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Do childen always bond/attach to one parent first? And What constitutes a good start???

14 replies

Italiangreyhound · 02/05/2014 00:24

I've got a friend who is a bit further down the line than I am.

I hear that often a child will attach to one or other parent first, often mum first, but not always. What do you think about a situation where a child seems to be bonding equally to both parents? Is this OK? Good/bad, normal/not normal?

Not sure I would want to share any views about a specific case but am just curious about this topic having heard about bonding/attaching always being with one parent first.

Also, my friend's intros sounded like they went well. What constitutes a good start???

OP posts:
redfishbluefish · 02/05/2014 01:03

Hi Italian. Our LO came to DH and me pretty much equally during intros and so far that seems to have continued. I don't know if that is normal or not, good/bad, but our family dynamic has, I think, been growing well.

Having said that, I am the main carer, and I do seem to get more of the 'testing' behaviour. Nothing too terrible, but some days have definitely been harder than others!

A good start in intros-surely that is subjective, but for us, we were (especially me) worried about whether LO would like us...very happily for us, that wasn't an issue. Also, we established a good relationship with the FCs. Which was definitely a good thing for many reasons, not least because we spent so much time in their house!

Buster51 · 02/05/2014 06:35

Hi Italian, our lo wouldn't come near me, & was glued to DH for what felt like forever! However, DH works away so he slowly started coming to me, 1st through play, now he can comfortably snuggle. I don't think it was a case of him bonding with DH as such, I think he was just terrified of getting close to me, so did everything possible to protect himself.

6 months in, I get the more testing behaviour, I am the one he always comes to / asks questions to & I am the one he seems to trust with his most valuable possessions. We have actually noticed he won't actually eat from say the same sandwich as DH if he's bitten it???! Again who knows if this is the attachment forming towards me more, or just the fact I am around more?? He is still very comfortable & loves playing with DH when he is home.

I am really not sure if this helps at all bit I thought I'd just share :-)

Buster51 · 02/05/2014 06:36

I wish like redfish wed spend more time with FC infront of DS, I don't feel we did this enough :-(

FamiliesShareGerms · 02/05/2014 07:03

DD definitely bonded first with me, I was at home with her for adoption leave, and I've borne the brunt of the most challenging behaviour too.

I think a "good start" is being able to take LO out and about away from the FCwithout it being traumatic; they can sleep at your house; and they are starting to look for you for the basics such as food, nappy change etc (obviously I'm talking about small children here!)

Hels20 · 02/05/2014 07:15

DS definitely bonded with DH first - because he had a v strong bond with the female foster carer (and it didn't help she referred to herself as "mummy" to him) - so he was less threatened by DH. I also think it was a boy-Daddy thing.

Now, he is more closely bonded with me (he always wants me to put him to bed etc.)

fasparent · 02/05/2014 09:34

For some children bonding can be difficult not forgetting many have had contact with BP's some as much as 4x week for over a period of time, then with FC. and then too the Adoption transition, mummy and daddy is confusing usual is left too choice, with younger children they pick up was is used in the house by others and follow the natural process of things. (inclusion).

fasparent · 02/05/2014 10:07

Many baby's from as young as a day old have also too endure unnatural
process , where as others not in care system are at home in comfort snuggled up and secure.---EXAMPLE--
Daily routine hour travel too contact in car seat two hour contact another hour's travel car seat , constantly being disturbed woken up,changed,bathed, etc., often unnecessary, then there is medicals, review's etc.,
All this contributes to unnecessary stress too new born baby's, an area most would not be familiar with , sleep issues, PTS, attachment's, bonding, list go's on. problems may not be apparent until some time later in life.

TrinnyandSatsuma · 02/05/2014 13:16

He gravitated towards my husband more in early weeks. I think it was becuase he was a little closer to male FC and wasn't ready to let that attachment go.

I think now, six months on, he's slightly closer to me, but I expect that will change again over the years to come.

fasparent · 02/05/2014 13:49

Most baby's will adjust quite well in time, some quite rapid once they feel
secure with comfort and routine not afforded too them previously.
Having looked after baby's for many year's, find that them that have little disruptions have few problems, which can be addressed., the latter could have significant issue's masked by erratic busy schedule's, diverting attention away from baby , who realistically should be in a consistent safe and comfortable environment not carried around for month's on end from pillar too post. Sad but this is how it is, system need's change.

Italiangreyhound · 02/05/2014 13:53

Thank you one and all. My friends have adopted a young child and a baby and a toddler/little one (two families not one). So although I am interested in babies I am more interested in young children 3-4 as that is the age we are adopting.

OP posts:
allthingswillpass · 02/05/2014 15:27

We had great intros. LO bonded with DH first, he was 2 & then it swung the other way when we got home as I'm the main carer.

Parsnipcake · 02/05/2014 15:36

Hi, as a foster carer I have intros every time a child comes to stay, and they all vary. Some bond better with a particular family member, some don't have a preference. It's quite common for them to like doing x with me and y with dh.

I think the key to good early days is a strong, boring (!)
Routine - for the age you are looking at I would do an outing in the morning, lunch and quiet time and playing at home in the afternoon with an early evening trip to the park. Doing this day after day de-stresses them and they will settle quicker and learn to trust you. Don't worry about getting them to like you, just be consistent and positive. My current fosling loves everyone else more than me outwardly, screaming and clapping with delight when they walk through the door, but he loves me in that quiet dependable way, and always comes to me for comfort.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses · 02/05/2014 19:30

Our DD was and is amazingly even-handed with us both.

Our intros were horrendous in some ways - the poor darling sobbed and sobbed and sobbed - but we think this really let her grieve for her foster carers and once she'd actually moved, she seemed to find it a relief.

Angelwings11 · 02/05/2014 20:38

Our AD was used to a male figure being the primary carer whilst in FC and we were told that as a young infant she would become scared if BM held her etc (even though she was in a mother/baby foster placement). During intros, she felt comfortable with DH straight away but was more cautious with me. When she came home, even though I was the primary carer she would cling to DH if he was holding her and had to pass her back to me and sometimes scream. This went on for months (probably 6) and it was difficult and upsetting....I was especially sensitive that she would do this in front of her SW and other family members. Anyway, this has changed thankfully and she now goes to both of us (although, primarily to me). I just kept giving and tried not to show her that it effected me.

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