Children best express themselves through play. They can imagine and create characters, stories, and scenarios on the spot. They don’t need to ‘think’ about it. It just comes to them naturally. There are times when children lost their ability to play freely due to trauma, but that changes once they start feeling more safe, more secure and more trusting of you. Luckily, the vast majority of children turn to play very easily.
One good way to connect with your adopted children is to play with them. By playing, being silly together, sharing moments of laughter, your children will start to feel closer to you. They will stop seeing you merely as a parent who sets rules, tells them what to do, and makes them obey. It is always easier for a child (and for an adult for that matter) to follow someone’s rules and boundaries when there is a loving connection with that person.
A good way to connect with your adopted child is to “enter their world of imagination”. Allow them to take the lead in the play. As adults, we sometimes find it difficult to tap into the creativity and playfulness that used to come so easily when we were younger. We get stuck in our rational brain and often forget what it feels like to play, have fun, and giggle the way we used to when we were little. So, imagine allowing your child to take you by the hand and lead you into her/his own world where things are not what they first appear to be, where an eraser can turn into a bat-mobile or a tennis ball becomes another planet where pink and purple creatures live. Try to truly imagine their world, to truly see it too. Be open-minded. Be authentic. Do not make assumptions. Let them tell you about their world. Get engaged. Get involved. Leave your serious and rational brain out the door for thirty minutes as you sit on the floor with your child imagining that you are surrounded by dinosaurs and that you are own of them too.
It will mean the world to your child if you can take the time to do this regularly with them! You will notice how much more connected to you they will start feeling!
Keep up the good work! See you next month!