Thursday, August 11, 2016


You can’t wake up in a bad mood if you have a pet. Most dogs and cats find their way into your bed at some time of the night. Whether they start out there, or sneak in at midnight or move up until they are spooning you or on your head (you know who you are), they make waking wonderful. And while, they take advantage of your first movement to assume you are ready to rise, they are only asking for total and unconditional love.

Children are very similar in this regard. They want love and attention. They need you to be their chef, chauffeur, nurse and fashion consultant.  Mostly, they want a playmate – someone to do what they like and introduce them to the world. Whether it’s hugging, kissing, cuddling, playing their favorite game, encouraging new experiences, supporting skills and talents or teaching a new physical or social skill – all enhance the bond between parent and child.

Some parents have hard and fast rules about children never getting into their bed. Others allow them to come into the bed to cuddle. Some allow them to sleep there, when scared or because that’s the only way for everyone to get some sleep. My daughters each had a period of time when they slept better when closer. I remember a friend telling me – “Trust me. They will go to college without you’” How right she was. The co-sleeping in our house ended way before then. They now both live independently.

And so the family bed is now occupied by me AND the family dog.  Every living creature needs to know they are loved and appreciated. And while there are many ways to do so, consider making room in your life and in your bed to achieve this.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA from March 1992 to March 2015, was Head Writer for, a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series She is currectly a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York, where she has a private practice specializing in adoption and adoptive parenting. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.