After an impromptu conversation about using drawing and interpreting kids drawings with our Clinician at work, I decided to try something with Jonathan.

That evening I sat him at the table with an array of coloured paper and different markers, crayons etc. and asked him to draw a picture of him, his family, his house. I didn’t give him any other direction and my only words after were “is there anything you want to add?” and I asked him to tell me about his drawing so I could decipher what the heck was going on.

There isn’t a lot to it; a house, the four of us, Santa, a stove. The interesting part will come in a few weeks, which after raising the topic several times during this time about family, him living here, his adoption and whatever else I can work into our conversations, I will have him do it again and we can interpret his drawings.

However, the interesting thing was after he drew his first picture and we sat down to have dinner (it was just the two of us as Gord and Anthony were out for the evening), we had our first aggression in months. I was hit and bit and he continued to go after me until I could get him to his room and hold the door shut. All because (seemingly of course) I asked him to finish his dinner.


The rest of the evening proved to be rocky; lots of not listening, being rude, crying when I said no. And it continued into the morning, at school/daycare and into the following evening.

I made sure to give some extra cuddles and love that second evening and a bit of an early bed time. We talked about sweet Jonathan and angry Jonathan and he seemed to get this idea: My sweet Jonathan is kind, listens, uses his manners. My angry Jonathan screams, cries, hits, doesn’t listen. He has brought this up over the past several days and is recognizing when he is ‘sweet Jonathan’ versus ‘angry Jonathan’.

After 2 days of unsettled behaviour he was back to his regular self. But, he randomly mentioned one morning at breakfast “I didn’t live here before”. I asked where he lived and we talked about a couple of specific people and that now he lives here forever with mum and dad. Interesting.


It all seems very interesting that this all came up from asking him to draw a picture.
Has anybody else used different types of media or ways to chat with their kids and what was the immediate fall out? Any advice would be great!

Curious to see where the next few weeks go as I push him a bit and we bring up the idea of other moms and dads and living different places.


4 thoughts on “Coincidence…?

  1. I find with the girls their ‘play’ gives me plenty of opportunity to talk to them about their ‘life story’. However, I do often use books so cover topics too. I’ve bought quite a few ‘adoption’ related books online and the girls have generally enjoyed these, there has been some emotional fall out but all in all I’ve felt it was worth it.
    In the UK we have a book called ‘Nutmeg gets adopted’ which is a great story about a squirrel that gets adopted. Margot Sunderland has also written a huge range of social story’s for adopted children and some of the common issues they face such as ‘loss’ ‘self esteem’ ‘anger’ etc most are available on Amazon so i’d assume they’re also available where you are to 🙂

    • Thanks Claire! I was really unprepared for any fall out…don’t know why but didn’t think about it. Always things to learn! I’ll check out some of those books:)

  2. I use drawings a lot with my girls. When they were much younger we also used structured play for exploring, attachment building and anger / aggression release.

    It’s very insightful however (my girls trauma was extreme) I have be careful about what I bring up and when, because I need to ensure we allow my girls time for processing and dealing with we get the same fall out as you got. I am fortunate to have done lots of training as well as learnt a lot during their therapy.

    Hope your house stays calm for while.

    • Thanks for sharing. I don’t know why I didn’t think there would be any ‘fall out’, if that’s what it was. His emotions and behaivour are all over the place these days it’s hard to tell what’s what!

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