Promoting Attachment During Trying Times
The COVID 19 business has got me in a tailspin! Between juggling my kids and working from home, my schedule is WAY off! I didn’t brush my teeth until 2 pm yesterday… YES, 2 PM! In fact, most of the day went by before I even knew what day of the week it was. But as much as I am “off,” it is nothing compared to how my adopted kiddos have been affected. All of my stress, in addition to the irregularities, lack of consistency, predictability, and routine really take a toll on our children.
Over the past several weeks I have counseled many adoptive families who have found themselves somewhat in crisis, many after years of doing well! The quarantine is affecting us in more ways that we can count. While difficult, it is possible to use this time as a springboard into attachment. Shower your kids with attention and time, get outside in the fresh air together, play together, cook together, eat every meal together, just simply ‘be' together. Need some ideas? These Theraplay activities promote attachment:
- Blow bubbles to each other and pinch them with your fingers
- Put a doll on your head, let it fall forward and have the other person catch it
- Wrap each other in toilet paper and bust out of it! (Actually maybe this one is not the best idea right now!)
Have a teen or older child? Try these:
- Give each other a hand massage with your favorite smelling lotion or oil
- Have a cotton ball fight
- Use straws and play “tennis” by blowing a feather across a surface
Remember, any fun activity where your child has your time and attention will build attachment. It’s bonus points when engaging in activities that promote laughter, making sustained eye contact, touch, and getting on a child’s level.
And remember, our current times are stressful, for us AND even more so for our kids. Make sure to give your child and yourself grace. If something doesn’t work the first time, try again later. Or try something different. And if you feel lost, know that you are not alone. Use your time to fill your brain with new ideas! Here are some great courses through our partners at Creating a Family* that focus on building attachment.
Every day is a new day with new opportunities!