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Children bring joy to any household, whether they are biological or adopted. The younger the child is when you adopt him, the easier it becomes for him to adjust. The key to sharing an unparalleled bond with your adopted child is by talking to him and assuring that he is always loved. Cuddling and giving him constant attention helps him trust you more and makes him feel more at ease.
Why is Attachment or Bonding with An Adopted Child So Important?
Just like any other parent who has had a baby and undergoes anxiety, adoptive parents also undergo post-adoption anxieties. It’s important for the parents and the child that a strong bond is created, as emotional attachment is a treasure that adopted children nurture throughout their journey in life, and forms the base of how they shape up as adults.
- Bonding ensures that the child develops a healthy social lifestyle.
- It boosts his cognitive development.
- Helps in the development of logical thinking.
- Helps him manage his emotions positively.
- Sows the seeds of conscience in him.
- Keeps him deep-rooted to the realities of life.
- Improves the child’s mental health.
Attachment Responses in an Adopted Child
The age of the child at the time of adoption is a key factor for the responses he would develop towards the attachment with his adoptive parents.
1. In Infancy
A child adopted during his infancy is likely to be more attached to his adoptive parents. It gives the parents a lot more time to help the child adjust in his new home, and the process of bonding begins at a very nascent stage.
2. As the Child Grows
The child’s needs differ with his age. He may be psychologically or emotionally impoverished owing to his foster homes or his surroundings. It is crucial that the parents demonstrate their feelings towards the new member with great affection and love. In case any distress is observed in the child, it’s best to reach out for professional advice.
Techniques to Bond with an Adopted Child
It can be a mixed feeling of happiness, anxiety and concern when your adopted child finally comes home. Don’t be hard on yourself as it is very common to experience bonding issues. Instead, practise being patient and calm. Try some of these strategies to help your new member settle down in your home:
1. Set a Routine
If your adopted child is an older child or toddler who has been in a foster home, it is essential that you help him structure his life. The best way to do that is to set a routine for him to follow every day.
2. Personal Space
Everyone loves a little privacy in their lives, as does the new member of your family. Giving him his own space in the house helps him overcome his anxiety, all the while building trust in you.
3. Playing with Him
Toddlers and older children love attention. The best way to get your child to interact with you and your family is to play with him. This helps him to connect and establish a bond with you.
4. Surprise Him
Buy him small presents. Leave little messages in places he is most likely to find them, like tiffin boxes or the study table. This will reaffirm the fact that he is in your thoughts even if you are not near him.
5. Teach Him to Ask for Help
Make your adopted child feel at home and let him know that you are there with him all the time. It is ok for him to reach out to you whenever he wants, but he should be aware of that fact too!
6. Build His Confidence
Adopted children may have a fear of upsetting their new family. Always make your child feel loved and reiterate that it’s only his misbehaviour (if any) that upsets you. It is important that you pick the appropriate words to express your feelings and prevent any negativity from arising in his mind.
What to Do If Your Child Seems to be Developing Later Than Others?
There can be a lot of factors influencing the developmental factors in a child. The care that your adopted baby had received before adoption will have a significant effect on your bonding with him. He might experience developmental delays as his interaction with adults was probably very minimal. Most of the time, with proper therapy and timely intervention, these small developmental delays can be overcome.
It is a unique experience to parent a child. It comes with its own set of stressful moments but with time, everything settles down, and you get to enjoy the most beautiful relationship with your child.
Also Read: Attachment Parenting & Their Benefits