Parenting is rarely easy. It can be especially challenging when the child is adopted and comes from a different bloodline, and perhaps a different culture altogether. If the child is older than an infant when placed, and thus has a memory of their past life, these challenges are compounded. Adoptive parents need to know how to approach their role with the grace and maturity it takes to overcome the inevitable obstacles. Unique issues will arise in the relationship between adoptive children and their parents that biological parents do not have to address.
Children have all different types of dispositions and tendencies in their behavior. Their curiosity levels rise and fall during their development. It is the goal of most parents to foster positive-growth and stability in their children. How can adoptive parents accomplish this?
Here are some of the characteristics of a high-quality adoptive parent:
Patient and non-reactive to negative attitudes – The blame, angry words or frustration doesn’t get under the skin of these adoptive parents. Their love and compassion for their long-term role as a parent overrides any of the negativity the adopted child might display because of their past experiences and identity crisis. They can take the heat and take it in stride, always looking for the good in every situation.
Display a grateful attitude in small things – Adoptive parents approach small success with gratitude, and therefore teach their children to have the same perspective for their own journey. Expectations are released and so are the stress and pressure that typically accompany it. Children are better able to adapt to an environment rich in gratitude and praise, rather than criticism and pressure-filled expectations.
Rejection is not taken personally – Rejection by adopted children is often a projection of how they feel as being adopted themselves. However, successful adoptive parents do not take the rejection personally. It is important to emphasize the love and support for the child when rejection is obvious and targeted. Adoptive parents are undertaking a huge role as a source of security that was not given to the child biologically. Remain strong and steadfast for the sake of the child.
Adopting a child is a noble endeavor. Parents who do so are among the bravest and most compassionate to the needs of a child. The stages of development offer new obstacles for adoptive parents to face. However, it is possible to successfully raise a child grounded and rooted in the security of a parent’s love and support. Don’t give up!