#10 – Tentative parenting

March 30, 2011 at 12:07 am | Posted in Raising the adopted child | Leave a comment
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Some adoptive parents enter the parenting arena tentatively.  Some feel they have to prove, or even ‘over-prove’ that they are good parents.

Because a child has been placed within their family in other than the natural order (pregnancy and birth), some parents don’t feel completely comfortable with the rights, and indeed the responsibilities, of making tough parental decisions.  Do I have the right to impart my religious beliefs onto this child who in another family could be indoctrinated into another religion?  How about my personal morals and values?  Just because I believe strongly in something, do I have the right to insist my child believe likewise?  After all, in another family their morals, standards and politics may be quite different.

Just how much authority over our adopted child’s life do we actually have?  We all know the answer  –  just as much as any biological parent.  Anything less would be doing a disservice to our child.  All children need strong boundaries for behavior in order to feel safe and secure.

Still, some adoptive parents do waver.  We want our child to be happy that he was placed with us and no one else.  Because of our trying to be nice at times, we might appear to be indecisive and weak.  A child needs strong guidelines in order to grow into a happy, healthy person.  When he grows up and leaves the nest he’ll have the rest of his life to determine what his own values and lifestyle will encompass, but while he is with us we need to set a good blueprint for his life.

When our child doesn’t get the answer he wants to the question, “Can I stay out later, can I have a car, etc.” he may or may not think that in another family the answer might be different and more to his liking.  But, life is what it is, and our job as adoptive parents is to make sure we raise a healthy child, and this involves strong, secure boundaries and guidelines.  We are the parents.  We’re not always going to be right, but no one is.  We just need to be good role models and let our children know our decisions come from love.


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