All parents struggle through liking their children at times, particularly when the child is acting out or not listening. However, with adoptive parents who are having a hard time bonding with their child as it is, these times can make them feel like they are incompatible with their child, and that this feeling of resentment will last forever. At A Is 4 Adoption, we do our best to be unlike any other adoption agency in California by providing resources and support for both birth and adoptive parents, even after the adoption is completed. If you are struggling with feeling insufficient for your child, or you are struggling with liking, bonding with, or even loving them, you are not alone. These are some practical ways for you to break out of the rut, and know you can always call our adoption center for more resources.
Validate Their Feelings. Redirect Their Behavior.
When you are having a difficult time with your child, chances are they are having a difficult time as well. Understand that they are going through changes and feeling emotions they are not quite sure how to process on their own. It is important for you as a parent to validate these feelings by acknowledging that your child is sad or angry or feeling left out. However, it is also important for you to help guide them toward positive outlets for these emotions. Don’t scold them for crying. Ask them why they are sad and work together to solve the problem. Just remember bad behavior is an outlet for real feelings that need to be addressed.
Honesty Is Always the Best Policy.
It may seem cliche, but it is essential for you to be honest and open with children, especially adopted children. Keep explanations at their age level, but never shy away from the truth. This applies not only to their origins, but any question they ask, as well as how their bad behavior could be hurting others.
Don’t Get Stuck with the Same Punishments.
Sending your child to his or her room over and over and over again is as tiring for them as it is for you. Because of this, it is important for you to gauge the punishment or the reward based on how your child is acting. If they are angry about not getting that one toy and seem like they just need some time to cool off, a quiet corner may be the way to go.
However, if it seems like their misbehavior is a result of a troubling issue or other emotions which they aren’t sure how to process, think about “punishing” them by telling them to help you with laundry or dishes. This gives your child time alone with you where they can voice their issues, and give you some perspective and a chance to bond.
Remember Time Is Your Best Ally.
Some ages are just hard, whether the child is adopted or not. If you are consistent, act lovingly, and always try to understand, you may see your child grow up in front of your eyes into a loving, understanding little human.
This applies to feeling like you don’t love your child as well. Don’t expect to bond right off the bat, but instead work to show the child love every chance you get. With this “fake it until you make it” attitude, you’ll learn patience and love right alongside your child, forming a bond you never expected to have.
Remember you are not alone, and love will come with time and diligence. Contact us today if you have any questions!