Adopting a child is a huge step and one filled with many questions. The good news is all parents have these concerns. It’s also important to note that adoptive parents bond with their children just as successfully as biological parents – sometimes, it just takes a bit more time and effort.
At Adoption & Beyond we work with families at every stage of their adoption journey. We strive to support you every step of the way, and one of the ways we do this is by giving you the information you need to be successful with your new family. So, how can you bond with your new child? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Communicate as Much as Possible
This is important at every age. Whether your child comes to you as a tiny baby or a toddler, communication is crucial to developing that familial bond. Even if your child is too little to reciprocate, speaking to him or her will help them know your voice, and associate it with comfort and safety. For older children, opening the gates to communication allows them to express how they feel, and provides an opportunity for you to empathize and offer support.
Use “We” Language
Beginning your adoptive family is a transition for everybody, especially if adopting an older child. Using “we” language, helps your newest member feel like they are right where they belong. “We” language is any language that refers to your adoptive child as part of the family. Here are some examples:
- We are going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house today.
- Let’s look at our family photo album.
- It’s a great weekend for us all to head out to our family cabin.
You’ll notice the bolded words emphasize your new child’s relationship to the activity. By using inclusive language, you develop a place for your child to feel like they belong.
Don’t Take Rejection to Heart
No matter the age of your child, there may be a period where they have a tough time acclimatizing, and you feel like they want nothing to do with you. Building those familial bonds takes time and patience. Some children have pasts that have taught them not to easily trust, while others are reacting to the ebb and flow of deep emotions.
New surroundings, new people, and a new life is a lot to take in even for a newborn. Be there in every way you can for your child. Slowly, new habits form and the sense of security a family brings takes hold.
Begin New Traditions for Your Children
Traditions are something that sets each family apart from the next. Many traditions revolve around holidays, but your tradition could be completely unique to you. Perhaps every Tuesday night is board game night, or Fridays is movie and pizza night. However you develop your traditions, it’s the sense of closeness, inclusion, and routine that makes children feel like they belong.
Contact Adoption & Beyond
If you live in Kansas or Missouri and are considering adoption, or you’ve just adopted and are looking for advice, Adoption & Beyond can help. Call us at 913-381-6919 to learn more.
Interested in learning more about The Ultimate Guide to Family Life After Adoption? Check out our entire guide here.