My mom and I were talking last night about possible topics to cover in blog posts. I created this whole list of things that I want to talk about at some point, because some nights I'm just not sure what I want to cover. So tonight, I thought I would take something from that list, and talk about when a child is first placed in your home.
My parents usually clear our schedules for about a month. Of course, this isn't always reasonable, and the length of time that we refrain from doing outside activities varies according to the situation and how many kids we have in the house with different activities going on. For instance, my mom might cancel plans to have a group play date with the preschool moms and their kids, but she wouldn't pull me out of dance classes just because I got a new sibling. It all depends on how your life is set up at the time of the new placement, and what your family can handle.
I think that it's really important to have that time to get to know a new child. Clear your schedule for a few weeks or a month, and spend time at home as a family. Chances are, you could probably use a break from the chaos of life anyway, and it would be nice to spend time at home with the people you love most. By clearing your schedule, you don't overwhelm your new family member. You ease him or her into your family without being thrown at friends and extended family who want to hover and find out all of the details of a case that you don't even know yet. You give the child the opportunity to get to know your family, to learn your daily routines, to learn which kitchen cabinets are off-limits or which dog doesn't like to be pet on the head. You give your family the opportunity to get to know this child, to see what foods he likes, or if she has ever played with toys before. You get to know each other, and try to bond, because you can't just take in a child and live together as strangers. You need that time to get to know one another and you don't need outside distractions getting in the way. It really helps to just be home as a family.
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