This is something I’m needing to focus on right now due to one of my children having significant trouble and having some newbie foster kiddos. So it seemed like a good time to repost it 🙂
How we “baby” big kids (ages 3-8):
*I’m CONSTANTLY on the floor, making it easy for kids to come to me whether for a quick tickle or head rub or game of footsies or whatever.
*I rock them…a lot! When rocking, I pet them, run my fingers through their hair, tickle lightly, tell them what I would have done had I known them (or was their mommy) when they were a baby.
*We use dum-dum lollypops for a bottle for a few reasons. The biggest was that I worried what the agency and caseworkers would think about using a real bottle. But this has the benefit of being sweet also which is an attachment key.
*Softness, sweetness, warmth, closeness, etc are all good.
*BTW, my kids LOVE green smoothies. Goodness, a “milk shake” for breakfast? Mommy is the best! My three hadn’t even ever had watermelon. Again, healthy and anytime? AWESOME!
*My kids, especially one of them, have taken it further, such as: First words, first steps, first hop, baby sentences, etc. He does it even with mistakes. Like his first steps are wobbly and he falls down. I praise, encourage, help, fix (pretend) boo-boos, etc.
*We play lots of baby games (peekaboo, this little piggy, etc). A lot of finger
plays and such are fun too. And reading is a very typical thing for parents to do with children. Our play therapist gave us other ideas like “close
your eyes” and then I lightly touch them with a cotton ball or we blow a cotton
ball back and forth (and you can even do that with more than one child). Just
*Lotion and a “family scent” are good ideas also. I have multiple chemical sensitivities so I have to be careful, but….My kids started really responding to cinnamon. Well THAT is easy. I can put a small pot of boiling water with cinnamon in it on the stove. I can put cinnamon in muffins, waffles, pancakes, etc.
For me, having babies in the house has been SOOOOOOOO helpful! I’ve had my three since April 2011. I have had a baby/toddler in the house all but 4 months since I’ve gotten them. It helps me see all the fun, silly, touching, bonding, etc things I can do. We NATURALLY do those things with babies. It is a lot harder to remember with kindergarteners. Having those reminders, I can turn around and do similarly with the big kids. Sometimes, it feels like I have septuplets rather than one baby and some bigger kids.
BTW, one other thing we do is MUCH greater than typical supervision. This was necessary due to behavior at one point; but even when it could be loosened, we didn’t go all the way to average. Having them close gives opportunity to for coaching, helping, guiding, etc. It also gives a lot of opportunity to touch,rub heads, tickle behind ears, quick kisses to the tops of heads, silly words, etc. 🙂