Increasing Attachment in Grandfamilies and Kinship Care

While working as a family therapist with kinship families, also known as grandparents raising their grandchildren, I came across families who were struggling with the ability to rebuild broken trust. Raising your grandchild (or another relative) brings with it attachment challenges you may not have faced when you raised your biological children. By “attachment” I am referring to the safety and comfort that develops, over time between a child and caregiver. For example, the bond between you and your children probably grew organically, beginning in utero, and continued to develop from the first day of their life. As you met your children’s needs for love, food, and protection on a consistent basis, they learned to feel safe in your care. It eventually evolved into the relationship you have today. But if you are suddenly raising your grandchild, you will not have time to recreate the natural bonding experience.  In addition to this, your grandchild/relative, most likely, experienced several Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), and this can be an obstacle when trying to create a healthy bond with a child. If your grandchild was abused or neglected, he/she will have difficulty feeling safe with any adult, including you. You may also be going through your own feelings of loss and grief, as life as you knew it has drastically changed. But there is good news, you can increase trust and attachment between you and the child with the following bonding act...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Addictions Aging Caregivers Children and Teens Family Grief and Loss Parenting Substance Abuse Adverse Childhood Experience Attachment Bonding Child Development Grandfamily Grandparents grieving kinship family Source Type: news

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