Translation: "Will there be a movie in the mail today?"
(Note: he doesn't get the difference in the words for mail and e-mail, so he just always puts the "e" in front of "mail." I just always have to figure out if it's a mail-related comment, which type of mail he's referring to. The other day he said he almost ran his bike into an e-mail box. I totally knew what he meant, LOL.)
We are about 8 weeks into our adjustment at home with our awesome 10-year-old son from Ethiopia, so I'm posting during November (National Adoption Month) about things that are currently "working for us" during his transition. So far I've written about establishing a routine and labeling the house. Today I'll share another thing that is definitely working for us: movies.
Before we traveled to bring him home, we joined Netflix. That was new for us, as we haven't really watched or rented many movies, but I thought it would be nice to have some on hand each week after we returned home with Minte. I had no idea. They have been a daily life-saver for us these past few weeks!
I'm sure there is research somewhere that will suggest that this is no way to properly bond with your child, or which would cite the effects of too much screen time or media, so by all means, don't necessarily go with my opinion on this. However, around here each afternoon after we have finished our schoolwork, had some time at the park or outside, and are ready for some "down time" before dinner, it has been fun to see what movie the mailman brought and have an afternoon movie time. We've watched a movie just about every day (or every other day). I have found it beneficial for many reasons, some of which are:
- He spends all day, every day talking to us, trying to understand what we're saying, trying to assimilate new information. This is an exercise for us as well, trying to properly communicate, talk slowly, repeat ourselves, act out things in a charades-type way. SO, during the afternoon movie, none of us have to do that! It's relaxing.
- We have some new "shared" experiences. We haven't experienced the past 10 years with him, but now we have experienced stories together, laughed at some of the same things, rooted for the heroes, been mad at the villains, etc.
- It has fostered many conversations where he/we remember funny scenes and laugh about them again.
- He has learned a few new phrases... I can't remember all of the ones he's asked about lately but recently he asked, "What eez zees: 'ab-so-lute-ly-not' ? What eez zees?" So I explained that it means "no way."
- He is now well-versed in some of the movies that all of his friends and most of the culture around him have seen. The "High School Musical" movies (he "beeg-loves" these!), the Disney animated ones, Toy Story, etc. have been big favorites. He sees those characters all over the place and he now knows where they come from.
- We've been able to discuss emotions. "This part made mommy sad (happy, scared, etc.) Was Minte sad (happy, scared, etc.)?
I don't want to risk over-psychologizing it, but watching movies (carefully chosen ones, of course) has been something we have enjoyed these past few weeks, and for those who might be considering adopting older children, I thought I would pass along something that has "worked for us."
To read more about our adoption journey, click on the link in my sidebar. For more tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. Have a wonderful Wednesday!