Adopting an older child differs greatly from adopting a newborn. The adjustment period can be challenging for both you and the child. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help make the transition go smoother.
Know the Child's History
Since you are adopting an older child, it is important to understand that he or she has a history that could potentially impact how well the transition to your home goes. By knowing the child's history, you can ensure that you are equipped to handle any issues that come up. For instance, if the child has abandonment fears due to his or her past, you can reassure him or her that you will be there.
Knowing your child's history also includes knowing his or her daily routine and habits. You want to understand what helps to calm your child, his or her favorite activities, and what he or she does during a normal day. You can incorporate some of those things into your child's new life to help make him or her feel more comfortable.
Avoid Overloading Your Child
Although your family and friends might be anxious to visit and you might want to plan a slew of activities for your child the first few weeks he or she is in the home, do not do it. Too many activities can be too stimulating for your child and lead to problems with adjusting.
The first few weeks at home, keep it simple. It is fine to invite grandparents and aunts and uncles to visit, but hold off on introducing the whole extended family at once. The first few weeks need to be focused on establishing a routine for your child. A routine can help your child to become more comfortable in the home.
Establish Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior
Although you might be inclined to give your child a pass on inappropriate behavior because he or she is new in your home, it is important that you establish a disciplinary plan of action. Since your child is older, he or she might try to test his or her boundaries in the home. Establish the plan and stick to it. By doing so, you are actually letting your child know that he or she is a part of the family and is expected to behave accordingly.
Welcoming an older child into your home can be challenging, but it is rewarding. Work with your social worker and adoption services, such as Global Adoption Services Incorporated, to help ensure your child is comfortable and adjusting once he or she arrives home.Share