While adoption is a wonderful choice, transitioning the newly adopted child into your home can be a less than seamless process. Your child is a unique individual with a past you may be unable to relate to, but what you have in common is a future together. By taking a few steps, you can help ease the stress and pressure of this transition.
Get To Know Them
During your pre-adoption visits with the child, try to get to know them better. Ask them questions about their favorite color, food, animal, and game. Find out what they like to do with their time, and who is their favorite celebrity or cartoon character. Ask them about their friends and family members who are active in their lives. The more you know your child before bringing him home, the better you will be able to acclimate him to the new environment.
Tell Them About Yourself
When children are in uncomfortable situations, they may put up a facade of being cool or detached, when they are actually genuinely curious about you. What child wouldn’t want to know more about their future home and family? Tell your new child about your home, what it looks like, where it is located and how it feels. Do you have music playing often? Is it warm or cool?
Your child may be just as curious about what you do with your time and how your attention will be split up. You can share with the child about your work habits, what you do, and how you like to spend your time at home. Making it obvious that there is enough time in your life to share with the child can be important for her confidence.
Give Them Routine
Whether they want to admit it or not, children crave discipline and routine. This is not to say you can’t go outside the box, but a daily schedule that sets expectations and limits can give them self-worth and value. Add your newly adopted child to the chore list and make it clear that they are to be involved with family dinners and recreational activities. This will make them feel like an immediate part of the household and that they are an inclusive part of the family.
The best way to bond with a new friend is by going out and doing something fun. While in adulthood this can mean a coffee break or evening at the movies, children often want to do more active things. Having fun with your kids does not have to be an expensive endeavor. Take time to visit your local parks, libraries and ice cream shops. As you get to know your child, you can take cues from how they react in different situations to find out what they prefer.