Adoption attachment: What happens when children move to a new room?

September 1, 2013 0 Comments

adoption attachmentLast weekend we took a big step in our house, and moved the boy into his new bed in his new room. This is something we had been talking about for several weeks, and finally decided to do it over the bank holiday weekend as it gave us three days to help settle him. The big question was – how would this affect his attachment?

Attachment rule breaking

Attachment disorder is a common element to adoption, and is rigorously studied in adoption circles. It is something that we have particular concerns about.

Strange then, that we decided to break a rule when moving our son to his new room.

Common sense would dictate that we would do small things one at a time, but we took the ‘ripping off a plaster’ approach.

We not only moved him into his room, but moved him into a new bed all in one go. We made a big deal during the day to dismantle his cot, and involved him in moving his cuddly toys to his new room.

Of course he was very excited at the time, and loved sharing the experience, but it was all fun and play at that point. The bedtime routine would be different, and that is the acid test.

Adoption attachment and routine

Over several months we have established a very good bedtime routine, which the boy is now well used to. The first evening in the new bed would test our resolve, and his anxiety, as the routine was changed.

We did our best to maintain as much of the routine as possible, but at the point of putting him into bed, I think everyone was on tenterhooks.

The first few nights were okay; he awoke a couple of times, and needed our presence to calm him.

A blow for our attachment

The last few days have proved to be very difficult. The wee man has put up a fight and simply refused to go to sleep; we have suffered several nights of sleeping on the floor next to him, and being woken up to some heart breaking crying.

It has been a very difficult week that has had us asking if we have done too much too soon. Our faith in ourselves as parents has been shaken, and our son’s attachment has been called into question.

We are conflicted by ensuring our son is as relaxed as possible, and not making a rod for our own back by encouraging some poor sleeping habits. Ultimately, we have done what we can to soothe our son, and ensure he experiences as little anxiety as possible.

A different approach

We are looking at a new approach now. We will attempt to drop or limit his naps during the day as well as establishing a new night routine which will hopefully help the boy relax and get used to his new room.

We may be paying the price for doing too much, but we know our son is resilient, and he will get used to his room in time.

The good news is that during the day he is showing no signs of any attachment trouble, so I don’t think we have done too much damage on that front.

As long as we continue to be there for him, and get his new routine sorted, we are confident that he will settle.

Have you put your child in a new room? How did they react? Were you worried about adoption attachment? If you have any comments or advice please feel free to comment below.

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About the Author:

Andrew is an adoptive father, and stay at home dad. Having adopted his son in January 2013, he is a new adoptive parent, but well versed in the adoption process. He is a married, coffee drinker, Xbox addict, and a Marketing graduate. Andrew McDougall is an alias he uses to protect the identity of his adopted son.

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