Happy New Year! The start of 2017 will bring about many changes and may even include your family’s decision to grow through adoption or fostering. Change in the new year can be both beautiful and overwhelming, so many of us make the pledge of a few resolutions to help ourselves grow and learn in the coming year. If you have the desire to make a few resolutions, but don’t know where to put your focus, consider some of the suggestions below.
Tailored to adoptive parents, these are meant purely as suggestions and to get conversations going between you and your spouse or family. You will always know what is best for you and your family, so trust your instinct as you consider what you would like to change in 2017.
Listen More to Your Child – Communication is key for all families, but is especially so if you have an adoptive child who joined your family at a somewhat older age. Think about if you are really listening when arguments or tantrums happen. Truly listening and processing what your child is saying is the fastest way to growing communication and understanding. When children feel they have a voice in the family, they are more likely to open up and talk more. Having clear talks can help get to underlying issues that may be causing behavior problems.
Take Interest in School Activities – Because our children spend such a large part of their time in school, it’s important to know what is happening in the classroom and on the playground. You can check in with the teacher and your child to find out about lesson plans and upcoming projects. And don’t be afraid to ask about playtime to make sure there aren’t any instances of bullying happening on the playground. Showing that you care about their school day will only become more important as your children grow up.
Support Adoption in your Community – You may be surprised to find other adoptive parents in your local town or city who need friends and time with other expanded families. So reach out to support groups and parent groups and start attending those potlucks. Building community is a great way to grow your own family’s support network and it is fun, too. You can also donate books on adoption to your local libraries for other children to read.