Why It’s Important to Establish Rules Before Bringing Home a Child

You’ve met your child and have spent some loving days together, whether that be in a hospital near a birth mother, or in a hotel in a foreign country across the ocean. Even if they’re acting wild (like a typically 2-year-old), you’ve still experienced a type of love that you haven’t felt before. So, now, as you get ready to prepare to head home, you hope your family can help you follow through with the rules you set down before you left for pick-up.

Setting up some rules before bringing your child home can be crucial to establishing the proper bond and attachment necessary to create a healthy dynamic within your new family. These rules may be difficult for your family to follow, but it will be so important. Once you get home your cocooning period is often tough for friends and family to deal with. They want to be excited for you and meet your new little (or big) one, just like they would with a loved one who had a biological baby. But, things are different here. Your child hasn’t spent the last 9 months in your womb, learning who you are and instinctively wanting to be with you. Your child may not know what trust feels like, so to trust another adult (who may look nothing like them), might be a terrifying concept. If you adopt an older child (not an infant), you will be the only one bringing them water, changing their diaper, or hugging them when they are hurt. That goes against your family member’s natural instincts. And yet, doing those things will definitely help establish a natural parent-child relationship that they have never seen modeled before.

If you adopted an infant/baby, those same rules will apply. You will feed the baby, and you will change their diaper. Skin to skin with the new mom and dad will be so important. These simple, yet extremely effective rules, will make such a difference in your bonding experience. 

Even though these rules of attachment and bonding will be difficult for your loved ones to bear, hopefully showing them how important it is to establish a healthy form of trust and safety that will help them respect the lines you have drawn. After a few months, when you’ve loosened the reins and your family can get the snuggles they’ve long been waiting for, your child will hopefully understand that you are who they go to for comfort, and they have other family members who love them, too.

Happy attaching.