Many adoptees seek newborn children as they feel it provides an opportunity for a fresh start. However, many people prefer to seek out an older child.
Adopting a child over the age of four comes with the possibility of various difficulties. The child may remember their biological parents; thus prompting them to display some behavioral problems. In addition, children know what’s going on as they get older. They may understand the concept of adoption and attach a certain stigma surrounding it, thus making them view it in a negative light.
In order to survive your first few years of adopting a child over the age of four, consider these parenting tips that can also apply to transracial and LGBT adoption.
Seek to Understand Your Child
Your child may not be able to effectively communicate their needs or emotions, especially if they’ve come from a background of trauma. With that in mind, try to understand exactly how your child expresses herself so as to gain better insight into how they’re feeling.
Exercising patience is key to rearing a child who is coming of age. They may have a quick temper, smart attitude, or other tendencies that make them hard to love. However, try your best to be patient with them. This will help you understand how to solve their problems effectively.
Introduce them to Children Their Age
One of the first things you should do when adopting a child over four is to introduce them to children who are in the same age bracket and who share similar values. This is especially important for transracial and LGBT adoption. Children want to be around like-minded peers. Therefore, introducing them to those who possess a similar background may help them feel more comfortable in their new environment.
Don’t Be Afraid to Parent
Often times, parents of adopted children feel like they shouldn’t say anything wrong or punish their children. They may feel like they’ll sever the relationship in some way. However, this only makes for a spoiled child who will walk all over you.
Don’t be afraid to discipline your child. After all, they are your child! Find a harmonious balance between leveling with them and providing them guidance. By doing so, you’ll give them the support they need to make wise decisions while navigating the world.
There are dozens of parents who are in the same boat. They may experience issues similar to yours. Therefore, surround yourself with like-minded people who can support you when times get hard. They may be able to provide advice, a listening ear, resources and more.
Adopting a child at any age is full of ups, downs, victories, and failures. However, the challenges are well worth the payoff. If you’re considering adoption, take into account the wonderful things that come along with being a parent. Focusing on these will help you to keep pushing and creating a healthy household for your family.