How Disney films can help you talk to your child about adoption

Read an exclusive extract from Adoption at the Movies

Chapter 5: Disney Films

“Disney produces films that are loved by people of all ages, and their films tend to be watched and re-watched over the years. Disney films often involve stories that are driven by parental loss or family formation. We start our journey into the movies with a selection of enjoyable Disney films that can help your family start some meaningful conversations. The discussion questions in this section explore becoming a family, themes of belonging, dealing with loss and sadness, differentiating between secrecy and confidentiality, feelings of missing or longing for birth family members, and identity development. Let’s get the movies rolling!”

Click here to read the full extract

 

In his new book Adoption at the Movies, based on his popular blog by the same name, Addison Cooper reveals how movies your kids love can get the whole family talking about adoption in a fun and safe way.

With a film for each week of the year, Addison Cooper has compiled the best movies, new and old, for family-friendly viewing. Among those featured are Finding Dory, Frozen, Paddington, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kung Fu Panda, Star Wars, Divergent, The Blind Side and I am Sam. Carefully selected, the movies included will help families to comfortably talk about important adoption-related topics. Films are sorted by age range and topic, so it’s easy to find the perfect movie for your family. Cooper summarizes the plot, the adoption connection, difficult or scary scenes, and provides discussion questions for each movie. Helping all members of the family to explore both the pain and joy of adoption, the book covers a range of issues which can arise, such as culture, identity, control, and reunification. With something for everyone—from kids, to teens, to grown-ups—this book is a must-have for all adoptive families.

 

To learn more about Adoption at the Movies or to purchase a copy, click here. You can also view the full range of JKP’s adoption books here, join our mailing list, or follow us on Facebook.

How to compile a life story book for an adopted or fostered child

life story booksJoy Rees, author of Life Story Books for Adopted and Fostered Children, gives her advice on how best to compile a life story book for an adopted or fostered child.  Working chronologically backwards rather than forwards, she explains how such a format reinforces the child’s sense of security and promotes attachment.

A Life Story Book tells the story of the child’s life and is often described as an ‘essential tool’ to help the child gain a sense of identity and an understanding of his or her history. This was the emphasis when I wrote the first edition of this book, Life Story Books for Adopted Children, – A Family Friendly Approach, some 10 years ago.

This approach evolved from my work with adoptive families, and from a growing awareness that most of the books I read at that time were simply not ‘fit for purpose’. The language used and the details given about the birth parents’ history was generally not appropriate or helpful. The books were just not child friendly. At best many of them were complex and confusing and it was difficult to follow the child’s story in them. At worse, some books inadvertently fed into the child’s sense of self-blame and shame about their early experiences. Others risked adversely affecting placement stability by impeding the vital claiming and belonging stages of the attachment process. Continue reading

Kids and the computer screen – where do we draw the line?

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“I’m worried about my child’s technology use. Why does my son scream when I try to get him off the computer? Is my daughter honest about her Internet activities? Just how much screen time is too much? What effect is all of this technology having on my child’s learning and behavior?” Pg. 11, Digital Kids: How to Balance Screen Time and Why It Matters by Martin Kutscher

 

The average 8 year old child spends nearly 10 hours a day on digital media. This makes digital consumption second only to sleep as their leading activity. It’s not news to us that kids are using their digital devices all day, every day. But does this really matter? Many children receive digital devices as gifts but what are the risks of overusing them. Also what can parents do to combat this?

Digital Kids is the first book of its kind to lay out the facts and figures surrounding excessive internet use. Drawing on cutting edge research and expert scientific opinion, Martin Kutscher pinpoints exactly what effect digital addiction is having on our children’s brains and development – and the reasons why we should be worried about it.

Outlining the full range of neurological, psychological and physical implications, from stunted cognitive development and shortening attention spans, to depression, aggression and obesity, Digital Kids highlights the real dangers of too much screen time for the iPad generation.

This book is an eye-opening journey through the ins and outs of cyberspace, offering practical strategies on how to maintain a healthy screen-life balance. The internet, the smartphone and the digital TV are all here to stay, but it’s up to us where we draw the line.

 

Digital Kids: How to Balance Screen Time and Why It Matters by Martin Kutscher is now available in paperback from Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Adoptive parenting can be tough, but also wholly rewarding – Sophie Ashton

AdoptionSophie Ashton, author of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, describes the emotional struggle she went through soon after her daughter moved in.  Admitting that she did not anticipate the emotional toll it would take on her and her husband, she nonetheless says that adoption can be a wholly rewarding experience that brings joy, hope and fulfillment.

Everyone’s adoption story is unique and special to them. Yet many include the similar frustrations associated with the adoption approval and matching process and/or the emotional anguish associated with the loneliness and heartache of infertility.

Our story is but one of many, and one with which many people will identify.  Getting through the adoption approval process took my husband and I two years, followed by 13 months to find our daughter and a further 10 months of waiting for the matching panel to approve us as her parents.  As you can imagine there were many frustrations along the way.  On the plus side, by the time Lucy moved in we’d had many years to read adoption related books, attend courses and prepare for her arrival.  We were super excited and felt more than ready to welcome Lucy as our new daughter into our home. Continue reading

Read an extract from Sophie Ashton’s The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting

Ashton_Secrets-of-Succ_978-1-78592-078-3_colourjpg-printIn this extract from The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, Sophie Ashton discusses how it is perfectly normal to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after your child moves in, how the process of successfully integrating them into your family does not simply happen overnight, but that in the long term adopting can be a wholly rewarding experience that brings joy, hope and fulfillment. An honest and reassuring account of what it can really be like to be an adoptive parent, The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting is a practical hands-on guide that will help you prepare for the highs and lows of being an adoptive parent. It discusses preparing for the journey ahead, parenting with empathy, facilitating your child’s attachment, helping your child feel listened to, and providing structure and consistency in order to successfully integrate your child into your family life.

>>Click here to download the extract<<

Caring with Vitality – bringing yoga to the world of social care

Andrea Warman, co-author of the family yoga book Caring with Vitality – Yoga and Wellbeing for Foster Carers, Adopters and Their Families, explains how yoga can encourage families to enjoy spending relaxing time together, as well as help children to develop the life skills they need for a healthy future.

family yoga book

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