How to Be a Good Adoptive Parent

toddler hugging mom, smiling with joy

(Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is courtesy of Tim Dalton with some solid advice for adoptive parents. Thanks Tim!)

Parenting is not the easiest of jobs in the world – the title of parent may come very easily, but doing the job is a lifelong struggle, one that is fraught with uphill climbs that never seem to end and which takes twists and turns that confound and confuse at various points in their life. Being an adoptive parent is a tougher proposition – you have many more issues to address besides the regular problems and troubles that natural parents face. If you’ve just adopted a child or are preparing to do so, here’s how you can be a good adoptive parent.

  • Some parents prefer to tell the child at the right time that he or she is adopted while others don’t want them to know. However, there’s always the risk that your child could hear the news from another source and may not react well. So it’s best to tell them that they’re adopted when you think they’re old enough to understand. Tell and show your child that you love him, and that’s why you brought him home.
  • You must be willing to accept your child as he is – remember that he does not have any control over his past and that any events that took place before the adoption have no place once your child is in your home. Don’t be judgmental or remember things and use it against your child, consciously or subconsciously.
  • Many adoptive parents find it difficult to enforce discipline and rebuke their child when they’ve done something wrong or when they get up to mischief – they err on the side of caution because they don’t want to be perceived as parents who don’t love their adopted child. However, this could turn out badly if your child grows up without any kind of discipline, so bring him up with a firm hand gloved in love as you would your biological child.
  • Never ever tell your adopted child that he should be grateful to you for taking him in – this negates the very purpose of adoption and makes it impossible to win his love and affection.
  • Don’t enforce your opinions on your child, especially if they tend to exhibit a mind of their own when it comes to choosing their path in life as they grow older. They will do what you want in order to please you, but their internal angst will end up making them sad and stressed out.
  • Don’t avoid the questions about adoption from well-wishers and nosy-parkers alike when they come, but don’t go around broadcasting the fact that your child is adopted. When you keep repeating it, your child becomes insecure and could become withdrawn and reticent.

Adoption must always be about the child – and if you remember this at all times, parenting adopted children gets easier as the days go by. Before you adopt, ensure that you’re doing it for the right reasons, make sure you have enough time and patience to bring up a child (it is a lifelong job), and ask yourself if you will be able to do what’s best for the child in any situation. It’s ok to make mistakes, but experience being a good teacher, should make you wiser over the course of time.

This guest post is contributed by Tim Dalton, who writes on the topic of theology degrees online. Tim can be reached at his email id: tim.dalton143@gmail.com.

Photo provided courtesy of bionicteaching via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

Earnest Parenting: tips for parents who want to adopt.

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