Bonding and Attachment Parenting? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all,

I was reading all kinds of information on bonding and attachment over at a4everfamily.org .

To tell you the truth, I'm a little worried .

Then I thought - maybe they didn't start their relationship with attachment parenting but turned to it later when they noticed attachment issues?

I sleep with my babes, wear em', hug em' endlessly, never leave them - so for those of you who also do this and have adopted (especially a baby but I'd love to hear about older children as well) - what has been your experience?

Have you struggled with major and long lasting attachment issues/behaviors if you started out with attachment parenting?

Thank you in advance!
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#2 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I might have come off a bit heavy with that last post. Sorry.

I would really like to know-

If you started with Natural/attachment parenting right from the beginning what did the process of attachment look like for your family?

How is it now?

Anyone?
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#3 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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I think that for a lot of people, ap is used as a "fix" and isn't seen as a way of life.

We practiced ap from the beginning with our dd. I won't lie to you - we did have some bonding and attachment issues with our dd (she was 21 months when we met). It was a very hard time for our family. Two and a half years later, though, she is a happy, confident little girl who is healthily attached to her family.
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#4 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that for a lot of people, ap is used as a "fix" and isn't seen as a way of life.

We practiced ap from the beginning with our dd. I won't lie to you - we did have some bonding and attachment issues with our dd (she was 21 months when we met). It was a very hard time for our family. Two and a half years later, though, she is a happy, confident little girl who is healthily attached to her family.
Could you share what those issues were and how you got through them?

Going to visit your blog.....
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#5 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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I haven't updated the blog for a really long time...

We had issues with attachment. Evie would cling to me and not let anyone else near her - dh, our other dd. I couldn't be out of her sight, even to pee. No one else could help her with anything. She was extremely jealous of Em, her big sister. Poor Em got hit and her hair pulled by Evie so many times, but she persevered, and now they get along great. (by that, I mean they fight with each other as often as any other siblings, but they also play together, plot against their parents together...)

We had major sleep issues. Evie would not cosleep, so I would rock her, sing and read to her before bed. After that, she almost always needed to fight, rage, scream and cry while I held her before she would cry herself to sleep in my arms. It broke my heart every night. She woke up multiple times a night, and we would repeat the process. It lasted for over a year.

We had issues surrounding food and its availability. (she was in an orphanage setting before we met her) She would scream while I was preparing dinner - she literally could not wait to eat if she saw food. I served her meals in stages - she could eat parts of it while I was preparing the other parts. I had cheerios stashed everywhere, I carried around a quick shop's worth of snacks in our minivan, in my purse, in the diaper bag, in my pockets, in my mom's purse... We learned how to help her when she started feeling insecure.

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure why it all got better, but it has. I think she finally has trust that we are going to take care of all her needs. We don't have any more sleep issues (other than the "normal" ones any 4 year old has!) She is now a daddy's girl, and regularly asks for his help with things, and she gets along well with her sister. The food issues will probably always be with us, but they are so tiny compared to when she first came home, and we found tips to manage them.

If you have any specific questions, I will try to answer them.
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#6 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't updated the blog for a really long time...

We had issues with attachment. Evie would cling to me and not let anyone else near her - dh, our other dd. I couldn't be out of her sight, even to pee. No one else could help her with anything. She was extremely jealous of Em, her big sister. Poor Em got hit and her hair pulled by Evie so many times, but she persevered, and now they get along great. (by that, I mean they fight with each other as often as any other siblings, but they also play together, plot against their parents together...)

We had major sleep issues. Evie would not cosleep, so I would rock her, sing and read to her before bed. After that, she almost always needed to fight, rage, scream and cry while I held her before she would cry herself to sleep in my arms. It broke my heart every night. She woke up multiple times a night, and we would repeat the process. It lasted for over a year.

We had issues surrounding food and its availability. (she was in an orphanage setting before we met her) She would scream while I was preparing dinner - she literally could not wait to eat if she saw food. I served her meals in stages - she could eat parts of it while I was preparing the other parts. I had cheerios stashed everywhere, I carried around a quick shop's worth of snacks in our minivan, in my purse, in the diaper bag, in my pockets, in my mom's purse... We learned how to help her when she started feeling insecure.

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure why it all got better, but it has. I think she finally has trust that we are going to take care of all her needs. We don't have any more sleep issues (other than the "normal" ones any 4 year old has!) She is now a daddy's girl, and regularly asks for his help with things, and she gets along well with her sister. The food issues will probably always be with us, but they are so tiny compared to when she first came home, and we found tips to manage them.

If you have any specific questions, I will try to answer them.
Sounds like you just loved her up right and now she can let down her guard.

What a wonderful story - thank you!
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#7 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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I think an important thing to distinguish is attachment parenting (what you do as a family) and attachment therapy (what you d with a therapist). Not sure which articles you read at 4ever family, but I wanted to make that distinction. AP will not "fix" a child with attachment issues, but it can encourage and promote the bonding process. A baby or child that has formed healthy attachments with previous caregivers will usually go on to form healthy attachments to their adoptive families. While being younger at the time of adoption can be a help, it does not guarantee a healthy attachment, nor does what would appear to us as a less traumatic history versus more traumatic history always have a better outcome.
There is a concept that a baby's/child's emotional age starts over when they are adopted, so even if they are chronologically 12m, you need to respond to them like a newborn, for example. Remember that AP is not a checklist of things that you do--it s a philosophy of a way of responding to your children's needs. So that means for some children, you do things way differently than what we knee-jerk think of as AP. For example, with our ds2, he came home at just under 6m, had coslept his whole life with his foster Mom, and he did not like it with us. We did cosleep for about a month, but it plainly was not working. And so I put him in a crib in another room. He slept better and was a happier baby, and settled in with us much better after that. In hindsight, now that I can read him better, I think it was too intimate with him, sleeping so close to strangers. Now, at age 3, he loves to snuggle and such, and in fact we finally gave up and moved ds1's double bed into the downstairs room, because the boys prefer to sleep together.

I'm not sure I can answer your specific question of what attachment looks like, because it is such a gradual process that it is hard to see as it happens. have bio and adopted children, and each came with their own struggles, so how much is adoption and how much is personality and adjusting to fit each child individually, who knows? I ascribe certain things to certain of their experiences, but it is just my best guess at explanation and doesn't necessarily change how I do things, just gives insight as to the why, YK? I would recommend Deborah Gray's book, Attaching in Adoption and an excellent resource that will probably be able to answer a lot of your questions. She has some other books that are also good.
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#8 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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Just be very careful, whatever you do or read, not to confuse attachment parenting with attachment in the adoption sense. Attachment parenting IS NOT a way to fix every attachment issue in an adopted child. That's the equivalent of saying that love will fix attachment issues, when in reality it doesn't always work that way. The idea that if you just do it "right," if you use AP, that everything will turn out fine is a mistake. It's also hurtful to other adoptive parents who do have children with attachment issues...suggesting to them that if they just parented the right way, or loved their children more, that everything would get better.

I would read "Attaching in Adoption" by Deborah Gray for more info.

Attachment parenting is a wonderful way to parent any child, and I think it really helps adopted children in many or most instances. There have been a few instances in this forum, though, where using AP actually caused problems for an adopted child.

I was and am very ap. My three bio kids were worn, co-slept, and we did the whole shabang. I've had to alter things a bit to be a better parent to our adopted dd. We had to learn to incorporate her previous habits and desires for parenting...including bottle-feeding (which we've used as a bonding strategy), sleeping in a crib, and even something that (for us) was uncomfortably close to crying it out. It took us months to adjust and bend to her needs, mostly because it took that long to figure out what she was used to. It also took her a while to get used to AP....even though we adoptd from S. Korea, where US-style AP parenting looks mainstream (they are hardcore AP there ), that amount of physical closeness and responsiveness from us was a little overwhelming at first. We were new to her, and she had been used to being in a foster family with two young babies.

Attachment has been slow and steady in our family. We started out with huge sleep issues, which made it all very difficult at first. We tried doing nighttime AP parenting like we'd done with our other kids, but she would have none of it. So we tried AP-based crib sleeping. Nope. Three months in, we figured out that she wanted to sleep alone in a room, in a crib, and not be walked around if she cried. It sounds sad, but it wasn't. It was just an instance where I had to realize that AP parenting is really about responding to my child's needs and not a book of AP standard fixes. Her needs were what they were, and we worked with it.

Otherwise, in the daytime, it's very much classic AP stuff (besides bottle feeding, which we've turned to bottle nursing). We followed the advice from a4everfamily website, and it was hugely helpful. We kept her world small and expanded it slowly, we limited visitors, we didn't allow others to hold her until she showed signs of security and attachment to us, we still don't allow others to feed or change her, we keep routines, we hold her in all uncomfortable or new situations, we watch for cues that she's feeling insecure, etc. etc.

Following the a4everfamily advice was such a good move for our daughter. She showed all the classic signs of being confused, scared, and insecure in the first several months. A woman, any woman, visiting our house sent her crying into one of our arms...we're sure she thought she was going to be taken to a new family. If someone else tried to hold her or take care of her, she'd zone out or scream. Then for a day or two after she'd be fussy, clingy, upset, and insecure. Even with us she was tense...it took her four months to let go of a real laugh around us, or to smile in a ready and genuine way. It took three months to sleep through the night.

Following the a4everfamily advice was right for us and for our daughter, but it also caused issues with our extended family. If you do follow it, get ready for others to question you or to think you're overreacting about "that attachment stuff." We got a lot of "well, I know A--- adopted a child from China and they didn't do any of this stuff! And their daughter is fine!" type of reasoning. People think the limits on visiting and holding are about them, but it's not...it's about your child. It helped a little, with some family, to explain the situation to them in terms of a child they knew. For example:

Do you remember Maggie when she was 9 months old? Well, pretend one day someone came into your house and took Maggie away to a new family in Japan. How do you think Maggie would respond? She'd be scared, she wouldn't know if it was permanent or temporary, she wouldn't know who her family is, and she wouldn't understand anything that was being said. It would be terrifying for her, and at first she'd probably need a really calm place to adjust, to learn who her new parents are, and to start feeling comfortable again.

Six+ months into our adoption (finalized today! , we feel dd is forming a solid attachment. AP has been a part of that, I'm sure, but we count ourselves lucky that she's who she is and has been able to process her traumas and losses in a way that would allow us into her life in a warm and genuine way. That ability, that choice, isn't something in our control. It's in hers.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#9 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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My baby came to me at three weeks of age....some of the typical "AP" things we did were cosleeping and bottlenursing (i always hold him while he has a bottle, and i lie down in bed with him and give him a bottle to get him to sleep)...i tried babywearing and it was ok, but he didnt really like many aspects of it. I responded to his needs when he would cry or otherwise need me. In the beginning (even now i guess) i tried to limit having others feed him. He does not have other caregivers except for my sister occasionally for an hour or two. I do not know what he experienced his first three weeks, he was in the hospital for two weeks and a foster home for six days.

Keegan seems to have developed healthy attachments to me and to his other family members. But i think ultimately only time will tell if there are any issues.

I think the biggest thing to remember is that AP parenting is not a cure for attachment disorder, although it does go a long way in promoting bonding which is vital for attachment. Also keep in mind that typical nonAP mainstream parenting does not *cause* attachment issues.


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#10 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just be very careful, whatever you do or read, not to confuse attachment parenting with attachment in the adoption sense. Attachment parenting IS NOT a way to fix every attachment issue in an adopted child. That's the equivalent of saying that love will fix attachment issues, when in reality it doesn't always work that way. The idea that if you just do it "right," if you use AP, that everything will turn out fine is a mistake. It's also hurtful to other adoptive parents who do have children with attachment issues...suggesting to them that if they just parented the right way, or loved their children more, that everything would get better.
Yes, yes, yes, thank you for this. I would never ever imply this .
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#11 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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Six+ months into our adoption (finalized today! ,
Yay!!! Congratulations!!! :

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#12 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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Also keep in mind that typical nonAP mainstream parenting does not *cause* attachment issues.


Katherine
not sure what you mean here? i mean to say, i am not sure anyone knows for sure whether it does or does not cause attachment issues of some sort?

anyway, i struggle with these ap questions a lot. we do consensual living with my almost 8 year old but have a hard time with that with my 12 year old. otoh, if we are using time-outs and consequences in any given week (we try to avoid it) you can know for sure that things are not going well around here.

deborah gray's attaching in adoption, in many respects, saved me when my oldest was 6-7 years old, though the somewhat harsh (in my personal opinion) behavioral consequences that she (and most mainstream attachment tx's) use never worked for us. my kid's sense of self esteem was so low and his sensitivity to authority so high that any consequence like "you called bro a name, so you now do bro's chore" type stuff never worked for us and still doesn't. escalated his behaviors. the keeping him close to me at all times when he wasn't strong enough to manage out of my line of sight type suggestions she had were excellent, as well as her developmental theories re: kids dealing with disrupted attachments. beautiful book.

my kid's difficulty in accepting behavioral consequences is becoming a problem as the older he gets the less likely his school is to modify their normal behavioral expectations based on his issues. he just finished serving his 8th day of in school suspension so far this school year. and his response to this is super hostile and scary--he has been saying things like "the whole f***'n school can blow the f*** up for all i care" type stuff. we're like, "uuuuumm, try not to say that to your guidance counselor, kiddo, save it for your out of school therapist, yk?"

wherever we are heading, we are not there yet re: healing attachments.

i agree that it isn't just a love thing, healing attachment disorders, but i do feel strongly that until a kid and a parent are strongly loving and expressing love, bonding, and (v. important) flexibility, and living without needing to use rigid negative consequences to curb behaviors, then the attachment problem is NOT healed. is that controversial? it doesn't bother me if others feel differently, but i think that is what i believe.

i also think the field of attachment therapy is really new (way newer than AP!) and over years, particularly as affective neurscience continues to yield us with new understandings of how attachment works re: the brain, the therapies will be able to become more effective.
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#13 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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not sure what you mean here? i mean to say, i am not sure anyone knows for sure whether it does or does not cause attachment issues of some sort? .
What i mean is...while no one can really predict which children definitely "will" or "won't" development an attachment disorder (and i guess i'm speaking primarely of something like Reactive Attachment Disorder), and while there can be instances of trauma or separation from otherwise loving parents (such as during an extended hospital stay) that may cause attachment issues....in terms of adoption, everything i've read seems to conclude that it is early prolonged neglect by the primary caregiver that can lead to attachment disorder...leaving a baby to cry for hours alone in a crib....leaving a baby to sit for hours and hours in the same wet or dirty diaper....not feeding a baby consistently...not holding a baby...not making eye contact with or talking to a baby...not showing a baby love. Having multiple caregivers doesnt help, though i bet that is better than having one caregiver that does not meet the child's needs.

So...when i say that "mainstream parenting doesnt cause RAD" what i mean is that you can still have a loving strong attachment with your child and use a crib, or a stroller, or bottlefeed. And that you can adopt your child and do all of those wonderful AP things like cosleeping and babywearing, and not realize that your child is nurturing an attachment disorder inside of her from her early neglect and trauma.

I also think that some AP parents have found that typical AP parenting techniques (such as GD) exacerbated rather than helped heal their child's attachment issues.


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#14 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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You asked about babies specifically, so I'll answer. Both of my children were adopted as newborns (2 days old). One was placed while in the hospital, and the other was placed just after being released from the hospital.

I feel that bonding/attachment proceeded very smoothly both times, particularly as I look at my babies' responses. We co-slept, held them constantly, responded immediately to their cries, nursed (though inducing lactation was rough) and then bottlenursed, etc. I feel like our/their experience was pretty close to how it would be with a bio baby and parents, with the exception that bonding didn't get started prior to birth. So, we got a bit of a late start, but after that things proceeded very smoothly. I think it would be very different with babies even a few weeks or months older.

They both have their own little quirks. Dd is a very independent sort of kid during the day, but "fills up" at night with needs for attention and closeness. Ds has always been a very high touch child with strong needs for physical affection and closeness, but is a much better sleeper. I can't say what's adoption-related and what isn't as far as those things go. They could be, but they could also just be part of who they are.

I can see with ds some things he struggles with that are possibly adoption-related, and I'm sure as dd gets older there might be some things too. But as far as bonding/attachment itself, everything's gone very smooth. Again, though, they were newborns who had not been neglected, abused, or had any other care givers except their birth mothers.

As for me, myself, I think with my dd (#2) my own bonding took awhile longer than with ds. She was a surprise, coming on two days' notice in the middle of a very stressful time--my mil had just died and we were in the middle of her funeral arrangements--and I think my emotions took awhile to catch up with everything. I didn't really have any time to prepare for her emotionally, so I had to do some of that work after she was already here.
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#15 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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What i mean is...while no one can really predict which children definitely "will" or "won't" development an attachment disorder (and i guess i'm speaking primarely of something like Reactive Attachment Disorder), and while there can be instances of trauma or separation from otherwise loving parents (such as during an extended hospital stay) that may cause attachment issues....in terms of adoption, everything i've read seems to conclude that it is early prolonged neglect by the primary caregiver that can lead to attachment disorder...leaving a baby to cry for hours alone in a crib....leaving a baby to sit for hours and hours in the same wet or dirty diaper....not feeding a baby consistently...not holding a baby...not making eye contact with or talking to a baby...not showing a baby love. Having multiple caregivers doesnt help, though i bet that is better than having one caregiver that does not meet the child's needs.

So...when i say that "mainstream parenting doesnt cause RAD" what i mean is that you can still have a loving strong attachment with your child and use a crib, or a stroller, or bottlefeed. And that you can adopt your child and do all of those wonderful AP things like cosleeping and babywearing, and not realize that your child is nurturing an attachment disorder inside of her from her early neglect and trauma.

I also think that some AP parents have found that typical AP parenting techniques (such as GD) exacerbated rather than helped heal their child's attachment issues.


Katherine
I completely agree.

I've been extremely lucky. I've fostered three children (although I've worked with at risk chlidren and families for almost 20 years.)

My son came to me at 28 months. Six months prior, he and his two siblings were removed from their birth mother's neglectful care. He was in a foster home for a few months and then moved with his younger sister to their maternal grandmother's home. After about two months, Grandma realized that she couldn't raise children long term and he was moved to my foster home. I first met Chris and his sisters one year prior when they first attended my Head Start/Early Head Start program. At that time, he was a mess (his older sister had bigger issues, though.) He was 15 months old and threw major tantrums and was a big head banger. His EHS teachers were amazing and helped him settle in and eased his transition into out of home care. When he moved in with me 13 months later, he was really a different kid. He never once asked (through limited words or actions) for his Grandma or anyone else. He was at Grandma's one day and mine the next and life went on. He did have consistant care during the day from teachers who mean the world to my family and will always be dear to us. I worried a lot about the lack of visible trauma. I talked with several social workers (non-DSS) and therapists, over the past two years, and they assured me that some kids are just really resilient. Chris and I are truely bonded and have a great relationship (other than the typical preschool-testing type stuff.) I know that we're really lucky in that respect. We have an open adoption with his birth mother and grandmother, as well as fairly frequent sibling visits with his older and younger sisters. He's happy when he sees everyone and fine when we leave them.

My foster daughter, Polliwogillina, has lived with us for almost 14 months. She came to me at 9 months, having lived in another foster home for six weeks. Again, there has been no visible trauma. She has always been a happy and social kid, eats and sleeps well, and developing well. She was removed from her mother because of neglect, but mostly for the potential for neglect. Her birth mother is severely mentally ill, developmentally delayed, and abuses alcohol. I really believe that we are bonded as well. She is the happiest child I've ever met and way more social than I've EVER been. I've been home with her for most of the past 14 months and when I was working, she came to school with me. Her adoption, if it does happen, will not be open due to major safety concerns.

So you never know how things will develop. There may be issues with my kids that crop up down the road, and there may not be. For my kids, typical attachment parenting (minus nursing) has been a wonderful thing. For others, it might have the opposite result. Some things will be tolerated by the child, others might be offensive to the child. You just have to take things slowly and ease into the parent/child relationship.
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#16 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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Kimcarrots,thank you sooo much for starting this thread!!!
And Monie and RedOakMomma your responses were so detailed and just what I was wondering as well.

We just had our homestudy done last month to bring home a little gal from Haiti. The wait in Haiti can seriously vary. We know folks that had their child in 6months and some that are still waiting after almost 2 yrs. We have no clue at what age she will join us. (according to a gal at the agency somewhere between 8 and 18 months)So we know that attaching/bonding will be very different from the experiances we have had with our other kiddos.

Thanks mamas..there's nothing out there that compares to the voice of experiance..thank you for speaking with the voice of love and what I think of as true AP parenting..the kind that parents to the needs of the child.

y'all rock for sharing such good insights.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou
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#17 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I also think that some AP parents have found that typical AP parenting techniques (such as GD) exacerbated rather than helped heal their child's attachment issues.

I think this should be emphasized. GD can be very confusing to a child who has uncertain attachments, or who is dealing with attachment difficulties. I'm not using the correct clinical or diagnostic terms, just trying to explain what I mean. Authority, and where it comes from, are sometimes very sensitive areas for an adopted child. GD can be very confusing...at least from what I've seen/heard/read on this board and others. I'm not saying it shouldn't be used, but that when used in some adoptive situations it should be used carefully and the results observed.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#18 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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It doesn't sound likely that you'll be starting with a newborn. However, you did ask about babies and I love to talk about mine, so I'll comment.

We first heard about our daughter when she was just over an hour old. I started nursing her at exactly 6 hours. We have raised her exactly the same as our bio-son (well, as exactly as you can two different kids. He hated when I didn't hold him, she gets fussy if she doesn't get a little out of arms time. She'll only sleep when I hold her, but she does like to lie on her back and look at the world.) We copsleep, babywear, nurse, etc. She will be 5 months tomorrow and her attachment to us is the same as our sons was. Actually, she's more open to my husband and others holding her. Our son wanted me and no one else. He could stay with my husband, but after a certain amount of time he would get fussy. Actually, I had to work every other weekend when our son was little, and she's never been away from me for more than an hour or two so I don't know what she'd be like if I was gone for awhile. I do know there are times when she fusses for my husband and will calm right away for me.

I have watched my response to my 2 kids and wondered if the differences were because I'm a second time mom or if it's because I am lacking the hormones from pregnancy. At first I didn't get as upset when she cried as I did my son. Everyone said it's because I'm a second time mom. However, as time passed, I found I was getting more and more upset by her crying. I'm not quite as frantic now as when my son was little, but I do get pretty upset by her crying. I also noted recently that I have started thanking the Universe for my beautiful baby girl. I did that all along with my son, but it's only recently that I started doing that with her. That could be because I have been fairly overwhelmed caring for 2 (which has been complicated by my son deciding to turn into Mr. Defiant.) He recently gave me a bit of a break with that so maybe I had the extra energy to be grateful for our little girl.

So I think if you practice attachment parenting from birth you will get a very attached child. As others have said, adopting later will require you to follow your child's lead.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#19 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I think this should be emphasized. GD can be very confusing to a child who has uncertain attachments, or who is dealing with attachment difficulties. I'm not using the correct clinical or diagnostic terms, just trying to explain what I mean. Authority, and where it comes from, are sometimes very sensitive areas for an adopted child. GD can be very confusing...at least from what I've seen/heard/read on this board and others. I'm not saying it shouldn't be used, but that when used in some adoptive situations it should be used carefully and the results observed.
I'm a dork...what's GD?

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou
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#20 of 24 Old 01-09-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whitneymum View Post
I'm a dork...what's GD?
Gentle discipline
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#21 of 24 Old 01-10-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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I typed a whole post about insecure attachment patterns and then lost it! So I did a search to let someone else do the typing! The insecure attachment patterns are briefly reviewed here:

http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/News/A...ryID=news-type

It can be relevant to examine attachment patterns because some attachment patterns are a bit more amenable to change. For example, an anxious pattern of attachment can sometimes heal more easily because lots and lots of parental availability, reassurance and contact can relieve the anxiety and create security (similar to Monie's experience). On the other hand, the disorganized attachment pattern can be quite difficult, since it often develops in the presence of both abuse, trauma and neglect or at the very least a very chaotic life with parents. Not that either of these things is for sure. With even a very young child a clinician skilled in assessing attachment patterns can offer guidance on the quality of the baby/child's ability to attach and attachment patterns, which then provides the parents with specific strategies targeting that attachment pattern.

As pp, this field is constantly evolving and new research is being done every year that illuminates these concepts. There is a lot of hope for kids that have endured early trauma and disruptions in attachment, but there are also still a lot of unknowns.

 
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#22 of 24 Old 01-10-2009, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lauren View Post
I typed a whole post about insecure attachment patterns and then lost it! So I did a search to let someone else do the typing! The insecure attachment patterns are briefly reviewed here:

http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/News/A...ryID=news-type

It can be relevant to examine attachment patterns because some attachment patterns are a bit more amenable to change. For example, an anxious pattern of attachment can sometimes heal more easily because lots and lots of parental availability, reassurance and contact can relieve the anxiety and create security (similar to Monie's experience). On the other hand, the disorganized attachment pattern can be quite difficult, since it often develops in the presence of both abuse, trauma and neglect or at the very least a very chaotic life with parents. Not that either of these things is for sure. With even a very young child a clinician skilled in assessing attachment patterns can offer guidance on the quality of the baby/child's ability to attach and attachment patterns, which then provides the parents with specific strategies targeting that attachment pattern.

As pp, this field is constantly evolving and new research is being done every year that illuminates these concepts. There is a lot of hope for kids that have endured early trauma and disruptions in attachment, but there are also still a lot of unknowns.
This is really great information - thank you!
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#23 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

So...when i say that "mainstream parenting doesnt cause RAD" what i mean is that you can still have a loving strong attachment with your child and use a crib, or a stroller, or bottlefeed. And that you can adopt your child and do all of those wonderful AP things like cosleeping and babywearing, and not realize that your child is nurturing an attachment disorder inside of her from her early neglect and trauma.


Katherine
thanks...that totally makes sense.
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#24 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BethNC View Post
My son came to me at 28 months. Six months prior, he and his two siblings were removed from their birth mother's neglectful care. He was in a foster home for a few months and then moved with his younger sister to their maternal grandmother's home. After about two months, Grandma realized that she couldn't raise children long term and he was moved to my foster home. I first met Chris and his sisters one year prior when they first attended my Head Start/Early Head Start program. At that time, he was a mess (his older sister had bigger issues, though.) He was 15 months old and threw major tantrums and was a big head banger. His EHS teachers were amazing and helped him settle in and eased his transition into out of home care. When he moved in with me 13 months later, he was really a different kid. He never once asked (through limited words or actions) for his Grandma or anyone else. He was at Grandma's one day and mine the next and life went on. He did have consistant care during the day from teachers who mean the world to my family and will always be dear to us. I worried a lot about the lack of visible trauma. I talked with several social workers (non-DSS) and therapists, over the past two years, and they assured me that some kids are just really resilient. Chris and I are truely bonded and have a great relationship (other than the typical preschool-testing type stuff.) I know that we're really lucky in that respect. We have an open adoption with his birth mother and grandmother, as well as fairly frequent sibling visits with his older and younger sisters. He's happy when he sees everyone and fine when we leave them.

My foster daughter, Polliwogillina, has lived with us for almost 14 months. She came to me at 9 months, having lived in another foster home for six weeks. Again, there has been no visible trauma. She has always been a happy and social kid, eats and sleeps well, and developing well. She was removed from her mother because of neglect, but mostly for the potential for neglect. Her birth mother is severely mentally ill, developmentally delayed, and abuses alcohol. I really believe that we are bonded as well. She is the happiest child I've ever met and way more social than I've EVER been.
this is so heartening. i'm sure your parenting must also have played a role? these are beautiful stories. thank you for taking the time to share them.
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