Mary Hopkins-Best Quotes.

11. "Dramatic or pretend play is very important to toddlers. In fact, toddlers often have much better imaginations than older children do, and especially, they have better imaginations than do many adults! The healthy toddler is uninhibited and unselfconscious in his pretend play. Dramatic play serves a variety of functions. It provides a vehicle for trying on or exploring a variety of roles. For example, the toddler often imitates responsibilities observed in her daily life such as cleaning and food preparation. Dramatic play provides a way for children to practice appropriate roles such as nurturing behaviors. The securely attached toddler reenacts her mother’s nurturing behavior through the cuddling and feeding of her dolls. Dramatic play stimulates many aspects of cognitive development, including imagination, problem solving, recall, and understanding cause and effect."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

12. "Children also use pretend play to confront and assume some control over their fears. That is why playing doctor and being the one to give the shots is so popular with children. Child-controlled play can reinforce specific cognitive tasks such as object permanence. Children engage in various forms of appear-disappear play beginning at about the developmental age of six months as a way to explore issues of attachment and develop object permanence."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

13. "Toddlers are delightful works-in-progress. Parents will want to learn as much as possible about toddler development so that they can better understand their child’s stage of development, and respond appropriately to their child’s behavior. Even though many adopted toddlers arrive home with physical, cognitive, language, or physical delays, there are many things parents can do to foster their child’s development. Nurturing a child’s growth by providing developmentally appropriate activities is one of the great joys of parenting."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

14. "The toddler who has experienced healthy symbiosis with a previous caregiver and has moved into differentiation (recognizing himself as a separate being) needs to transfer the trust or bond to the new caregiver(s). If he is in the early stage of differentiation, he will probably experience intense separation anxiety. It is thus extremely important that the transition strategies discussed in Chapter 4 be implemented if at all possible to ease the transfer. The previous caregiver must give the child permission to transfer his trust and love. It is important to allow the expected and entirely normal grief process to occur and support it without abandoning the child to his grief."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

15. "a toddler’s experience of grief is complicated by the way in which he thinks. Left unacknowledged and unattended, grief can block development and attachment to the adoptive family."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

16. "The loss of a parent is a young child’s greatest fear. To be abandoned, whether through termination of parental rights, voluntary relinquishment, death, or any other means, is a child’s worst nightmare come true."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

17. "During the early stages of grief, the toddler typically protests and displays overt signs of despair. A number of parents reported that their newly adopted toddlers cried inconsolably. Sad crying is very different from crying associated with rage or terror. When grieving, the child’s body is typically limp or curled into a fetal position, and there are a lot of tears. Anger and/or fear, on the other hand, are indicated by a stiff, tense body, protruding blood vessels, perhaps few tears, and a high-pitched cry. Not surprisingly, the children who had no preparation or transition help displayed especially intense grieving behaviors. Sabrina, adopted at 16 months from long-term foster care, often awoke sobbing and calling out to her former caregiver for months following her placement. Fortunately, even though she had not been prepared for a change in placement, her parents used post-placement transition strategies and supported her grieving process, so instead of emotionally detaching, Sabrina began transferring attachment"
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

18. "Supporting the grieving process The grief associated with a toddler’s separation from caregivers with whom he has had a strong attachment is unavoidable. To try to deny or avoid displays of grief is magical thinking on the part of adults. Acknowledging and supporting their child’s grief is one of the first acts of love adoptive parents can give their new son or daughter. The more directly involved toddlers are in the preparation and transition process, the less confused they will be about what is happening to them and the less they will rely on magical thinking to explain the loss of former caregivers. The more concrete the transition and placement processes are, the more toddlers will be able to process what is happening, and the less they will be fearful. Talking to toddlers during the preparation for and adjustment to a change in placement is intended to support grieving by confronting their magical thinking and assuring them that they are not responsible for the loss. Toddlers need to be told who will take care of them and be assured that someone will be with them at all times during the transition. Other messages that support the toddler’s grieving include: It was not your fault that you moved. You didn’t do anything bad. It’s OK for you to cry and be mad. I’ll be right here to take care of you."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

19. "Combining a gentle awakening with a predictable morning routine is also reassuring to a grieving toddler. Some children need time in the morning to regroup and prepare themselves to face the day. With such children, a gentle back rub and comforting talk, followed by a few minutes to be alone again might be effective. Some families recommended quiet activity surrounding, rather than directly aimed at, their toddler as a wake-up strategy. For example, speaking or singing in a quiet voice while getting the day’s outfit ready, or quietly moving about, turning on a soft light and straightening the room allows a child to wake up to the reassuring sounds of routine family life without having to interact immediately with others."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

20. "Supporting regression and fears Not only is regression perfectly normal, but it can also represent a positive, healthy way to respond to feeling overwhelmed. Accommodating a child’s need for being fed or comforted in a manner usually reserved for infants provides a wonderful opportunity to develop attachment. Activities such as rocking and feeding a toddler before putting him to bed can be rewarding for parents and child. It is important, however, that parents not unwittingly discourage their toddlers from progressing developmentally even while they are supporting their need for temporary regression. Parents should seek professional assistance if their toddler seems immobilized by grief, shows no interest in developmentally age-appropriate tasks, or loses all initiative to grow and develop."
- Mary Hopkins-Best, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

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