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Games and Activities for Attaching with Your Child


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction. Chapter 1: Bonds, Attachment and Play. Chapter 2: The Value of Play. Chapter 3: Connecting the Two of You. Chapter 4: Connecting the Whole Family. Chapter 5: Connecting Siblings. Chapter 6: Activities to Help with Mood and Flexibility. Chapter 7: Building Attachment When Children Have Had Exposure to Toxins. Addendum. Resources.

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Games and activities to help parents and carers to build positive attachments with their child

About the Author

Deborah Gray, MSW, MPA specialises in the attachment, grief, and trauma issues of children in her practice, Nurturing Attachments. A clinical social worker, she has worked for over 25 years in foster and adopted children's therapies and placement. She is core faculty for the award-winning Post-Graduate Certificate program in Foster and Adoption Therapy at Portland State University and main faculty in the ATTACh-recognized Post-Graduate Attachment Therapy Certificate Program through Cascadia Training. She is the author of Attaching Through Love, Hugs and Play: Simple Strategies to Help Build Connections with Your Child, Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents and Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma, also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Visit her website at www.deborahdgray.com. Megan Clarke is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice with a focus on attachment, trauma, adoption and domestic violence. She is a graduate of the post-graduate programs Attachment/Trauma Certificate Program (Cascadia Training) and Adoption and Foster Care Therapy Certificate Program (Portland State University).


Finally a book to engage children in building attachments with their parents through playing games. This book is practical and offers fun activities to encourage closer relationships between parents and children. -- Dr. Sue Cornbluth, National Parenting Expert in Childhood Trauma, USA
When children are exposed to poor care very early in life, they have to suppress two very important processes that normally help children to feel safe with and enjoy their relationships with caregivers: separation distress which engenders the need for comfort and playfulness which leads to joyful connection. In this book, the authors focus on the playfulness side of parent-child connections, offering a wealth of practical, hands-on ways for caregivers to engage children in playful interactions. Parents and therapists who work with children exposed to poor care early in life will find this book extremely helpful. -- Jonathan Baylin, PhD, psychologist and coauthor of Brain Based Parenting
In a culture which is heavily focused on how to teach our children, or how to discipline them, the importance of play and joy in connection can get lost. All children, and especially children who have difficult early parenting experience, need connection and to discover the joy in relationship. Within this book Deborah Gray and her colleagues have delightfully put play at the centre of family life. There are lots of ideas for games tailored to age and with specific difficulties in mind. More importantly perhaps these ideas can act as a springboard for families to invent their own unique way of bringing fun into their lives. -- Kim S. Golding, Clinical Psychologist
...really interesting, to the point, succinct... includes games for bonding with your child; between an adult/parent, games for the whole family, games for siblings... would be really beneficial for... a support group, foster carers doing foster parent training or skills to foster, prospective adopters... or a social work team. 7 out of 10. -- Al Coates, Adoptive parent and blogger at Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
Games and Activities for Attaching With Your Child is a critical tool for anyone who is looking to nurture attachment with an adopted, biological or foster child. Deborah D. Gray, an expert in the field of attachment and adoption, along with her co-workers, have written an easily understandable and accessible book about games that can help children attach even in the most difficult of circumstances. They clearly lay out the importance of play for children and how it supports brain development, good social skills and the ability to connect with loved ones in order to aid in healthy connections. Step-by-step, from infancy to teens, they lay out activities for families to play in a fun, engaging and meaningful manner. What I like best is that it tells you how to use these activities for children all across the spectrum, from "normal" children to those who are detached and afraid to connect and have been hurt by trauma. As a social worker I have used some of these games and activities with my own clients to excellent effect but best of all, have shown parents how to play with their children where it counts the most which is with each other at home. As a foster mom I can say that these games work and have enhanced my relationships with my children. -- Karen Oil, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

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