Welcome to February edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and This month, participants have looked into the topic of “Fostering Healthy Attachment”. Please scroll down to the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants. Enjoy!
There are three continents and more than a dozen cities in which we have family. Keeping in touch and helping our children get to know their extended family and form some sort of attachment to grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins is challenging.
The biggest challenge is somehow creating opportunities for the children to share laughter, milestones and celebrations as well as everyday life so the distance doesn’t feel so great. With face to face visits being limited to a few times a year, in the interim, we have figured out these four ways to help maintain attachment:
Video Chat: My children love to video chat with their distant friends and especially with grandparents and aunties. They also look forward to their daily skype sessions with their papa when he is on business trips. When the children video chat, they do all sorts of silly things like running down the hall singing, playing violin for grampa to listen, show drawings to interested aunties and often running and tumbling over the sofa for a cheering grandparent. With their friends they like to show toys and say lots and lots of funny words, make faces, even hide and re-appear making everyone giggle. All the laughter from both sides I believe really helps the children feel connected even if so far away.
Phone messages: Being almost two, Bella is fascinated with the telephone. She has connected the idea that if. someone is out of sight they might be reachable on the phone. One time when handsome hubby was travelling he left a voice mail and Bella was so fascinated with it she now loves to listen to phone messages and talk back. Sometimes when she wants to talk on the phone with time zones and work schedules, a live conversation doesn’t work but the recording gets her the connection to that voice she wanted.
Videos: We send monthly or bi-monthly video compilations to grandparents and great-grandparents as a way for them to be a part of the childrens development, see their latest play inventions. There are times when the boys want to create deliberate messages within the videos, otherwise we just send snippets of our daily life.
Mementos: When we do have a chance to have face to face visitors, they often bring gifts. These become very special to the children. For example, my mother brought some hats from a trip to china and the children love wearing them for pretend play and often tell me they are special from when VoVo (grandmother in Portuguese) visited us. Another special item is my fathers winter hat which three years ago my oldest became very attached to during a visit and asked to keep. He still cares for the hat, wears it to play in the snow but always reminds us that it belongs to his grandfather. Other special items are a book written and illustrated by one of my sons best friends from the states and a picture of his buddy at a firehouse visit. My three year old likes to look at a binder with all his projects from his former preschool in Germany.
Do you have family that lives far away? How do you help your children keep in touch?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- “Keep Them Close and Let Them Go: Fostering Healthy Attachment As They Grow” — Helen at Zen Mummy wonders how to maintain a healthy attachment as our children become more independent.
- “Honesty (With Your Children) is the Best Policy” — Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children shares how honesty with her children is helping to build an authentic relationship which will last through the teen years and beyond.
- “Fostering Healthy Attachment?” — Momma Jorje discusses how she is building a foundation of attachment with her children and how she hopes it serves them in their lives as they grow into adults.
- Beyond Bookend Parenting — Marisa at Deliberate Parenting describes their efforts to maintain their toddler’s attachment to her working parent through play and routines throughout the day.
- Have You “Huggled” Today? — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how “huggles” work like magic in her home.
- Your Childhood=Your Child’s Childhood? — Amy at A Secure Base examines the research about how our attachment experience can shape our attachment with our children.
- List-Making Activities to Celebrate Family Connections — Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares some family list-making activities that will help you reflect on what you love about your family and can spark ideas for future family fun.
- How To Keep in Touch With Distant Grandparents — Lauren at Hobo Mama offers several tips to foster connection with relatives who live far away.
- Beyond Bonding: The Power of Positioning in Babywearing — Steffany, a babywearing educator, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains how optimal positioning in quality carriers can help babies’ physical growth, brain development, and overall attachment.
- Playing Follow the Leader — Zoie at TouchstoneZ has learned that the more she meets her children where they are rather than where she would like them to be, the greater the elasticity of their bonds are.
- The Evolution of Attachment: Parenting Without a Roadmap — Sheila at A Living Family reflects on her family’s recent generation of mothers and shares how she is working to make an evolutionary leap towards forming healthy attachment.
- Facilitating Sibling Connection — Laura at Authentic Parenting gives a set of pointers on how to facilitate sibling bonding.
- The Farm in my Bed — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses fostering children’s healthy attachment to “lovies” and comfort objects..
- My Early Morning Shadow Valerie at Momma in Progress shares a few ways she maintains a strong connection with her almost six-year-old daughter.
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