#4 – Holiday issues

March 29, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Posted in Differences -adopted child and biological child, Identity issues | Leave a comment
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Adoptive parents should be especially sensitive to their children around Christmas and other holiday times, particularly in the days surrounding their child’s birthday.

This is the time when many adopted children reflect back upon their biological family.  How are they celebrating the holiday, where are they, who are they, what are their traditions, what foods are traditional in their family, etc.?  Adopted children won’t bring up this subject for many reasons; one is they don’t want to hurt their adoptive parents, another is they don’t really want to discuss this issue with their parents, but it can be there just behind the scene.

Children can be touchy at this time and parents may wonder just what is going on.  A good plan of action is to reinforce your own family love and cohesiveness and the fact that you are a true, strong, loving family.  This won’t take away any wandering thoughts about the biological family, but it will reinforce for the child that he is part of a loving, accepting family.

Often parents know the cultural background and heritage of their child.  In these cases, incorporating some traditions from the child’s country or countries of origin can be very comforting.  The child knows he comes from a different background, but the fact that his adoptive parents respect his unique heritage enough to celebrate it sends a strong message of acceptance to the child.

Again, our continuing bottom line.  We are all different, but different should not be an issue.  Respect and acceptance for all family members should be at the forefront of each day’s agenda.  We all need to feel we belong, and we should help our children know this and feel this every day.  A little extra effort in this department can go a long way around special days for our kids.


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