#64 – The unknown

April 27, 2014 at 11:09 am | Posted in Adoption differences, adoption issues, Adoptive parenting do's, Raising the adopted child | Leave a comment
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Recently I heard another lecture by Heather T. Forbes, and again, I heartily recommend anyone struggling with their child’s behavior to a) purchase her book(s) and/or b) definitely hear her lecture if she is in your area.  There is no charge for her all day seminar if you own one of her books.


She is a no-nonsense person and gets directly to the point.  Even we, as adoptive parents, sometimes water down our parenting problems thinking in our own bw familyminds that maybe they are more normal than we think.  Heather started out her seminar with the statement that many adoptive parents are angry because we were not told what we were getting into.  It isn’t the fact that there are problems, it’s the fact that we were not prepared for them.  Most of us were blindsided and because of this weren’t prepared to deal with what smacked us in the face.  Many of the standard parenting methods are useless, sometimes even destructive, when used with adopted children.  We should have been prepared for this, but most of us were not informed.


Those outside of the adoption world don’t believe adoptive parents when they say they are having a difficult time parenting.  Often, we stop talking about our issues except with other adoptive parents, because we’ve learned that outsiders don’t understand us.  Heather analyzed this situation very well when she said, “The frequency, intensity, and duration of bad behavior is what sets adoptive families apart from biological families.”


When there are problems and they are being resolved, biological children realize that even if there are problems, they belong by birth to a family, and no one can take that security away.  It’s a law of nature.  When there are problems being resolved in an adoptive family, the adopted child can feel insecure and fearful of being rejected due to the problem.  The tie to his biological family was broken.  Is the one to his adoptive family going to be broken as well?  What will happen to him then?  Where will he go?


As adoptive parents we must keep the connection to our children strong.  They must know that through any problem, they will always be an integral part of a strongly loyal and connected family.  We as parents want this and know this, but we have to verbalize this with our children.  They don’t always know this.  They don’t assume this.


When our children are testing us, acting out, challenging us, we must stay engaged with them.  Heather Forbes suggests you ask yourself at the moment of conflict, “What can I do at this very moment to improve the relationship between myself and my child?”  Actually, when you are angry and frustrated, at the bottom of your soul you may not feel at that very moment that you even want a relationship with your child.  That aside, you are the parent, and whether you feel it or not, you are in charge and you set the pace.


The next few entries in this blog will cover more of the points discussed in the seminar.  She had some wonderful ideas and some good pointers on how to handle bad behavior.





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