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How do you know if it's going well?

(11 Posts)
poppet31 Wed 11-Sep-19 23:29:57

This may seem like a stupid question but how do you know if introductions are going well? We are day 3 in to 9 days of intros with our 2 year old, who has been with same foster carer since birth. He's taken to us fairly quickly and foster carer keeps saying how well it's going. But he's very used to a busy house with lots of family coming and going, so how do we know if he's attaching to us, or is just good with people generally? Are there any signs to suggest he's building an attachment? I know it's very early days but I am worried things are almost going too well if you know what I mean.

OP’s posts: |
ASandwichNamedKevin Thu 12-Sep-19 00:09:19

I don't think you could know him well enough to identify signs of attachment to you specifically, but the FC will know him well and if they say it's going well then try to take that at face value.

Also if some days go less smoothly don't be disheartened. All children can be fickle little creatures at times!

It probably feels scary that things are going well when the journey to get to this point may have been bumpy, like you don't want to tempt fate. Honestly try to go with it, they've said its going well, that is a good thing!
It's such a tiring time so just try to sleep now ready for another day.

Dirtyjellycat Thu 12-Sep-19 08:57:09

Attachment takes months and years to build. It is not something that can be identified in three days or even 3 weeks. My social worker used to talk about the baby ‘transferring their attachment to me’ during intros as though it was some kind of transaction. It’s just not like this at all - it’s a slow process that takes time, effort and trust. Keep doing what you are doing, and take heart from the foster carers words. It all sounds really positive. The most you can do is just be there for your child, spending time with them and responding to their needs as much as you possibly can, even when this is exhausting!

Intros are so hard and it can be tempting to over analyse everything that happens. Please try to avoid doing this if you can - I over-thought everything, and it sent me into a terrible vortex of worry and anxiety in the weeks after LO came home. I was very fortunate that I had an excellent health visitor whom I saw regularly, and who really helped me to relax and just take each day as it came, without worrying about every little thing that happened.

Try to do lots of skin to skin contact where possible, put little one in a sling if you can, do lots of games and activity which involved touch, I contact etc as all of this will help to promote bonding with a NT child.

I am sending you very big, unmumsnetty hugs as anyone going through intros needs lots of hugs. Be kind to yourself and build in some R &R for yourself too.

Ted27 Thu 12-Sep-19 13:11:15

Absolutely what Dirtyjellycat said.

It seems to me that there is huge confusion between bonding and attachment. I has an almost instant bond with my son, attachment took much longer 7 years on he still really isnt 100% there and probably never will be.
Intros are just something to be got through, go with the flow, don't try and analyse too much, the real work starts when you get home.
If he seems to like you then its a good start, but don't forget that at 2 his understanding of what is happening is limited and it could get bumpy when you get him home.
Congratulations and good luck

jellycatspyjamas Thu 12-Sep-19 14:43:16

But he's very used to a busy house with lots of family coming and going, so how do we know if he's attaching to us, or is just good with people generally?

With kindness I expect he’s bloody terrified and masking hugely tbh - his whole world is changing and he’ll be aware of that on some level.

Try not to worry if it’s going well - it’s happening and will happen regardless of how well you all appear to be getting in at the moment. He’s got some massive adjustments to make so will be trying to figure out how to be as safe as possible in the process.

Be there, be consistent, get as much rest as you can. If echo everything that’s been said about attachment, at this stage I wouldn’t expect anything other than survival mode from your LO, bonding, attachment etc will come in time.

topcat2014 Thu 12-Sep-19 21:54:35

agree with others, intros are just to be got through. not sure when attachment happens, just try to live the day you are in x

ifchocolatewerecelery Thu 12-Sep-19 22:05:27

Our LO came home aged 1. 2 years in I felt her attachment to me was good by no means secure but she was happy and settled. Then she started school half days this month and it's clearly impacted on her feelings about our relationship. She is much less flexible if I misread her cues and her behaviour has been rejecting of me and the comfort I can normally give her. She's definitely regressed emotionally, especially during the night.

DashOfMagic Thu 12-Sep-19 22:59:10

Hi poppet,

We’re just a bit ahead of you so finished intros recently and still fresh in our heads. LO has been with us for 10 days. Our intros similarly went really smoothly and foster carers and social workers were pleased and said it was going well. I agree with everyone else, the attachment will not happen during intros but we found intros useful to find out as much as possible about LO and her routine, and to do the same things with her over and over each day (e.g. little interactions, games, touch, songs, same phrases when eating or putting to bed etc) then when we got home and we still did these she found these familiar and a bit reassuring.

Once intros are over and you are left to your own devices things settle and relax and lot and then the bonding can start properly.

Best of luck for the rest of intros and placement! smile xx

DashOfMagic Fri 13-Sep-19 07:02:46

Oh also I meant to say our LO was also used to a busy household and generally very smiley and sociable with everyone so took to us without any problems due to that. We were actually a little worried at times about her attachment as she wasn’t fussed at all about being left alone with us, us taking her out, doing bath, bed etc. In the end we took it as a good thing that she was a sociable baby who we could become a bit familiar to during intros and she would be ok with that.

Now we are home she is very wary around other people and doesn’t try to smile or charm them, we feel that at the moment she is “unattached” and just starting to attach to us, so in the meantime feels unsafe with new people (and worried they might mean more upheaval).

Hope this helps as your LO sounds quite similar x

Italiangreyhound Fri 13-Sep-19 07:35:11

Agree with others, go with the flow, do not over analyse. Attachment takes times, it's not instant.

I'd use the time to get valuable info from foster cater and make friends with her.

We still see foster cater once or twice a year (optional of course).


topcat2014 Fri 13-Sep-19 16:21:27

I agree with @italiangreyhound about not over analyzing. we are 1 month in and just try to live the day we are in. the training will have been based on an average of all children. your child may or may not follow the average

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