No doubt attachment in adoption is crucial; after all, it’s the basic cornerstone of developing long term relationships and mental health. Perhaps because it is so darn important, however, it has taken on an aura of seriousness…even heaviness. Here’s a little secret—creating attachment can be, and should be, fun.
I’ve been a long time fan of Deborah Gray’s work in attachment since the beginning of Creating a Family. Deborah was one of the first guests on the Creating a Family Radio show way back in 2008, talking about her best selling book Attaching in Adoption. Her newest book, Attaching through Love, Hugs, and Play: Simple Strategies to Help Build Connections with Your Child, is destined to be another hit! I interviewed her on this week’s Creating a Family Radio show.
Deborah told me in our pre-show chat, that her goal with Attaching through Love, Hugs, and Play was to look at the lighter side of attachment and to make it less dour. She succeeded.
In Praise of Silliness to Aid Attachment
Play is powerful glue for relationships, including family relationship. (Read Best Parenting Advice Ever (and it’s not what you think).) Sometimes play means being just plain old silly. Deborah Gray talked about her rather larger and not exactly graceful husband having dance recitals in their basement with their daughters. His pirouetting around with the girls was one of the great bonding moments in their family.
Not every dad or parent would feel comfortable with that degree of silliness, but we can all let our hair down and have some fun. Research has shown that play and silliness changes the brain waves for both kids and parents. It has also shown that families that play together have greater attachment.
The Power of Play
If you need more reasons to lighten up, play helps kids develop and improve their executive functioning. It improves children’s ability to plan, organize, and clarify. It also helps the development of working memory.
But let’s be honest, the real benefit of playing is that it is fun, and it makes us look forward to being with the people we play with. It makes life less dreary.
I love Deborah Gray’s work, her book, her voice, and her wisdom. Listen to this week’s show to see what I mean.
How does your family have fun? What is a memory of your family being totally silly?
P.S. Check out this really neat review of the Creating a Family Multimedia Guide on Choosing an Adoption Agency or Attorney on the blog Holding to the Ground. While checking out Robyn’s review of Creating a Family, hang around on her blog for awhile. She has a distinct voice and blogs a lot about adoption issues. Worth adding to your blogroll.Image credit:Deb
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I needed that news. I tried reading her first book and I couldn’t. I closed it and told my husband, “I don’t know why anyone would adopt.”
However, when our social worker did our family interview she asked our son what he loved most about our family and he said, “playing together. ” That’s something I know how to do. Thanks for sharing, I am looking forward to picking up the new book.
I hear you Amy! Parenting, by birth or adoption, is hard work, but it should also be fun!