Making an adopted child a part of your family especially for a first time parent is not easy. There are a lot of uncertainties and fears associated with the process of adoption.
Will the child become fully integrated into our family? Is there a time when he will accept me as though I was his biological parent?
Will I be able to impart great values that will mold him into a responsible adult? Though these are genuine concerns, do not let them stop you from giving your best to your child.
Both the adopted child and a biological child are the same. The only difference is in the way you react to situations. You are afraid of making a mistake that will ruin the relationship with your child forever.
To help you become a better parent, here a 10 great tips:
1. Respect Baby’s Roots:
Your adopted baby had a life before he became a part of you. This matters more if you are adopting an older child.
Whether he was living in an orphanage or was living with his birth parents, he had a name. to maintain his identity, you can choose to maintain that name as it matters to them a lot.
If the baby was from a different cultural background, try to adapt some of the cultures to help the baby fit in.
2. Create a routine:
A routine will help your baby to know what to expect at any time of the day or night. For instance, let him know the right time for bed, when to take his meals, and his play time.
This routine will help him to transition from one activity to the other which will raise his self-confidence.
3. Remain predictable:
Let your baby know you are there for him. When he cries or call, be there for him as this will prove that he can count on you.
If you cannot respond physically at any time, give a verbal response to assure the baby that he can depend on you.
4. Create an emotional connection:
Allow your child to experience varying emotions in various circumstances. When you see him, smile at him and engage him in a conversation.
When you are sad, allow him to feel it even as you talk. This will help your baby to understand that he can express what he feels without reservations.
5. Never take your baby’s behavior personally:
It will take some time before your baby recognizes that he is an important part of your family. At times, he will be very cold and speak hurtful words like, ‘I hate you! Or ‘You are not my real mother!!’
The hurtful words do not mean that your child has rejected you. He is only expressing his fears, anger, and frustrations.
With time, he will get used to his new environment and understand that you mean well for his. This will make him warm up to you and accept you as a part of her life.
6. Align your words with your actions:
When your child comes from school, talk to him, ‘Hi son! How was your day? I will help you freshen up, and then, we can have a snack together. Is this okay with your son? I love you and wouldn’t give you up for anything!’
Let your child know that you mean what you say and that your actions are out of love.
7. Focus on your child and follow his lead:
With time, your adopted child will realize that your life revolves around them and that they are an important part of you. This will build his inner strength and prove to him that he matters.
At times, you can allow your child to take a lead role in the running of the house affairs. Following his lead will instill great values in him and make him realize that what he says matters to you.
8. Maintain eye contact:
In the beginning, your child may refuse to have any eye contact with you. You can playfully work on this by letting him know you are playfully peeping at him.
With time, he will be confident enough to look directly into your eyes. He will understand that you are a part of him and he should not feel threatened by your presence.
9. Anticipate whining, tantrums, and clinging:
When your child throws a tantrum, it is to get your attention and the best decision is sticking around until it’s over. Saying things like, ‘I know you need some time with me, right?’ or ‘it seems you want to tell me something son?’
With time, he will be able to express himself without throwing tantrums.
10. Protect him!
Keep your baby close to your heart and protect him with your life. When your child gets to know that he is secure with you, it will make him more confident in the future.
When you get actively involved in the life of your adopted baby, you will get more attached. It will be impossible for anyone to know if you adopted your child as your bond will be real.