How to Help Your Adopted Child Adjust
In New Jersey, the average stay in foster care is 2.9 years. A long-term stay in foster care makes it more difficult for a child to adjust when they’ve been adopted. A child may have fears of being sent back, so it’s important you know how to help your adopted child adjust to their new environment when you bring them home.
Make Sure Your Home Is Prepared for the Big Day
You’ll want to fully stock the refrigerator and prepare your child’s room for them before the big day. This will help them feel safe and reduce their stress in the transition when everything is already prepared for them. Also, buy all of the necessities your new child will need, such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, and other personal items.
If you’re still going through the adoption process, consult with our NJ adoption lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. Some adoptive parents have experienced trouble with the birth parents. You want to make sure you’re legally secure to keep a calm, safe environment for the child. Even after the adoption, you can consult with an adoption lawyer to ensure legal issues go as smoothly as possible.
Big Celebrations Aren’t Recommended
It can be overwhelming for your child’s first day in his or her new home to include all of your relatives and friends. Adoption professionals recommend keeping this initial celebration between just you and any of the family members who live in the house. Once your adopted child is adjusted, you can allow others to participate in the celebration if you choose to celebrate their adoption day.
Focus on Your New Child the First Few Months
As some experts have explained, it’s important to treat adopting a child the same as bringing home a newborn for the first time. You must limit socialization with others during the initial transition period to focus on bonding with your new son or daughter. This helps the transition to go more smoothly.
Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment
Around two weeks after your child has had time to settle in, schedule a doctor’s appointment for them. This allows them to get to know the doctor and shows them that you’ll be a good parent who cares about their health.
Avoid Going Out When Possible
Young children will feel overwhelmed if they’re taken out in public often during transitioning into a new home. This is especially true if others touch them or interact with them. Stay at home with your new child as much as possible the first one to two months.
Stick to Routines
Routines are essential for raising children who feel safe and secure. Children need reassurance that their needs will be met in order to develop trust in their parents. By feeding them at the same time every day and giving them a bedtime, they have reassurance that you’re meeting their needs consistently. A bedtime is also important in helping them fall asleep easier. Establishing a time for bathing for young children should be another part of your routine.
Save Breaking Bad Habits for After the Transition Period
Don’t worry about addressing bad habits your child may have, such as thumb sucking, during the transition period. Wait until your child has adjusted to your home to avoid overwhelming them. You want to make sure your son or daughter knows they’re loved and safe with you. If your child is older and you feel concerned about them, you can ask them how they’re feeling and let them know you’re there if they need to talk. You can also ask your son or daughter if there’s anything that would help them feel safe.
Forgive Yourself When You Make Mistakes
Parents want to do everything right for their children, and there’s nothing wrong with that desire. However, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Acknowledge the mistake and ask yourself how you can avoid repeating it and how you can do better next time a similar situation arises. This is a productive way of responding to your missteps. It’s also OK to apologize to your child if you’ve made a mistake. They’ll respect you and learn that people apologize when they’ve made a mistake.
Helping your adopted child adjust is about showing them that they trust you to take care of them. It’s a private time between you and your child, so limit outside interactions for a month or two. Once your son or daughter has adjusted to their new environment, you can introduce them to other family members and take them out for fun activities.
Contact our NJ adoption lawyer at Cofsky & Zeidman today. You can reach us in Haddonfield at (856) 429-5005 or in Woodbury at (856) 845-2555 to go over the legal aspects of your adoption.