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Is it adoption or just growing up?

This isn't related to any specific experience, but something made me think of this. How can you tell if your (adopted/foster) child is acting up relating to being adopted/a foster child or just the normal trials and tribulations of growing up? Not that it matters, it still deserves being dealt with, but you might handle something differently if it is relating to loss/adoption/fostering than if not.

Curious about your experiences.

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Asked by TwoBrownDogs at 7:04 PM on Nov. 25, 2010 in Adoption

Level 15 (2,099 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Both of my children are adopted, both came from a situation of severe abuse and neglect. Both had many behaviors and issues related to their past experiences.
    But when you get right down to it, while it's very important to understand what is driving the behavior, unacceptable is unacceptable. Undesirable behaviors are undesirable. Bad behavior is bad behavior.
    Consistent rules, consistent and high expectations, strong standards - all so very important in establishing a healthy and safe environment for these kids. When one allows or excuses a behavior because, after all, "the child has been through so much" they are not doing that child a favor, they are doing that child a terrible disservice.

    Answer by justnancyb at 7:17 PM on Nov. 25, 2010

  • ask them, the person who knows what is going on in that situation more than anyone is the person going through it

    Answer by Amelora at 7:22 PM on Nov. 25, 2010

  • Misbehaving children, especially those who have been traumatized in any way, rarely know why they are doing what they are doing.
    justnancyb's response is correct, while the childs experience may allow you to have greater insight into the behaviors, the behavior must still be treated accordingly,

    Answer by lovesergei at 7:26 PM on Nov. 25, 2010

  • I think one factor is when the child was adopted.
    But you can pretty much attribute things to "just being a kid" and then handle it from there. Cus they're kids first then adopted, right??

    Answer by mom2priceboys at 7:30 PM on Nov. 25, 2010

  • Adoption may be the reason for the behavior, but it doesn't excuse it. It still needs to be dealt with. You are not doing any favors if you excuse the behavior.

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:57 PM on Nov. 25, 2010

  • Knowing your child is key.  My own son has some things that come up that are not problems but are related to adoption. He has questions related to why he looks a certain way and we don't, play themes that he loves playing that are related to his adoption and personal story, and of course there are the indirect issues. Such as medical issues related either to family history or prenatal care. Of course my child is a kid, a human being, above all other things. But he is also a sum of all his experiences. Part of his experience is being an adoptee - but that is not all of who he is. I remain open to the possibility situations may be related either directly or indirectly to his adoption.  Because of being open I am able, IMO, be more connected and aware of his needs.


    Answer by frogdawg at 10:14 PM on Nov. 25, 2010

  • All 3 of my children were adopted. Luckily we have nieces about the same ages so I would call my SIL and ask if something that was going on sounded to her like it was just "growing up"? Then I compared her kids' experiences to what mine were doing and I could decide if it was relating to the adoption. You're right, in the end it doesn't really matter, it still needs to be dealt with but sometimes it's good to know.

    Answer by ceallaigh at 10:54 PM on Nov. 25, 2010

  • I was adopted and had some issues growing up and always thought it was normal stuff. Now that I am in reunion with my son who I placed for adoption, I can see and have learned that a lot of the issues kids face are normal but because of the adoption it makes the "normal" all that much worse. So, it is good to try to understand what makes an adoptee tick, and deal with the issues accordingly.

    Answer by ChrissyH at 8:43 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • I think that sometimes us adoptive parents may think that a behavior is adoption related when it may not be. We just had a visit with my DD's birth family, the first one to include her birth mom since an incident last spring. DD looked very thoughtful and quiet afterward, so I thought that maybe she was trying to process everything. I asked her if anything was bothering her, and she said that she is nervous about performing in front of everyone at the Kindergarten Christmas program.

    Sorry, I know that wasn't so helpful. I'll be watching the other responses.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:34 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • My child's theapist said it great harm in covering all the bases. Meaning if it is an adoption issue, address it and if you are not sure...still address it. My son is wondering about who took care of all the babies when there were no adults. Quite frankly I have no idea what he means by this. But he has a sobbing fit and his question just can't br answered. So she said it most likely is adoption related but even if it isn't he has new knowledge that he was always taken care of by adults. She is suspecting abandoment issues. Which sounds crazy to some who know we had him hours after birth. But no harm in tackling it from the adoption angle. So the question becomes why not go ahead and assume both? That it is age/development and adoptionrelated? Younsolve both the same way.

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:47 AM on Nov. 29, 2010

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