New Families, Old Scripts: A Guide to the Language of Trauma and Attachment in Adoptive Families

By Caroline Archer; Christine Gordon | Go to book overview

Games to encourage attachment
Games form a crucial part of childhood. Like kittens chasing balls of wool it is through play that children learn the tasks that equip them for adulthood. Reciprocal play is an essential element in the process of helping youngsters understand who they are in relationship to the important adults in their lives: the simple game of peek-a-boo, for example, helps babies begin the process of differentiating between themselves and their caregivers and of working out that caregivers are still there when out of direct sight. Unfortunately traumatised children often have few opportunities for play: instead they spend their babyhood in 'survival mode', desperately striving to remain safe. For these children 'fun and games' played little part in their lives.On entering new families traumatised children frequently need additional opportunities to play; they may also need more encouragement, support and practice generally in having fun. 'Parentified' children (pseudo-adult), for example, frequently need to be encouraged to relinquish their 'adult' personae and to be given 'permission' to be children. 'Think toddler think' ('T3') strategies and interactions that allow youngsters of all ages to play and learn at their developmentally appropriate age will help them heal from early trauma, through the process of practising attachment, experiencing dependency as safe, learning about themselves and developing self-esteem.Working with the senses promotes closeness and gives youngsters copious opportunities to 'revisit' developmental stages which they missed or that did not go well for them. Below are some simple ideas for adoptive parents to consider for their hurt children, based on the 'six senses'.
Counting fingers and toes promotes touch and provides children with opportunities to practise 'knowing their bodies' and establish 'self permanence'; checking body parts, such as nose, chin, ears, cheeks, 'to see whether they are warm/cold, hard/soft, wiggly/quiet' can also be used to good effect.

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New Families, Old Scripts: A Guide to the Language of Trauma and Attachment in Adoptive Families
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Acknowledgments 6
  • Contents 7
  • Foreword 9
  • An Introduction to the Language of Trauma and Parent Mentoring 11
  • Introducing the Families 19
  • A Ccent on Change - Jemima Crackit and the New Family Script 29
  • A Ggressive and Angry Behaviour 32
  • A Ttention Seeking/Attention Needing 50
  • B Asic Building Blocks of the Brain 57
  • B Edtime and Sleep 62
  • C Ontrol Issues 71
  • Cracking the Code - Jemima Crackit and Panicchio Develop a Shared Language 80
  • Cradling for Closeness and Comfort 83
  • Critical Connections 86
  • Dealing with Danger 91
  • Dissociative Connections 100
  • Dissociative States 104
  • Eating and Food Issues 112
  • Emotional Outbursts 129
  • F Is for Feelings, Not Just 'Fight, Flight and Freeze' 136
  • F1 Kids - Fast Forward 148
  • Games to Encourage Attachment 150
  • 'Good' Child - (Or Am I Being 'Good Enough'?) 152
  • Impact on Adoptive Parents of Living with Violent and Threatening Behaviour 159
  • Looking after Ourselves 164
  • Managing Separations 166
  • No - When Parents Say 'No' 173
  • Nutrition 175
  • Putting It All behind Us - Those 'Need to Know' Questions (Why, How, Who, What?) 178
  • Puzzling Pain Responses 184
  • Reassurance or Validation? 189
  • Rivalry between Siblings 191
  • Rudeness and Swearing 196
  • Self-Regulation (Managing Arousal) 205
  • Sensory Issues 209
  • Sexualised Behaviour 212
  • Taking, Borrowing, Stealing? 219
  • Terrible Shame 229
  • Think Toddler Think (T3) 231
  • What Not to Do! 236
  • Your Way Forward - Final Reflections 239
  • References, Recommended Reading and Resources 241
  • Index 247
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