What a joyful time it is in a family’s life when the child they’ve waited for is finally placed. Like most families, we were eager to show our child off and celebrate their entry into our lives. Here are some ideas I’ve come up to make this time more comfortable for the child:
- As much as you want to show your new blessing off, getting them acquainted with their new family, resist the temptation to do so right away. If your child is older, they are going to need some settling time in their new home first. It can be too overwhelming for a child to get new parents, a new room, new everything, and then be bombarded with new family. Take it slow.
- Resist the urge to lavish your child with gifts. It can be overwhelming and although intentions may be good, it likely won’t receive the appreciation you think it might. You also don’t want your child, if older, to come to expect this to be the norm in your family.
- Invite a family member to meet spacing out visits so your child is not overwhelmed by new faces. It gives your child and family members the opportunity to get to each other a bit more personally. Should you decide to do a larger gathering, your child will at least recognize some of the faces.
- Choose an environment that will be flexible for the child. For example: if you’re child is of age to take naps, perhaps hold the party in a home where there is a quiet room for them to rest from the social stimulation. If you have an older child, holding the gathering at a park or someplace where there’s an outlet for them to play might be the best idea.
- We missed our oldest son’s first birthday. Rather than just doing a welcome-to-the-family party, we celebrated his birthday—even though it was 3 months late! Birthdays are a typical thing most kids get to celebrate so with older kids especially, it might feel a bit more “normal” to have a birthday party celebration—even if late, than a welcome-to-the-family party. With our youngest son, we also celebrated his first birthday late (only by 2 weeks). We also held somewhat of a baby shower with it.
- Another way to celebrate after placement is to hold an “open house”. For children who don’t do well with a lot of stimulation. This is a bit different from just inviting a family member here or there. You can plan a block of time that family can stop by and say hello. Provide some refreshments and let it be an opportunity to keep your child on their usual schedule as well as meet new faces. If they need a nap, let people know that during the determined nap time, they won’t be available.
It’s easy for families to get excited to celebrate the blessing of a new family member, but hopefully, considering some of these ideas will help your child feel more comfortable and allow your special celebration to run a bit smoother.
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Melissa is a Families.com Christian Blogger. Read her blogs at: http://members.families.com/mj7/blog