There are many ways that children can enter into our lives. Children can be an endless source of joy. They have endless amounts of energy, an amazing capacity for unconditional love and creativity. Children are truly miraculous.
Along with happiness, children also come with challenges. Adopting a child can present unique challenges when acclimatizing them to their new family. There are some things that new parents can do when helping their adopted child adjust.
Ways to help adopted children adjust
Every child and parent is different, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to overcoming challenges to adjusting. However, the transition phase can be made much smoother with love, patience, and a few practical strategies.
- Age-appropriate: Adopted children can range from newborns to teenagers. Depending on the age of your adopted child, the approach should be age-appropriate. This is especially apparent when it comes to facetime. Older children and teenagers may feel smothered by too much attention, and conversely, younger children may require more time and attention to help them feel secure.
- Decorating: Getting the child involved in decorating their new living space can help them to take ownership. Reinforcing their idea and tastes can also help reassure them that they are truly welcomed.
- Cooking together: Food is such a unique bonding experience and can be used to build your new family unit. Encourage adopted children to be involved in shopping, cooking and cleaning up after meals. Food is an ancient form of showing that you care. Incorporate their tastes and ideas into meals that all can enjoy. Freedom of expression can come through food.
- Vacation: Traveling together can be a bonding experience in and of itself. Not only does vacationing give way to opportunities to make new memories together, but it also involves an element of planning and problem-solving. This is where adopted children can contribute to the overall experience and feel incorporated into their new family.
There are numerous ways to help adopted children adjust in an age-appropriate way. No matter the age, the key element is patience. It is usually not advisable to force the child. It can be tempting to enforce rules, but having patience during the adjustment period can help facilitate the process.
If you are considering adoption, it can be helpful to have professionals by your side who are experienced in California’s adoption process.