7 Ways To Form A Healthy Attachment With Your Adopted Child

Parenthood is no easy task, whether your baby is biologically yours or if you’ve adopted them. But if you’re an adoptive parent, there are several more challenges you will need to face. Especially for parents who have adopted slightly older children, developing a bond with them can take a little more time. Your children will grow to love you no matter what, but there are a few things you can do to make their transition easier. If you’ve done the wonderful act of adopting a child, here are a few ways you can develop a connection with them.

1. Stick To A Routine

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If you’ve adopted an older kid, chances are they’ve been shuffled between foster homes, never allowed to feel a sense of stability. To help them feel secure, it’s imperative that you establish a fixed routine. Don’t be tempted to spoil them and let them do whatever they want because they’ve had a tough life thus far. Creating a routine and

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sticking to it will help them feel a lot safer than anything else you can do. Set a fixed time to go to bed, to eat meals and to play. When your child settles into this routine, it will give them the predictability that they crave.

2. Always Be Available

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Your child needs to know you’re different from his previous foster parents. He needs to believe that this is his forever home and you’re always going to be there for him. If he cries, you need to go to him immediately. Responding to adopted children as soon as they call for you, helps them understand that they can always count on you. Unlike children born into a stable family who grow up taking for granted that the world revolves around them, your adopted child needs to develop this feeling from scratch.

3. Discipline Them The Right Way

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It’s absolutely important that you don’t let yourself spoil your adopted child. Giving in to their every whim and brushing off bad behavior will do no good to them at all. But while it’s important to punish them when they do something wrong, it’s also important to know how to do this. Adopted children initially have an unshakable fear of being sent away again. When you scold them, you need to make it clear that you love them and it’s their behavior at that point of time that you don’t like. They need to feel your unconditional positive regard for them and believe that you will never abandon them. Saying things like “I’ll always love you, but I don’t like it when you do this”, can help them understand that it’s only their behavior you’re scolding them for.

4. Click A Family Picture

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It sounds trivial, but it can have a huge impact in the way your child perceives

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his place in the family. Take a family picture with your child and keep it on their night stand or on a wall in their room, somewhere they can see it all the time. A picture will help your child understand that he is part of the family and will aid their visualization of this. A large part of the struggle in earning the trust of your adopted child is that for a long time, they won’t think of themselves as a permanent part of your family. You’ll be surprised by how much a simple picture of all of you together can help them.

5. Find New Things To Do Together

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Doing activities together is a great way to bond with your adopted child. Whether it’s gardening, taking care of a new pet fish or baking, doing things with them will help them connect with you. Adopted children can often start out intimidated or resentful of their new parents. Doing something fun

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together makes you more approachable to them and will help them lower their guard.

6.Don’t Take It Personally

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All children at some point will lash out at you and say things like they hate you and that they wish you weren’t their parents. When it’s your biological child saying it, it’s easy to brush it off. But when your adopted child says it, it can be very hurtful. Because you yourself are nervous about how he will take to you, it can seem like an outright rejection if he says things like this. When this happens (and it almost inevitably will), learn to not take it so seriously. This isn’t your child telling you they wish you’d never adopted them, this is them being a regular kid. Have patience with them and scold them gently for being rude, don’t let it get to you.

7. Have Patience

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If you imagined your new family as being loving and peaceful, then you’re in for a shock. The initial transition period for adopted children can be quite difficult, so it’s completely normal for them to lash out. Be prepared for them to throw tantrums, yell or become aloof. While this happens, remember to steadfastly stick to the set routine and never give in to them. Your child is often testing how far he can go with you, so remain firm. Adopted children also believe you will tire of them and give them away, so by acting out, they’re judging for themselves how permanent you are. Have patience with them and try your best to remain calm. Once your child is fully adjusted, the bad behavior will die out and you will get that peaceful family life of your dreams.