Are you considering adopting an older child? If so, be prepared for a lot of hard work, but also for the possibility of one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. You’ll need a lot of patience, but you’ll also have the benefit of almost immediate engagement and feedback from your child. Here are some tips to help maximize the chances of a healthy relationship with your child.
Engage a Therapist
As a general rule, therapy can only help. Don’t assume, either, that it’s just your child who needs counseling. You may want to give your adopted child the opportunity to have private time with a therapist, but you’ll need it, too. Furthermore, there can be real benefit to spending some time together with a therapist.
Punishing negative behaviors is rarely effective with older children. Instead, find ways to reward your adopted child when he or she exercises good judgment or behaves in an appropriate manner.
Be Patient and Flexible
Everybody parents differently. If your child has been in foster care, he or she will have to adjust to a new system coming into your home. Don’t expect full compliance any time soon (or ever, perhaps). Give your child time to adapt to new boundaries and guidelines. In addition, if your child is not responsive to a specific approach, have the flexibility to try something different.
A Support Group Can Help
Often, you can learn best from others in similar circumstances. There are plenty of support groups for parents of older adoptees. Don’t wait until the child is in your home, though. Spend time with the support group before the adoption takes place, so that you can be proactive.
Contact Our Office
To set up an appointment, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail. For clients with personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, we offer a free initial consultation, and will represent you on a contingency basis, only charging attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.
Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request. We will also come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.