I know that I said I was going to finish up with my “Passed On Adoption Child Care Advice” and then I didn’t. So here is all the rest that I have. I have separated them into sections. I know some of you are saying to yourself: “Please don’t give me advice. I will figure out intuitively what to do to care for my child because I will know my child and we will figure it out together. Every child is different.” This is absolutely true. However, sometimes people are frustrated because they tried to go with their gut and it didn’t work. Two examples are
1- A friend of mine who adopted a boy and a girl from Russia said to me that she had not read any adoption books or gone to any seminars or talked to anyone about adoption before she adopted. When she got her kids home she didn’t have any trouble with her son, but her daughter had attachment issues. Although she didn’t know they were attachment issues, she thought they were behavior issues. So, who did she go to for help? Her mother of course. Her mother told her all of the things you should do for a biological child, which in many instances (in regards to attachment) is exactly the opposite of what you should do for an adopted child, but neither of them knew this. So for at least two years she struggled with this child, doing all of the stuff that “mom” said to do. It was only until she finally decided to read about adopted kids that she discovered that she had been doing everything wrong (ex. letting her cry it out alone, constant time outs alone, no attachment activities, etc.)
2- Someone recently wrote in to one of the adoption threads talking about the frustrations of keeping her adopted toddler potty trained. She was told that her 2 year old was totally dry at the orphanage and so expected her child to be totally potty trained at home. Her daughter didn’t act potty trained at home at all. This caused a huge amount of stress and unnecessary parent- child struggles. (Please see untoilet training 101) The responses to this post were so excellent. The threads are really a great resource.
When I hear about these types of situations I always wonder why they didn’t read up on this stuff before the problems. I am glad that both of these moms found help eventually, but why wait? If you learn the possible needs of an adopted child before going into it you will be so much better off. I think that could save a lot of headaches. I am not saying that one size fits all, or that this is the answer necessarily, but this “advice” is something to consider. Certainly this “advice” is not comprehensive, so please read books, talk to experienced parents and ask questions. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but my thought is that if any of this helps even one person than it is worth posting.
Labels: after adoption: difficult child behaviors, after adoption: transitioning successfully