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A couple of questions(42 Posts)
Did anyone send out a message or email of some sort to friends and family to explain that you would be funnelling etc? I know lots of people will want to pop round for cuddles and while close friends and family understand other people may not. Just wondering how others handled that?
Also, suggestions for things to take to intros to initiate play with a 1year old? I'm thinking simple board book, bubbles, favourite snack. What did you take?
We just spoke to the people that we knew would want to visit (mainly grandparents/siblings) and explained how it was. It helped that our parents went to a workshop that explained why we would be asking them to hold back.
We took nothing for intro's with our lo (11.5 months) on the first day. Figured we would be best interacting with familiar toys and didn't want to be associated with food so didn't take a snack (thought based on MIL relationship with DS). We only saw her for 2 hours the first day and she left for half an hour of it. We played on the floor with her a little, not too much as we didn't want to push our luck, I gave her a bottle, she had a quick nap and shortly after she woke up we left.
We didn't put out a general message, and boy did I regret that! A friendly email/facebook post etc heads up will warn people, and be clear. You need them to talk to you, not the child, the child has just lost everything, and needs low amounts of interference from anyone apart from you.
Sounds like you have the first meeting covered! Good luck!
Just a thought, anyone you think will ignore your message I would keep away for a bit longer. Mil was told she could drop off some cards for my birthday as long as she didn't speak to Dd ( 3 days post placement). She walked (with fil who we weren't aware was coming) and said hi to her, tried to get her to smile and Dd just started screaming. We had to ask her to leave. Be firm.
We explained to all close family and friends that we would need a few weeks of no visitors and that once we were settled we would invite them over. We updated everyone daily with emailed photos and a little report of how each day had gone.
The hardest part was that at the time my parents lived in the same street as us. During Intros DS came and visited us at home and then gradually spent more time with us as the introduction period went on. Iit was torture for my mum being able to see us carrying our new little bundle in and out of the car and not being able to come over and say hello.We did let her accidentally bump into us while we were out walking him in his pram so that she could get a sneaky look!
And what toys etc to take to intros? Our DS was 10 months so we put a few cuddly toys in a nice big gift bag and kept him discover them. The main thing he wanted to play with was the chunky necklace I was wearing. It was lovely as he came and sat on my lap to get a closer look so I got more cuddles than I expected on that first meeting.
You know you can take funnelling too far, Whilst you absolutely don't need a constant trail of people crowding them and picking them up, what is important is that you are doing the care.
Its not going to hurt for grandparents to come round for a cup of tea and be is the same room for an hour, as long as you trust them to keep a bit of distance, thats were it gets tricky I think.
I agree with Ted, a cup of tea in the same room is fine....
a 1 yr old should be used to having the health visitor popping around, SW popping in, and different friends of FC popping by for a cuppa...
the important thing is no picking up, no giving care etc...if the grandparents and special people (I would limit it to these only) can be trusted to simply say hi - cheery smile - and have a cuppa, then leave, then you may value the company - you go stir crazy otherwise...(we did this for a month)
my MIL used to come and stand ironing in a corner while LO sat in the highchair giving cheesy grins (obviously feed, play toys, crayons, playdoh, cartoons etc...but safe from the iron while i ate cake!..) it gave us an hours break, and helped with the chores, while MIL got to dote - win win....
Thanks, that's helpful.
Re the funnelling, I have been quite anxious about getting that right. In reality, we have a child at home already so quite quickly new lo will be joining us on the school run and dropping of at activities. I can't hide her from everyone then so she is going to meet people out and about I can't really avoid that. I guess like you say it's the care that matters and keeping home a safe space for us.
If you have one already then yes it will be different.
My suggestion is always have her in the buggy or sling - people never get them out of there like they feel they can pull them out of your arms...(bizarre but true!)
If LO is meeting people on the school run i'd defo let the family meet her first....
I second a sling/carrier when out an about. We took our new little one to church with us and everyone felt it was their right for a pass round. It was a new born so not as much of an issue but it is so hard to say no. The second one we had was a little older so I kept her firmly strapped to me and nobody ever asked for a cuddle! It also helps build amazing attachment.
Yes I had already thought a sing would be a good idea. We've bought one already. She's not used to being in one so fingers crossed she's ok with it because that would solve a lot of the issues wouldn't it.
Before intros started, whenever friends expressed excitement, i just said something like 'well am afraid it will be a few weeks or so; we obviously don't want to overwhelm them' and everyone was fine. Grandparents were met during intros as live very close and play huge role in their life. I was quite annoyed as about a fortnight after moving in .... Keeping friends at bay.... 4 social workers turned up for lac review which in my opinion took the mick out of 'funneling'. We did lots of bumping into people in various parks.
Re intros.... Had the toy featured in the intros book and that was it.
Just as an aside in response to Nelly, LOs SWs may not be aware of funnelling. I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of it until I came on here (long history working in CP including with newly placed AC) I remember thinking one family were particularly uptight. Looking back they must have been exasperated with me! I know had they mentioned it I’d have gone away and researched it and understood. (Not that it’s their responsibility to train the SWs!) I expect they thought I’d already know. I must’ve seemed incredibly bullish and insensitive. Might be worth dropping in a comment about funnelling early doors to LOs SW when they do their stat visits.
What an exciting time for you! Good luck!
Also tbf that was a long time ago when SW were expected to be a ‘jack of all trades’ (and often master of none!) sadly at the time newly placed AC would have been low down on the priority list as they weren’t in any immediate danger or risk. I think (hope) things have changed a lot since then
I suspect they have Iggyflop. Our SW and LOs SW have never used the word funnelling but I've definitely talked about keeping her world small and introducing people slowly and it was covered on our training. I didn't think to ask at the time how that would work with a birth child in the mix though.
Yes, i should think they have. SW has become far more specialised now. The team I worked in covered everything from LAC children (ICO and FCOs), children on CIN and CP plans and children being placed for adoption. Because I was LOs SW I didn’t know what APs were taught in training in terms of being the only one providing care...I would think I was giving them a break by ‘helping’ with the kids during visits as I often knew them very well, often since they’ve lived with BF and the parents would rush in to take over. It must’ve felt very undermining for them, I knew about keeping the child’s world small and gradually introducing people but not the care bit. I was thinking in terms of the LAC review that Nelly mentioned, that the IRO and LOs SW may not have been thinking of the fact they were funnelling at the time and the impact of everyone descending having an impact on bonding. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that professionals counted in the list of people to stay away either!
Sounds like you’ve got it all covered! Good luck. When’s your visit?
Interesting, perhaps best to be explicit with visiting SWs just incase. We're waiting for matching panel now in a couple of weeks. Then intros start straight after.
Yes, might be worth dropping it in casually at the start to save any awkwardness. Since I worked in SW the teams have been broken down in the area I worked so that CP and LAC SWs work in separate teams and it’s divided into different age ranges of child. I’m sure your LOs SW won’t be as clueless as I was!
Good luck at panel. Sounds like you’re doing everything you can to be fully prepared. Hope someone can offer some guidance re: funnelling with a BC
Yes we did. Also funnelled and had BC at school. PM me if you would like me to send you the email we sent to all family and friends. A very kind MNetter shared hers with me and we adapted it slightly. We think it helped and received great feedback.
Strongly recommend preparing everyone in advance to avoid awkward situations later.
There is a lovely little book called "When I Arrive" by Adoption UK which is lovely. We bought that for our close family and friends.
Thanks Rosie, I've pm'd you. And I'll have a look for that book Barbados, thanks 😊
When it came to our LO (she was 10 months old she’s now 13 months) for the intros we gave her a stuffed animal that smelt of us. We hugged and sprayed our perfume/aftershave on it. After our first intro we left it with her. She hugged it and slept with it over the intros. It was the only toy in her crib. It’s now her go to sleep teddy. She immediately tabs it when she’s going off to sleep.
As for the intros your friends and family will understand. The thing is for them not to create a massive ott fuss. At 1 your LO will start to be aware and will have formed attachments so focus on creating your positive attachments but not in a vacuum.
Good luck and fingers crossed x
Ask for the LAC review to take place at the SW office rather than your own home. My DC are older but there's no way I'd want a group of professionals meeting in our front room. Mine are unsettled by their own SW visiting without adding other professionals into the mix. It doesn't need to be at your home.
You can keep LO with you, less likely that someone will want to play with either child in an office space than at home. Take some toys etc with you to help keep them entertained, maybe leave BC with grandparents?
My SW and I discussed the need for our DC to get a sense of the normal routine of the house so after a couple of weeks folk who would normally be around popped in for coffee. They pointed our DC to us for care etc but it meant the children didn't get used to a very quiet life, only for the house to get much busier after a period of settling in.
You have to be realistic, the first weeks are tough and you have to do this as a family unit.
I'm single, my son was nearly 8 on arrival. If we had isolated ourselves for several weeks we would both have spontaneously combusted.
You have a birth child, this is a big change for them, they need a bit of normality.
The sling is a good idea, creates a bit of distance. As i said the key thing is that the bsby recognises you as the primary carer, so no one else feeding, changing nappies, settling, cuddling is the key. Bumping into people and letting them have a peek isnt going to do any harm
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