Many children of adoptive families have a difficult time transitioning, no matter how young they are when they are welcomed into the family. Since this adjustment can be a challenge for many families, gathered are some helpful tips for getting through this transition with ease:
- You have to expect there to be mixed emotions for the child as they are happy to be welcomed by a loving family, but they are unsure how to respond to a major life change. To ensure that your child thrives in this new environment, you can make things a little more familiar for them. Displaying pictures of familiar faces in their room and the family room will help them adjust to the new setting. Likewise, creating an adoption life book is a great way to show them their transition and answer questions of where they came from, where they have been, and where to call home now.
- You must be aware of red flag warnings of problem areas so that you can provide an immediate solution. For example, if your child pulls away when you try to show them affection, they may not be ready. A safe solution that can ease this process for both of you is requesting a hug rather than initiating intimate contact without warning. This will put them in the control seat and they will not feel violated by what they might determine (at the time) as excessive or uncomfortable touch.
- Older adopted children feel as if their lives are spinning out of control and will often rebel because they feel that people who are just going to give up on them are trying to control their every move, but only for the now. Show them that you want to develop a long-term relationship with them. You can do so by reminding them that you will always love them regardless of their behavior. Also, make sure to give them some freedom in their decision-making but not to the point where they are making risky choices.
If you need help creating a thriving environment after a recent adoption, contact Community Presbyterian Counseling Center in San Ramon, California.