Fathers Day

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      10 Ways to Bond with Your Child as a Foster or Adoptive Dad   Being chosen as a foster or adoptive dad can be one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. But, it can also make a guy a little nervous. When the day comes for you to welcome your child to their new home, it’s normal to worry if you’ll be able to connect with them. The good news is, adoptive and foster fathers are able to form bonds just as strongly as bio-dads.    So what can a foster/adoptive dad do to strengthen the bond with his new child?     1. Prepare to be patient     There’s no need to feel rushed in becoming super close with your new kid, as bonding is a process that happens over time. Practice patience and remember you have a lifetime to establish your relationship and deepen your parent-child connection.      2. Expect some bumps in the road     Expect that your child may be fussy, have trouble sleeping, or not eat much the first few weeks while they transition to their new environment. They may also try to test your limits by acting out, so focus on praising good behaviors to reinforce them.    Check out our pro-tips for dads on increasing kids’ positive behaviors     3. Share responsibilities     Hopefully you’ll have support in tending to your child’s needs either from a significant other, helpful relative, friend, or babysitter. Just remember that a child is most open to bonding after their needs have been met, so make an effort to help with diaper-duty and feedings for younger kids and homework and school pick-ups for older ones. Bandage their owies, cuddle them often, and let them know you’re always there for them.      4. Bond through language     Regardless of your child’s age, talking to them will increase your connection. Read them stories and ask them about their interests, thoughts, and feelings. Kneel down to their level and make eye contact as you talk. Talking to them boosts their vocabulary and makes them feel worthy of your attention.     5. Show em’ the ropes     A great way to reinforce your role as their dad is to teach them life skills. Tell your kid what you’re doing while you’re making dinner, shaving, or washing your car. Give them play-by-plays even when you’re just hanging out or doing housework. This will give your child great memories of all of the things that daddy taught them.      6. Hang family photos     Displaying pictures of your new child is a great way to show them that they’re part of the family and help them feel connected to their home environment. Take pictures of memorable moments and hang them throughout the house for visitors to see. Remember to use phrases like “our home” rather than “my house” – this will help them feel less like an outsider.  If you have an older child, ask if there are any pictures of their biological family they’d like to hang up. Being open and acknowledging their emotions will encourage them to trust you.     7. Allow alone time     Being alone with your kid can be a little scary at first. You may ask yourself things like, “am I going to break the baby?!” or “how can I keep a 10-year-old entertained for 3 hours?!” But alone time is very important for bonding. Hang out with your child while your significant other runs errands. Go for walks, start a craft project together, or play at the park. Quality time with your kid will build your connection and boost your confidence as a new dad.     8. Start some traditions      Establish a few special traditions to give your child something meaningful to look forward to. Some ideas include:    A nightly lullaby and bedtime story     Playing catch at the park on Saturdays    Friday movie night    Sunday morning breakfast with “dad’s famous pancakes”    If your child was adopted from a different country or culture, pick an important holiday from their heritage and celebrate it each year     9. Nurture your relationship     Transitioning into parenthood can challenge any marriage or relationship, especially with the added stress of adjusting an adopted child to a new environment. If you’re in a committed relationship, remember that you’re a team and need to work together in making decisions and overcoming challenges. Lean on each other for support and be open about your feelings. When things have settled in, make time for a monthly date night.   Bumping heads with someone you live with?    Click here      10. Connect through play     Playing with dad makes a child feel connected, loved, and wanted. Choose unstructured, age-appropriate activities that allow your child to get creative and lead through play. Your child will look forward to this special time with you and love the positive attention.    Click here    for more tips on igniting your child’s learning through play     11. Get support     Welcoming a fostered or adopted child can be an amazingly positive experience, but it can also present some challenges. If your child seems to be distressed or angry, or if you’re concerned about how your new child is impacting your marriage or other children, our specialists can help.        
	 CLick here to find a specialists that's right for you 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.     
 
  
       References:   Eppley, S. (2017, September 9). 10 Activities To Bond   With Your Foster Children. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/adoption.com/10-activities-to-bond-with-your-foster-children/amp  Kemp, R. (2011, February 8). The importance of father-child bonding. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thenational.ae/lifestyle/family/the-importance-of-father-child-bonding-1.467546  Steinberg, G., & Hall, B. (1998). Pact, an Adoption Alliance [Brochure]. Author. Retrieved from https://www.pactadopt.org/app/servlet/documentapp.DisplayDocument?   Bonding With Your Adopted Child. (2019).  What to Expect . Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/family/bonding-with-your-adopted-child.aspx  Shinn. M.M. (2019). 8 Tips for Managing Conflict with the People You Live With.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-tips-for-managing-conflicts-with-the-people-you-live-with   Shinn. M.M. (2018). The Parents Guide to Play: 9 Tips to Ignote Your Child’s Learning.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-parents-guide-to-play-9-tips-to-ignite-your-childs-learning   Shinn. M.M. (2018). The P.R.I.D.E. of Fatherhood: 5 Ways That Great Dads Shape Our Mental Health.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-pride-of-fatherhood-5-ways-that-great-dads-shape-our-mental-health     How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). 10 Ways to Bond with Your Child as a Foster or Adoptive Dad.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/10-ways-to-bond-with-your-child-as-a-foster-or-adoptive-dad

10 Ways to Bond with Your Child as a Foster or Adoptive Dad

Happy Father’s Day to all you great dad’s out there! This year we’re dedicating our Dad-Day blog to foster and adoptive dads! Check out our top 10 tips for foster and adoptive dads to strengthen the bond with their children.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     
	 Click here to download our 1-page PRIDE of Fatherhood Form 
       The PRIDE of Fatherhood: 5 Ways That Great Dads Shape Our Mental Health   Dads are our first superheroes, and it’s for good reason. Fathers have a unique paternal instinct to protect, care, and provide for their children. In turn, children look up to their fathers as an almost mythical role model, with an inborn drive to make their father proud and live up to his expectations. As Father’s Day approaches, we reflect on the impact that dads have on our lives. We know that their love encourages us and their guidance directs us, but have you ever wondered how a father’s pride impacts the long-term mental health of his children?   The Man, The Myth, The Legend!   Art, literature, and religious texts throughout history have often compared fathers to lions – a fitting comparison due to the sense of strength and power that a father conveys to his children. The English language has often coined groups of animals based on virtues that we associate with them; for example, since owls are associated with wisdom, a group of them is referred to as a “parliament.” Due to their powerful and regal presence, a family of lions is referred to as a “pride.” Much like the lion, a proud father leads his family with purpose and strength and is actively engaged in their growth, security, and well-being.   The Power of a Proud Papa    The love, attention, and interest that a father provides has a life-long influence on the self-esteem, cognitive development, and emotional intelligence of his children. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), a successful treatment to improve emotional and behavioral issues in children, focuses on improving the parent-child relationship and has identified 5 key methods known as PRIDE skills, that parents can use to shape their children’s mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being. Dr. Marta M. Shinn, a specialist at Variations Psychology, is a PCIT trainer for the University of California, Davis and has taught many dads how to incorporate PRIDE skills in their parenting.      
	 click here to learn more about dr. shinn 
       Here are the 5 ways that dads can empower their children through PRIDE skills:    P – Praise   As exciting as ice cream, new toys, or an allowance may be, nothing is quite as internally rewarding to a child as being praised by their father for a job well done. Viewing dad as a source of strength and wisdom, praise from dad encourages children to increase good and healthy behaviors as well as reducing dangerous or harmful ones. Dad’s approval increases his child’s self-esteem, teaches them right from wrong, models positive behavior, and makes both dad and his little lion cubs feel great!    Example of using praise: “Son, I love how you are sharing and taking turns with your friends.”     R – Reflection   When dads spend quality time with their children, they can boost their child’s creativity, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking through reflection. Reflection refers to actively listening to their child and repeating back what their child expresses to show them that they are both listened to and understood. By acknowledging their thoughts and validating their emotions, dads teach children how to process their feelings in healthy ways.  Example of using reflection:    Child angrily groans, “I’m mad, this toy isn’t working!”      Dad reflects by calmly saying, “You’re mad because your toy isn’t working. If you use your calm words to ask me for help, then I can show you how to work it.”     I – Imitation   Few people can make a child feel more important than their dad can. When dads aren’t afraid to get silly and imitate their child during play, this makes their kid feel like an absolute rock star. A dad joining his 4-year-old in popping bubble wrap or asking them to teach him their sweet dance move shows their child that dad approves of their playful learning. In turn, imitation also prompts the child to imitate their father more often.      Example of imitation: “I’m going to pretend my spaghetti noodles are worms just like you!”     D – Description   Dads can have a critical impact on their child’s language development, concentration, and focus by using description to point out desirable behaviors. By describing their child’s positive actions, dads reinforce positive behavior, help their child remain focused on completing tasks, increase their vocabulary for desired behaviors, and maintain their child’s interest in what they are doing.    Example of description: “I see that you’re putting your toys away neatly.”     E – Enjoyment   Maintaining a positive, healthy outlook on life is a lot easier when the most important man in your life has been demonstrating how to do that for years. By expressing enjoyment and fun while engaging with children, dads model positive emotions while making their kids feel loved and wanted. These meaningful interactions strengthen the unparalleled bond that is shared between a father and each of his children.    Example of enjoyment: Pats on the back, laughing, clapping, saying, “I just love spending time with you. ”   A father’s pride places a lasting imprint on his children’s lives, empowering their self-worth and nurturing their mental and emotional growth.   To every proud dad out there working hard to raise great kids, Happy Father’s Day from the specialists at Variations Psychology!   Are you a parent who wants to start using PRIDE skills with your children? Are you therapist who would like to share PRIDE skills with parents or trainees?    Click here to download, save, or print our 1-page PRIDE reference sheet for great tips and examples to use and share!     To find a PCIT provider in your area go to the   UC Davis PCIT provider directory  . Contact   Dr. Marta M. Shinn   if you are an individual or agency that would like to be trained in PCIT.   Variations – All dads welcome!    Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D ., is an expert in child and educational psychology and is a PCIT trainer for UC Davis. If you are a clinician or represent a clinic seeking PCIT training, Dr. Shinn can help. She has 10+ years experience using PCIT to improve parent-child relationships, and has trained several agencies in bringing PCIT into their practice. Dr. Shinn’s experience includes training cohorts of therapists as well as mentoring trainers in how to train therapists within and outside of their agencies.     


   
     
      
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.    More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams). See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a   call   and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Relationship Enhancement P*R*I*D*E reference sheet. https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/27_PRIDEskillsrevised10.111.pdf  PCIT International http://www.pcit.org/   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). The PRIDE of Fatherhood: 5 Ways That Great Dads Shape Our Mental Health    Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-pride-of-fatherhood-5-ways-that-great-dads-shape-our-mental-health

The PRIDE of Fatherhood: 5 Ways That Great Dads Shape Our Mental Health

Dads are our first superheroes, and it’s for good reason. Fathers have a unique paternal instinct to protect, care, and provide for their children. In turn, children look up to their fathers as an almost mythical role model, with an inborn drive to make their father proud and live up to his expectations. As Father’s Day approaches, we reflect on the impact that dads have on our lives. We know that their love encourages us and their guidance directs us, but have you ever wondered how a father’s pride impacts the long-term mental health of his children?