Funnelling – we spoke about it in prep groups, home study and at the post approval day! And we are going to talk about it again – because we know from long experience that it’s essential for your relationship with your child and it’s better to do it when your child is first placed with you.
If we think about a stray dog, they will take food and shelter from anyone that offers it to them; they are indiscriminate. If a child is indiscriminate they aren’t safe and they won’t be in the future, until they have built the capacity to discriminate between strangers and people they can trust.
A child who has experienced different carers, been feed by different carers, been comforted by different carers – might not know that they should have primary carers who they turn to get their needs met. Children cope with having multiple carers in different ways, they might seek comfort from any adult, or they might not look to adults to meet their needs. Funnelling helps them learn that you are their “go to people”, you are their parents, there to meet all their needs. Funnelling is simple in that it means that you feed your child, you comfort your child if they fall, you bath your child, you dress your child. No one else meets your child’s needs, if they approach other adults e.g. Granny, then she needs to direct them back to you for a biscuit, a cuddle etc. There are no short cuts to funnelling, it requires lots of repetition sometimes over months before a child’s brain builds the pathways that know that this is it, this is what a Mum and Dad do, they take care of you and noone else does that yet!
Education and Attachment
This is a document from the National Children’s Bureau about understanding attachment and how this can affect education with special reference to adopted children and young people.
With so much conflicting advice on how to raise children, it’s no wonder that parents and carers find it difficult to know whether they are doing the right thing. We hope that this website will offer advice, help and support to any parents or carers who need guidance when dealing with a child’s behaviour. It is written by parenting experts who acknowledge that every child is different.