Friday, March 23, 2012

Baby Talk

Kids from hard places often fall into baby-talk.  They will babble, allowing their tongue to get in the way, raise their pitch, and soften the volume. This can be puzzling, annoying and unnerving to us moms.  

It is my non-expert opinion that this comes from a deep need to be nurtured with unconditional love.

What do you do with this behavior?

We have tried all kinds of things.  Some were somewhat successful.  Other ideas crashed and burned.

We've had two strategies that have seemed to meet the need and bring our child back to a place of maturity in the end.

When the baby talk starts, I hold her in my arms and talk to her like a little baby, calling her precious and beautiful and loved.  I gaze into her eyes, smile, and coo.  Sometimes, she will put things in her mouth or reach for dangerous things.  I will "No, no." her like a mom of a toddler.  Then, when she asks for big kid stuff, I will say, "Oh no.  We don't let babies have ..."  At that point , she is usually ready to be a big girl again.

The other strategy that has worked wonders lately is what I call "Wii MySims" language.  The Wii characteres only talk in gibberish that is only understood by inflection and cadence.  So, when I hear the baby-talk, I smile brightly, and begin speaking gibberish - high, light, silly baby-talk with lots of laughing.  Sometimes, I give her the "I don't understand?"  or the "What?  Me?" sound.  Sometimes, I give her a silly "You're in big trouble now," finger-wagging.  Inevitably, we both end up giggling.  It has become a playful way to give her what she needs and keep things light-hearted.  This is also one that Steve loves to use with her.    

What do you think?  Any other great ideas?

Blessings to you,

To Make You Smile

I just jumped on my computer and found this typed up in Word...

I like school  because  it  is  really  fun I  love  math  because it is  really  good
For you and I love reading I love   to   read a lot  I  have  really  fun    book’s
In  my  room  sometime’s   my  mom  and  dad    read  to  me   at 
Bedtime I  love    my  family   sooo sooo much

Life is good.

Blessings to you,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reactive Coping Behaviors

I am currently reading and taking notes on Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen.  The following ideas were taken pretty much directly from her book.

Kids who are adopted (especially internationally) tend to react to their new surroundings in one (or more) of these five ways.  These are coping behaviors.  When a child is stressed out beyond their ability to cope, they turn to these.  Patty Cogen uses great word pictures to help us remember them...

1.  The Warm Rock - The warm rock is withdrawn, falls asleep, shuts down.
2.  The Stunned Rag Doll - This child is withdrawn, and stunned at her losses.
3.  The Dizzy Performer - This is the child who is independent and charming, wants everyone to look at her, but has no behavioral or emotional control.
4.  The Royal Boss - The royal boss is a control freak with no self-control.
5.  The Unwilling Guest - This child feels trapped, angry, and disconnected.

I would have to classify Cupcake as a cross between Dizzy Performer and Royal Boss.  When she first came home, she would literally dance in the center of a crowd and yell, "EVERYBODY!  LOOK AT ME!  LOOK AT ME!!"  She would never stop moving all day long.  And her volume was LOUD!  Charming?  She was a master charmer.  Any ususpecting adult would be putty in her hands.  Was she a control freak?  By all means.  She wanted to orchestrate every moment of the day.  She was going to run this house...and if someone took control from her...LOOK OUT!

These are all great survival skills.  It's a way to get your needs met when you have no one looking out for you. 

Great skills for family life?  Not so much.

I am happy to report that she rarely falls back into her reactive coping behaviors anymore.  However, they are her drug of choice when she feels overwhelmed. 

So, for all you adoptive parents out there?  What about your children?  Are these catagories fairly accurate?  Where do your kids fall?  Did you see this even in your easy-adjustment children?

Blessings to you,