lost blocks (and the benefits of having younger siblings for older adopted children)

By | 8:21 AM 1 comment

I was watching Zoe cross over a wobbly bridge at a park recently.
She crossed it, then turned around and ran back.
And again. And again. And again.

Then later that same day I watched her stack up a set of wooden blocks.
Up, up, up.
And again. And again. And again.

Then later that week I played peek-a-boo with her, surprising her from the door going into her room.
And again. And again. And again.

Having Eli has given me a whole new set of eyes in how I view this desire for repetition from Zoe. I see her comfort in learning the predictability of an outcome. I see the confidence she gains in knowing what to expect. I understand the neural connections that are developing, leading to passageways of learning.

I know what the lack of experiences and opportunities for repetition do to a child. I see those unfortunate consequences in Eli and the extra work he has to do. I'm not gonna lie and say that my heart has never broken when I've realized the moments my boy missed out on and how it has impacted him.

I've been realizing lately how much he still (even after almost three years home) needs the opportunity to have these building blocks of learning experiences...regardless of his 6 year old age status. He needs the chance to do those baby and toddler things. And do them again, and again, and again.

Thankfully, having a little sister allows him the "excuse" to recreate those missed experiences under the guise of just playing with Zoe. It feels natural, not forced, for me to tell him to "help Mommy out and play open-shut-them with Zoe" or to teach her how to do a puzzle, etc. It's not too embarrassing for him to sit with me while I read a "baby" book to Zoe...because I'm reading to Zoe, not him in his mind. It allows him to maintain his dignity while still building those skills and having those experiences.

I'm pretty sure Zoe doesn't mind having an adoring older brother to participate in her play either!

 Oh, the sweetness of their relationship.

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Tasha Via said...

So so sweet. This has been so life-changing for us with Alethia. Thank you for sharing this with us who are following not far behind:)

Love you!