Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tips for School Survival for Adopted Children

Things that helped our Son settle in to school particularly at the scary break and lunch times.

Break time and lunchtime were the times when 80% of inappropriate behaviours happened in the early days at school.

Unsurprising really. Little Bear couldn't self regulate, doesn't cope with new and different things without warning, and was unable to manage imaginative play without a lot of direction from me. He was also scared. Playtime is noisy and Little Bear doesn't cope with excessive noise. It's a large space with lots of people he doesn't know very well and they are running about and screaming.

Little Bear was either inside on time out or hiding under a big bush in the playground, until with the school we worked to make playtime better for everyone.

Little Bear (fairly quickly and surprisingly for an adopted child) transferred his attachment from me as his main carer to his wonderful YrR teacher and TA. Therefore they were key to his settling down in school.

I worked with LB to identify 'sad feelings' which led to 'thinking that wasn't good thinking' and worked on a process of avoiding meltdown with the teacher.

When LB had an 'angry feeling in his tummy' he would ask for Miss P or Mrs D and without fail they would come out into the playground to him. He learned that his safe people in school would ALWAYS be there for him if he needed them.

Then a learning support took him out of the playground at lunchtime to work with other children (of his choice) on social skills using quiet games.

He was gradually reintroduced to the playground and buddied up with some older children who would lead games and organise participation with an learning support supervising from a distance.

This was a very gradual process and it is by no means complete in Yr1 but LB knows he can rely on the school staff.

I am posting this because, together with our Adoption Support social worker who was involved at the beginning of Reception, we see Little Bear's school as an example of good practise with an adopted child and hope these pointers could be of use to other adopters.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Out of the mouth of babes...

I have the immense privilege if preparing two children for confirmation at Pentecost.

At our last session one of the girls raised a beautiful insight. We were talking about the parable of the prodigal son.

I was saying how wonderful it is that God was always there for us with outstretched arms waiting for a hug, and no matter the mistakes we make this will always be available to us. The girls thought about this for a while and then one said

"It's like Jesus on the cross isn't it, his arms out wide like this (she demonstrated) for us. Just like the dad in the story."

That 9 year old made my week with that insight. Yes she is 9. An insightful and mature insight for a nine year old I think, don't you?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Lent Reflection 8

International Women's Day

Every minute, around the world, there are over 240 babies being born. Pray for the mother's who are giving birth. A vast amount of these mothers giving birth are not in sterile, safe and warm maternity units. Pray for them.

Even in the year 2012, there are still areas of the world where women are not allowed equal rights and opportunities to access education and work. Pray for them.

According to Amnesty International:
"Around the world, women are:
■Missing: More than 100 million women are missing from the world's population - a result of discrimination against women and girls, including female infanticide.
■Illiterate: Two thirds of the 774 million adult illiterates worldwide are women - the same proportion for the past 20 years and across most regions.
■Forced into marriage: More than 60 million girls worldwide are forced into marriage before the age of 18.
■Dying in pregnancy and childbirth: Each year 358,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes.
■ At risk: An estimated 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk of female genital mutilation/cutting each year." Pray for them.

In this country women are underpaid, undervalued, will always have to work harder to prove themselves in employment, and continue to work the dual life of the lion share of housework and childcare combined with employment outside of the home. Young girls are encouraged to be decorative, and conscious of their appearance from a young age.


My fellow sisters and I can vote, have a voice with which to argue our case, can seek and gain employment, can choose (based on income) whether to stay at home or go out to work, can give our children a different message and instill a different sense of self to the ideal portrayed by the mass media.

All this considered, this International Women's Day, I give thanks for the generations of strong, upright, successful and determined women who paved the way for us. I give thanks for the women, who offered me role models and guides.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Lent Reflection 7

I would like to give you some song lyrics I have been using for reflection. I am not embarrassed to admit they are Cliff Richard lyrics, not my usual choice of music but worth sharing. The musical arrangement's cheesy dated nature will put you off so no YouTube links here!

I don't know how to love you,
Where do I begin?
If helplessness is sinning,
Then here I am a sinner.
I'm guilty of the sin.

I don't know how to help you,
Your trouble goes so deep.
You're about to lose your life.
And here I am dejected,
'Cos I lose a night of sleep.

Love one another You said,
Come together as one.
I'm just a servant, Lord.
Yet you made me a son.
Sometimes I'm troubled,
By the things You make me see.
But no matter how I feel, Lord,
Here am I send me.

So I leave my world behind me,
Enter this domain.
And I'm staggered by the gulf between us.
I can see your sickness,
But I don't feel your pain.

Pity's got no power.
Compassion has the heart.
Jesus, keep me mindful,
That it's You who does the giving.
And it's we who need to play our part.
Help me play my part.

Sometimes I'm troubled,
By the things You make me see.
But no matter how I feel, Lord,
Here am I send me.

So I leave my world behind me,
Enter this domain.
And I'm staggered by the gulf between us.
I can see your sickness,
But I don't feel your pain.