Connecting with Kids through Stories: Using Narratives to Facilitate Attachment in Adopted Children

By Denise B. Lacher; Todd Nichols et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Developmental
Narratives

One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.

The joy of watching an infant master developmental tasks and pass through stages such as playing peek-a-boo, speaking his first word, taking his first drink from a cup, learning to walk, or doing something “all by myself” contributes to the development of a reciprocal relationship between parent and child. Milestones and other firsts that parents excitedly videotape or record in baby books may be unknown by adoptive parents. Developmental narratives provide parents with an emotional experience of these events. Stories about babies, oneyear-olds, two-year-olds, etc. allow parents to experience their older child as an infant or toddler and encourage him to grow and achieve the normal milestones. These narratives provide children with the experience of a caregiver celebrating their accomplishments and reveling in their uniqueness. These shared experiences and the positive feelings aroused by them build the bonds between the parent and child.


Section 1: The Purpose of Developmental
Narratives

Trauma or other developmental injuries may impair how a child thinks, interacts with others, and solves problems (Cozolino 2002). He may appear “stuck” emotionally and/or behaviorally at an earlier stage of development. Parents can often accurately assess at what level their child is functioning. For example, they may report that with peers their ten-year-old acts more like a preschooler, dictating what his friends do, rather than negotiating with them. Children deprived of parental encouragement and support may have delays in physical growth, gross

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