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Parenting the Adoptive or Foster Child


Going through the adoption of foster-parent process can be a long and trying ordeal even under the best circumstances. Sometimes adoptive parents get so caught up in the adoption process that they do not spend an adequate amount of time preparing for when the process is finalized and they have to take over parenting the adoptive or foster child. While most of the time there is not a large distinction between raising a biological child and a child that is adopted or fostered, there are some differences that should be noted when it comes making decisions on how to parent the child.

Explaining the Adoption or Fostering Process

During the time a parent spends raising an adopted or fostered child the topic of their situation is inevitably going to arise. Families who are raising older children are in a different position from those dealing with younger children because the kids are able to understand what kind of situation they are in. Parents can sit down and honestly explain to the older children about what is going on, how things are going to change, and what it means for the child. It is also helpful for the parents since the children can communicate with the adults to let them know what they think about the situation; engaging your adopted or fostered child in a conversation to make sure they are comfortable with what is going on is a great parenting technique.

Familiarizing the Adopted Child

Parents who are becoming guardians of younger children are going to need to handle the situation differently since the children are obviously too young to understand what is going on. Experts in child psychology suggest that you start familiarizing the children with what it means to be adopted or fostered as young as possible, even if the children do not understand what it means. In this way, both the parents and the children can be comfortable talking about the topic in an open way without having any stigmas or negative emotional feelings attached to it.

Integrating the Child into your Family and Other Social Environments

A serious and understandable concern for families of adoptive and fostered children is how they are going to become integrated and involved in your family and other social situations. If the family already has children then it is up to the parents to make sure that there is no separate treatment among the kids. Any kind of preferential treatment shown to one child over another can lead to serious issues that are hard to remedy. Adopted and foster kids should be given the same treatment, both in regards to reward and punishment, as if they were the biological children of the parents.

When it comes to introducing your child into social situations such as school, the parents need to make considerations for any special circumstances that the child might have. There are a lot of professional services that can help make it easier for parents to find great ways of helping these kids adjust into their new social situations.