God made children amazing, in so many ways. One of those ways involves their ability to adapt and cope, in spite of difficult circumstances.
One of our young boys latched onto a rather unique, but effective and fun way of coping and processing. After arriving at Coyote Hill, he collected a variety of stuffed bears and monkeys. He gave them all names – some of them named after family members, others named after new friends he made at The Hill.
His Home Parent Mom, Mandy Wallace, explained, “After Jordan* came to our home, he named the animals and began to talk to them, treating them like friends. They took on some of the personalities of the people they personified.
We tucked them in, told them bedtime stories, and talked to them when they were being unsafe or making bad choices (which is something Jordan struggled with.) He corrected their behavior and taught them to make good choices.
The animals helped Jordan go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. He even had one that went with him each day to help him in school!”
Our therapist and case manager, Erica Healy, explained how a simple toy can be of so much help to a young child:
“Using puppets or stuffed animals helps children externalize feelings or thoughts, helping them process in indirect ways. Kids also learn through modeling, so if they see a stuffed animal doing something, they are much more likely to learn by watching the stuffed animal rather than just having an adult explain to the child directly. It helps bring abstract concepts into concrete terms that a child can understand.”
Whatever it takes – even an armful of fuzzy toy “friends” – our children find healing and wholeness, thanks to your support!