Bloody iPad, will try again later

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 02-May-14 13:31:49

Hi,

Second attempt, I have answered the ones I felt I could offer advice on.....

2) I did, but we made sure we sign posted it in advance, to ease any anxiety of "where's Mummy?" etc.
3) The after bedtime one might be better, but that's just my view. As part of establishing a routine, if you are both usually going to around for tea time and bed time, I would stick with that in early weeks.
4) I think Skype contact is a good way of gently introducing people - we made the link between people in photo book and Skype. Made first meetings easier I think.
7) We did all first meetings at our house - we felt it was where he would feel most comfortable and could have his toys and familiar things around him. Cup of tea, short visits to begin with, building to longer second time, third time etc. It was a couple of months before we took him to Grandma's or Nanna's etc.
8) Yes, we did, but probably too soon in hindsight. We went swimming early on, which was good for physical contact and building trust, but not all children enjoy it of course.

x

UnderTheNameOfSanders Fri 02-May-14 13:32:43

We adopted siblings aged 2 and 8, seven years ago.

Broadly speaking YES to all, but with the following caveats

My elder DD would not have felt happy with me going out in the evening anytime soon after placement. For at least 2 years she would not get to sleep if I was out in the evening.

Soft play I found very stressful to start with (but you will be used to it already I guess). I guess the little one will need to recognise you as their parent otherwise there could be problems at leaving time.

Will your family be able to be laid back and relaxed, or will they be demanding hugs etc from little one.

I would have not coped if I'd had to spend a month in isolation before going out and about with my two. You have to do what's best for all of you. I started toddler groups straight away DD2 (DD1 was at school).

Our son is just over 3 and a half and will be four soon.

I will be main carer.

MyFeetAreCold Fri 02-May-14 15:06:27

Dd was same age as your DS when she came home.

1) I probably wouldn't at first. Because unless there's an attachment to you, LO may go to friend/climb on friend/cuddle friend/try and go home with friend. I kept friends at bay for a good month or so, possibly longer, and even then kept visits brief.

2) do you mean taking LO with you? If so, I'd say no, for same reasons as 1. If you mean without LO, I'd say tell him you're doing jobs/shopping/whatever and go, go, GO!

3) if bedtimes/evenings are relatively straightforward, go for it! We try not to do stuff at bedtimes because we don't want the DC to wonder/worry where we are (and doing 2x bedtime with one parent is no fun) but we do sometimes sneak out once they're in bed. We figure as long as one of us is home, they'll be fine if they wake. We also smuggle friends in.

4) and 5) We did his after about a month and wished we'd waited. DD started instantly telling us that she really 'missed' the people we'd Skyped. And then talked about them endlessly. But Skyping before meeting, I think, is a great idea.

7) we met family (a couple of hours at home) after about 6 weeks. Ideally we'd have left it a few more weeks but we were in a race against Christmas. I would definitely meet at home though -soft play/cafes provide enough excitement without adding new family into the mix.

8) I would probably test the waters with something slightly less full on -- local park or similar. You won't have a clue at first whether or not you can expect him to behave reasonably or come when you call him. How much do you want to be three storeys up a climbing frame chasing a tantrumming three year old? (That said, we went to soft play as part of intros!) We also went to a couple of structured activities where you do stuff with your DC -- toddler dancing and music. Other people were there of course, but they really do promote nice interactions between child/parent.

9) how much do you trust your fellow church goers not to treat him as an exhibit? That would be my primary concern - getting others to keep their distance. If you're relatively confident about that, I don't see why you couldn't/shouldn't start going quite soon. (Where 'quite soon' probably really does mean not the first month...)

10) for us (as first time parents to two preschoolers) the first month really was just about trying to keep them alive/clean/fed and us sane. During that time it didn't matter that things weren't normal or we weren't seeing friends. We had no time/energy/inclination for anything beyond their immediate requirements. Just remember that you have to allow time for you all to get to know each other.

Hels20 Fri 02-May-14 17:28:31

So we are six months in - our DS is just about to turn 3.

1) Not for first 2 to 3 weeks - but I think after that, maybe have a friend over for a short coffee (make sure she knows it is for a short time and only have a friend over who you wouldn't feel uncomfortable asking to leave if your LO is upset). My best friend came about 2.5 weeks after DS arrived for 30 mins. But I saw her separately, at 8.30pm a couple of evenings in the first month when I needed some adult conversation (and not just from DH). She came to my house though.

2) I think it is fine to go out during the day for a short break - 45 mins or so max. I did this after about 10 days. It was during the day though - not at night.

3) This really depends on your LO's bed time. If he is asleep at 7.00pm and you leave at 7.00pm, then I would say - ok. But I would be really cautious. Even now, 6 months in, I try to always put DS to sleep first, before going out (and there was a period of about 6 weeks when he always woke up at least once during the night so I didn't risk going out as he wanted me to comfort him rather than DH).

Recently, DS knew that I had gone out and he was pretty distressed all night. I had to invest in exercise videos to do at home and not go to classes - so although DH looked after him, he knew where I was. Certainly not in the first month. But I see some people are saying "go"! Depends on whether it would kill you to miss a month of tae kwon doe.

4) Depends whether he is used to Skype. Where does your family live? If not in the UK, then maybe leave it 3 or 4 weeks (my DH's family are all in another country and aren't able to visit - but we only started Skyping about 4 weeks in). My parents visited at the end of week 2 - for a short visit. DS sees them at least once a week, if not more.

5) As above.

7) DS met my parents at the end of week 2 - we felt he was ready - and he had appeared in his "book" that we had given them. They were the only people he met in the first month (apart from my best friend who popped over for a coffee).

We didn't introduce him to any other family for another month (so 2 months in). Basically, we really restricted him to who he met for the first 3 to 4/5 months - it was more important he saw my parents frequently and my best friend (and her children) - rather than lots of random well-wishers, who he might not see again for 6 months (by which time he would have forgotten them).

Also - we were told to do it on neutral territory but actually, doing it at our home - where he had all his toys, where he could "escape" worked well. So I actually think that going against all the advice (i.e. introducing him to our family at a neutral place) worked well for us. He was definitely more comfortable at home!

8) DS loves soft play and loved it when he was with his foster family. But the first time we took him (about 1 week in) he hated it - and was very clingy and was not at all confident with other children. We tried it 3 months later - and he was brilliant - and much more confident with other children. So I think if you can go to a soft play where it is really quiet and outside busy periods with just maybe a handful of children - that would work. I think soft play is a lot about confidence - and he might feel bewildered about suddenly moving to a new home so not sure how to deal with all the quite frankly, sometimes "aggressive" children at soft play (aggressive is the wrong word - struggling to think of right word!)

9) church - we took ours to a non-family service (which is quicker and less chaotic as not many children) after about 2 months.

Good luck, Italian - you shame me with how prepared you are. You will be amazing. We are all behind you, too!

Hels what an amazingly kind thing to say/

Mutley 6) - think you've missed this out! Well spotted Muttley.... number 6, what happens if your birth child and your new child (almost 4) don't get on, fall out and your birth child says you have ruined their life by adopting! Or something like that!

So the questions are (for any new readers)...

1) Have a friend over for a coffee if DH is here to entertain my new little one?

2) Go out to a friends for a coffee if DH is here to entertain my new little one?

3) Go to Taekwan-do at tea time if DH is here to entertain my new little one? (Or is it better to go at bed time, one class would have me out of house 6.15 to 7.45 and the other from 7.00 to 9.00? If DH is here to entertain my new little one?)

4) Let whole family Skype with my sister (the most significant family member for me) before he meets her?

5) Let whole family Skype with grandparents, my in-laws (the most significant family member for DH) before he meets her?

6) - What happens if your birth child (9) and your new child (almost 4) don't get on, fall out and your birth child says you have ruined their life by adopting! Or something like that!

7) Let new Little one meet family after 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks? A fairly informal meeting e.g. lunch in a cafe/pub lunch or soft play?

8) Go to soft play at all!!! (Been told it is a no no but he has been before and loves it?

9) Go to church, when to start, I do feel it is easier for him if it is just part of life but social worker said do nothing for a month and everyone on Mumnset adoption boards said varying degrees of several months up to the rest of my life (joke wink)

10) How do I find the balance between being his most significant other (with DH), letting my world revolve around him, having some semblance of normality for me, DH and DD and resisting urge to show off my gorgeous new son to friends!!!

Thanks Mutley, Trinnyandsatsuma, Hels, Coldfeet, Sanders and all. Thank you.

prumarth Fri 02-May-14 18:06:19

No idea but watching intently! Also, what is soft play??

UnderTheNameOfSanders Fri 02-May-14 18:13:15

Soft play is a large warehouse with padded climbing equipment, ball pools, slides etc. for children to run off energy in while parents have a rest with a well deserved cup of coffee.

Some are nice, some are manky and germ ridden.

With a little one you don't get the rest as you feel obliged to walk around keeping them in eye at all times. Some people even feel obliged to climb on the equipment with their youngsters.

Much better when children are older and can be trusted to be OK without constant watching.

prumarth tee hee, you have something in store if you do not know soft play!

Soft play is usually housed in a warehouse like building with a steel roof making it freezing in winter and boiling in summer. It is one of the few places where the poshest of yummy mummies and the slouchiest of scruffy mummies all end up drinking 'fake' cappuccinos and eating fried food while their children have a blast climbing over massive shapes make of something (I know not what) and covered in brightly coloured plastic.

There a constant fear of losing your child or them getting in a scrap with a bigger kid and of course my constant fear I will get stuck in the slide going down.

Enjoy!

Or what sanders said.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now