5 Parenting Tips for Older Child Adoption

Adopting an older child can be one of the happiest days in your family. You’re helping a child find his forever home. You’re getting a child that you might have wanted for a long time. In all the excitement it might be hard to remember that with all changes to the family dynamic there will be difficulties. Finding your balance as a family will take time and patience. Here are five ideas to help you.

1) Don’t ignore your child’s history

Your child has parents, and it’s just natural for him to be curious about them. It’s also possible that they have lived in several different homes in their life. They may have become attached to certain caregivers and miss them now. Be considerate of there feelings, and answer what questions that you can. Be careful you use when talking about there families. The Child Welfare agency offers these suggestions when talking with your child. Use birth mother instead of real mother. Say ” they were not able to take care of you at the time,” instead of, ” They were unable to care for you.”

2) Establish a family dynamic

Your child has more than likely seen how many different types of families work. When you say the bed is at nine they might be quick to chime in that at their old house they could stay up till ten. It will take time for you both to get used to the new dynamic. You can help by setting boundaries, giving your child appropriate chores, and giving appropriate rewards and consequences.

3) Understand the impact that adoption might have had on their development. 

A healthy attachment occurs when a child knows that he is safe.It encouragees them to explore and grow. They might not have the secure base needed for healthy development. Health and environmental factors might have affected their development as well. It is important to approach children at their developmental age, not their physical age.

4) Don’t Go around everywhere sharing their adoption story.

Maybe you think your story will inspire others to help children find their forever home as well. The truth, however, is that is no one else’s business. Their story is their own, and allowing them to share it with who they want helps promote trust.

5) Prepare Your child for school

It a good idea to prepare them for questions and comments they might receive from other children at school. Roleplay with your children by asking what if questions

Raising a child is both one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs you will have. With love, patience, and understanding your child will adapt happily to his new home.