Children are globally known as harbingers of happiness and light to any family, whether adopted or biological. The younger the child is when they are adopted, the easier it becomes for them to adjust. The key to sharing a healthy bond with an adopted child is constant communication, understanding, and respecting their needs. Cuddling with them and giving them proper attention helps build trust, making them feel more at ease. Building a bond is essential as it is hard for the child to understand and accept the transition.
Adoptive parents also undergo post-adoption anxieties. As an adoptive parent, one needs to understand, acknowledge, and appreciate their child’s experiences. This understanding helps in creating a meaningful and lasting bond along with an emotional attachment.
Bonding helps in child development in the following ways:
- It boosts their cognitive development
- Development of a healthy social lifestyle
- Development of their logical thinking
- It helps the child manage their emotions positively
- It makes the child more conscience
- Keeps the child aware and rooted in the realities of life
- Improves the child’s mental health
1. Set up a Routine
There are usually mixed feelings of happiness, anxiety, and concern when a parent introduces an adopted child to the family. Some useful tips can help the parents to develop a healthy bond with the adopted child.
If the adopted child has previously lived in a foster home, a parent must help them structure their life, as foster care can be chaotic. The best way to do that is to set a routine or timetable for them, which they need to follow every day.
2. Attachment Takes Time
Adopted children younger than six months may cry more than usual and display erratic behavior when eating or napping. These kinds of behaviors have nothing to do with one’s parenting skills, and they will most likely pass off in a few weeks. However, if a child persistently displays such behavior, it is wise to consult child care professionals. Meanwhile, showing affection and care with respect lets a child know that their parents are there to support them.
If a parent adopts a toddler, the child most likely remembers their previous caregivers and may even feel the loss of a loved one. This sense of loss can lead the child to act out and test a parent’s patience while gradually learning to trust them. There is no set timeline for bonding. Moreover, an adopted child may pull away or refuse to open up. This withdrawal is because they may not feel ready to accept your love or offer you theirs. Don’t worry! Time heals all wounds.
3. Respecting Their Personal Space
Giving a child their own space is very important, especially in an older child or teen. Privacy may be something the child lacked in foster care. Respecting that space makes a lot of difference. A parent can contribute by knocking on the door before entering their room and encouraging the child to decorate their space. This encouragement gives the child a sense of belonging and comfort.
4. Making them Feel Comfortable Enough to Open Up
A parent can ensure an open, non-judgemental, safe space for communication with their child by constant communication, actively listening, and being responsive. Moreover, the child’s head might be full of questions. These questions will provide a great way to connect with them and also satiate their curiosity.
5. Involving the Child in Family Decisions
The child needs to have a little bit of control in a life that may have been disordered previously. A parent can encourage a child to choose a family dinner, an activity each week, or a movie. Giving the child a decision-making role will make them feel included and equal.
6. No Judgement About their Past Life
If the child opens up about their past life, it is essential to ensure they feel comfortable enough to share it. A parent can show care and support by being non-judgemental of the child’s past life and show them that they are safe and healthy now. It is important to tell the child that their parents/guardians are there to take care of them and support them. A parent thus, helps their adopted child grow into their best version by providing acceptance, support, and unconditional love.
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