Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Dd grabs my face(35 Posts)
Hello I am a new adoptive parent to a Dd , she is a good sleeper eater and genuinely lovely. I am so blessed but she has taken to grabbing my face hard when she's frustrated or doesn't want to do something . It's mainly me but has started to be others to . I try and stay calm and explain that it's wrong and if re occurring use the naughty step . she's only two so I'm finding it hard . Is this normal or should I be worried . Any advice is welcome !
Forget the naughty step, right now you need to build your relationship not push her away.
Keep reiterating that grabbing is not OK, gently prevent it and distract. Have you found what soothes or distracts her yet? It's largely trial and error, but could you contact the FCs and see what worked for them?
It's very normal toddler behaviour.She doesn't know she's hurting you - she just knows it feels nice, or that when she does it the face makes a noise or something similar.
But naughty steps or any punishment where you withdraw attention or affection are pretty much no nos with adopted children. As tokoloshe says you are trying to build attachment right now (and forever). Have you read around how to parent children in order to build attachment?
it's hard because she's very well attached in all ways sleeps and eats like a dream and is happy confident and fun and this is our only stumbling block it's a new behaviour that the FC didn't experience this .
I'm sorry, but if she is recently placed she doesn't have good attachment, but she is doing a desperately good job of being compliant with a couple of people who she is entirely dependent on.
adopterssupportuk.freeforums.net is a good forum for talking with experienced adopters.
I am not saying this to be patronising, because I was in your position 3 or 4 years ago. I wish I had known then what I know now, as I would have parented very differently.
Please, please read up on attachment. Sadly few professionals to understand it.
It's been 6 months and this behaviour started 6 weeks ago
At 2 I personally wouldn't use a naughty step whether or not adopted.
I think you need to be removing her hands holding them still and saying 'No don't grab my face, it hurts' and repeat as often as necessary.
I think it is probably 'just a phase'
(The difficulty when they are adopted is you question this all the time, is it 'normal' or due to being adopted. I suspect you are just entering the 'terrible twos')
I agree with tokoloshe re attachment. Our ac has been with us for 18 months, placed much younger, no issues, we have been doing focused attachment work with them from day 1 and professionals have been saying that they are well attached for over a year.
I still wouldn't dream of doing anything but focusing on attachment. I don't attend non - essential medical appointments for example because I don't want strangers touching them. I only let very very close friends give food - maybe four other people etc etc.
Attachment isn't an off on switch. It needs constant work. And it is SO important.
And what sanders said - I wouldn't use a naughty step with any child tbf...
I would nt be overally worried. She is just testing boundaries. Just gently remove her hand and say that hurts don't make a big deal of it.
Both my children did did similar things one is adopted one isn't.
6 months is still really very early days keep focusing on attachment.
Can't comment on the adoption aspect but my DD does this and we were unsure how to handle it. She's done it once to another child at nursery, then tends to just do it when me if DH say no to something or make her do something like get dressed or something she doesn't want to do. Seems to be like a stress ball she wants to take her physical frustration out on us.
We remove her hands, say no, we don't hurt < mummy's> face, put her down if we're carrying her and then get down to her level and calmly tell her it's not nice to hurt <mummy's> face and it hurts. Once she's calmed down we talk again and usually she will say sorry and we cuddle and move on. This may not help but it hasn't escalated so I hope we're not screwing up
My dd does this a lot, to adults/kids/herself. We just calmly remind her to be gentle and that it hurts. I think it's quite a primitive way to vent frustration and assert herself. She's 2. She wants to be independent but lacks the communication skills that would allow her to 'answer back' so what option does she have? My dd doesn't talk so we keep it brief and we do put her down if she doesn't stop as it will escalate but with my elder dd we would explain that 'I know you want to play with the steak knives but they are very dangerous and we don't want you to get hurt. Maybe you'd like to play with this boring age appropriate toy. Even though you're angry you must use gentle hands (or I'll
throw you out the window cry)
Absolutely no to the naughty step at 2, IMO she won't understand at all. When DS did similar I just removed his hands and said firmly "we don't bite/pinch/hit/hurt"
In Ds's it was definitely frustration and did wear off.
Lots of children from care do have Short term memmory loss ( for many reason's) but excellent long term memmory , sitting on naughty chair or such like would achieve nothing as would forget why they are sat there within seconds, but would still sit there nether the less. Best use repertition and intructions but very short , and a hug for reasurance.
Hi, i've been a bit of a lurker on this board since our little boy came home nearly two and a half years ago (how...?) and hope not breaching any MN netiquette by just ploughing in and posting...
But as it happens, our after adoption services are pretty good and i'm currently on a parenting course called adOpt (think that's the correct spelling!) Anyway, they don't invite you to participate until your child has their third birthday, so I'm guessing the reason for that is any younger what they teach you is unlikely to be effective.
Surprisingly (as I felt when I was being assessed even mentioning the 'naughty step' was akin to locking your child in the cellar with spiders) there is a variant on it, only not called naughty step, no negative conatations, and is used as a regulatory tool rather than punitive. It works quite well for my boy as his bad behaviour is usually down to giddiness and over stimulation.
However it is not something just to be used out of no where, its to be inplemented after a period of preteaching acceptable behaviour and rewarding for doing so. Its really interesting stuff and based on a parenting programme called The Incredible Years just with an adoption spin on it
Welcome kieren. No netiquette here I don't think - just have a look at some of the other active threads tonight!
Is it a punishment/reward system? That surprises me tbh - are you finding it useful?
Well, yes, i guess it is! they're not saying you have to do what's taught though, it's more about giving you strategies. I am finding it helpful, even it's just reminding me about using more positive language (so rather than say 'stop shouting!' you may say 'why don't you use your quiet voice' or similar) And it all starts off with rewards for really simple things that you're reasonably confident they can have a crack at achieving (say, holding your hand to cross the road.) The taking a break works for my boy as I said above, but I know a couple of the parents on the course aren't using it yet (and may never do so) as it wouldn't be a positive or helpful thing for their children. But most people are finding something useful from the course. Plus it's free
I have been able to use a 'calm down' space sometimes with DD without her feeling rejected or abandoned. She goes into my room (which she likes to go in to feel more connected to me anyway). We leave the door open, and she comes back when she feels calmer, so it is all within her control.
So the 'helping to regulate' aspect of time out, not the punitive aspect. That has been from about age 7 after 5 years with me.
Hi kieren . Now we've got you, you're not allowed to leave...
kieren - I'd never tell anyone they can't do something - whatever works for you (some of us would actually like to know what works - 9 years and counting.....)
I could never use any method of discipline or even calming down that involved separation from me - still can't at 10. And he really doesn't has any attachment issues worth mentioning though a few other issues that add to a spicy life!
The only thing which worked at the worst of times when he was little was what I called "time in" which was quiet time on my lap, holding him if he was being violent and likely to hurt one of us. It did work very well. I didn't actually know at the time that "time in" was actually a thing and was quite cocky about my innovative new solution! SHows how well trained we were at that particualr aspect of parenting.
Had grand son today regular thing, is a nightmare for dd , perfect for us and our other two both under 18 months. He is adorable loves them too bits he is 2. Problem is as soon as others appere he plays too the gallery so its not a parenting problem its how he is, once he gets a little older starts nursary etc, sure there will be a dramatic change. DD thinks there may be problems assure her he is too young for her too be conserned. DD was Adopted so has past remenitions.
Sometimes it's not what is done but how it's done isn't it? Massive difference between 'that is very naughty you will sit there on your own now to teach you a lesson' and 'Maybe you need a bit of time to sort out how to deal with these big feelings? I'll be right here when you need me.' Although it might look the same to an outsider (child sitting in room on own).
We started with time in funnily enough, I read about that in the Real Children Real Parents book (or whatever it's called) which once you skip the American bits about inter country adoption is quite good I think.
The 'take a break' certainly isn't about banishing them off by themselves, you're expected to be in their line of sight, you provide a nice environment (cushion, books etc) We do use the bottom step as it happens but that's just how it's evolved as its opposite our living room door. We also stay with him and count down the time so are still engaging with him. And he has a big egg timer to watch, which is apparently supposed to be calming. And there's no 'naughty step' revisiting of the offence, demanding apologies etc just a 'thank you for having your time out' and we move on.
Welcome kierenthecommunity. As Devora says you cant go now, it's the Hotel California!
I did the *adOpt& course, it was pretty good. I would say the Family Links Nurturing Course is very similar, although not aimed specifically at parents of children who join the family by adoption and I did it before I adopted with birth dd in mind (then aged 8 I think).
If I remember rightly (always a challenge these days!) take a break is designed to give the parent and child a break from the 'situation', which will affect a change!
You start by telling the child about 'take a break', and allowing them to practise it by giving a teddy or dolly a 'take a break'. Obviously when all is calm.
I am pretty sure I did do this with our kids and they thought it was hilarious. They were much stricter with the teddies than we would be!
You are meant to 'warn' the child before they will get a take a break, but I do think warn is not quite the right word!
We have adapted this so I would just say 'Cassius (not his real name!) do you think you need to take a break?'
Sometimes he would choose to take a break himself. Sometimes not.
If the behaviour continues or tempers or temperatures continue to rise then the parent might tell the child to take a break. This could be in the same room as the adult, e.g. sitting on a cushion on the floor and just calming down or cooling down. Or it could be in the hall with the door open etc.
In the family links course you give the child an egg timer and they have one or two minutes to calm down.
Once the take a break is finished you don't need to get an apology (like Time out Super nanny style!) or to talk about it at all.
There are a few variations we use, one is that I take a break with the child, sitting together calmly, sometimes this works well, sometimes not.
Sometimes I leave the room. Last night Cassius has eaten no veg at all and very little else but still wanted a jelly. We said to eat 6 bits of veg, argument, 5 bits (like his age), I even made them into a face on a new clean plate! Argument, in the end he was getting very bothered and we settled on 4 pieces of veg but he wanted me to go away and leave him to it, I stepped into the kitchen and watched through the part open door as he calmly picked up the veg and ate it! Then I sat with him as he ate a jelly (with his hands!) while talking to it and calling it Bob (think Monsters Vs Aliens).
Result! He needed a break from me!
I never thought I would try and 'force' kids to eat anything and I didn't last night either but I did say no jelly if he did not eat any veg. He does get constipated a bit and I think the fact he is a bit of a veg-a-phob doesn't help.
Please login first.