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© Gail Underwood Parker

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Focus on Fostering: Recreating a Past

Kids who have been taken from their original family from abuse and/or neglect often lack the beginning chapters of their life story.  They are likely to lack the baby pictures, first missing tooth photos, and more.  In a perfect world, parents would be required by the courts to answer basic developmental history questions about their children so that crucial health and developmental information would be available. But no such practice exists. But, if you have a child who is noticing their absence of early photos in your home, or in a scrapbook, or for a school project.... how about putting them in charge???

Give them the chance to rewrite their beginning chapters.  Dig out a child development book and tell them about when a baby sits up, gets their first tooth, starts to crawl, takes its first steps.  Help the child create a story about their beginnings.  As long as you don't use it for diagnostic purposes, why not?

Go another step and help the child [or adolescent] search online pictures and pick out a baby picture, a toddler taking first steps or playing with stacking toys, or grinning a gap-toothed smile. Print them, cut them out. May a fictional baby book for your child. Let them choose... where they a bald baby or a baby with a monk fringe of hair, or blond or dark hair. Let them choose.  There is so little in their life so far they have had choice in.... why not let them choose to recreate a beginning?

Image credits:,, planning

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