How will we know what memory they are experiencing when they display symptoms of grief (anger, lashing out, grumpiness, crying, "perfect" shut-down behavior)?
How will WE help them communicate (since it really is on US)?
Because it IS on US we will be attentive to our:
- Tone of voice (An intense voice can seem like yelling to someone who had been through trauma.)
- Facial expression (We might want to spend some time in front of a hand mirror during the day.)
- Words (Just because they can speak some English words doesn't mean they have the receptive ability to understand complicated word groupings and inflection and tone..... see how COMPLICATED this gets!)
- Body posture (again, some time in front of a mirror might help. Are we standing over them when we speak? Are we rubbing their back, holding their hands, being kind while we correct?)
Communication is SO MUCH MORE than WORDS!
|We call this facial expression the "Nate face". Sometimes Nate can have a grumpy face :) .|
And how are we PROVIDING them with ways to communicate? Don't leave it up to chance!
Do we tell them AGAIN AND AGAIN that we love them? That NOTHING they say will make that love go away? That NOTHING they say will make us go away?
Do we encourage them to open up?
Do we use role playing to help our second language learners to understand? (You will find SO MANY ideas on Christie's blog!)
Do we lower the stress level in our home so that the words will flow?
|What does this face communicate?|
We plan to:
Sing with Nellie (and Marin)
Give her an echo microphone
Make noises like "bbbbb" and "shhhhh" on her hand
Telling her things that she loves over and over - like "cat Nellie" "Nellie likes cat"
Being very intentional in how we speak to her, giving spaces between the words
All these things I think and think about while waiting and waiting. I want to make the transition to our family as easy as possible and finding a way to communicate is key to this.
Luckily some members of our family never stop talking. I won't point fingers because I am so above such behavior.