Wednesday, March 07, 2012
4 Rules for Initial Attachment -- Rule #3
Our social worker, a woman with over 25 years of International Adoption experience, suggested that we keep others away from our then 2 year old and try to settle in for a few months. She called the first 6 months crucial for bonding and attachment. She suggested a few basic rules. Today, I am highlighting her rule # 3.
3- No one should comfort your child but you. That means NO ONE. Your child will fall, have a bad dream, get angry, get sick, etc. Under no circumstances, I repeat, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, should anyone be allowed to comfort your child but YOU.
I cannot emphasize this enough. Your child does not immediately see you as the kind, loving parents you are and want to be. You are strangers. By allowing other strangers to comfort her, you are sending mixed signals about your own willingness to be the comforter. This can be especially important while in country. Children may seek others who understand them for comfort, or perhaps a helpful maid or interpreter will jump in to assist you. While the interpretation may be helpful, do not allow them to speak the kind words on your behalf. You should, at the very least, learn the language of comfort in your child's native tongue. In English, we say, "It's okay." "You are going to be alright." "You are safe." "Everything is OK, Mommy's here." etc. Be able to say these words, and do not allow others to say them for you.