The dialogue between parents and children must be appropriate to the development, character, temperament and comprehension capacities of the child, whether adopted or not. With regard to adoption, it is necessary to consider that adopted children experience the pain of separation of their biological parents when they are born. All adopted children must adjust to the new reality, to new sights, sounds, smells and new experiences.
From 3 years of age, when the child already has a certain power of understanding, parents have a perfect opportunity to begin to share with the child the issue of adoption in a calm and comfortable way, to build the foundations of future dialogues, of trust and truth. Follow some tips on how to discuss adoption with children, starting at 3 years of age.
Of 3 to 5 years, the child is preparing to face the world. Begins to develop ability to explore, to start projects and question everything you see; These skills will help you start a slight independence and separation from their parents, and prepare to leave the safe world of the home. The moment you peek into the outside world, you will begin to confront the fact of your own adoption. Because young children have so rudimentary thinking skills, they generally have trouble understanding the implications of being adopted. Hence talk about adopting children this age is important.
Between 6 or 7 years, the child can differentiate between adoption and birth as alternative ways of forming a family. In other words, it recognizes that although everyone enters the world in the same way, by birth, the majority of family members do so by being born into it. It also recognizes that being adopted means having two types of parents: those who conceived me and those who welcomed and educated me.
Children begin to wonder about his biological mother; questions about her biological parents often come a little later. If we don't have the answers to your questions, or if the story involves a complex or painful past, it is better to answer with a "maybe" or with evasions, while reaffirming the value of the people involved and the difficulty of their situation before your child is fully located in the family.
Allow the child think about the topic, and even fantasize about his biological parents, invite your child to accept his role in the family and to develop a positive degree of self-esteem. Their curiosities can lead to fears about issues like his biological parents showing up to claim him; That is why it is so important that you check that he understands well the process and the reason for his adoption. Silence and avoidance will possibly make the child think that there is something wrong with his origins and consequently that there is something wrong with him.
The alternative is to tell the son the truth of what happened; This can be very hard for both parents and children, since deep down there is a difficult truth to accept. But it is more harmful not to tell them, since the child perceives mystery, restlessness and silence about the subject of their biological parents and their origin. This distinction between birth and adoption is very important, is the basis for a deeper meaning and understanding that will emerge later. School-age children will increase their ability to solve problems. Increased logical thinking, increased sensitivity to the point of view of others, and experience in the classroom contribute to this process.
The foster child of school age for the first time makes a spontaneous effort to seriously consider the circumstances surrounding his birth. As much as adoptive parents try, it will be difficult to prevent your children from having feelings of loss and affliction for those who inevitably pass. However, you can help them get through these difficult situations by validating your feelings.
In those cases where your child requires some information that is not in your possession, offer to help him find it. A young understanding that emerges from the family also complicates his feelings about being adopted. Young children, usually under the age of 7, define family primarily in geographic terms: your family is made up of the people who live at home. The biological connection is not seen as necessary to be a family member. This means that young children readily accept the affirmation of their adoptive parents that they are part of the same family and that it will be forever.
You can read more articles similar to Talk about adoption to 3- to 7-year-olds, in the On-site Adoption category.