Adopting a child is a selfless act in that you are essentially inviting a stranger to live with you. This is quite a bit different than picking someone up off of the street, however. You’re making a commitment to care and nurture a child while being the most positive role model you can be. Unfortunately, there may be times when turmoil erupts and the child says things to you that affect you deeply. Statements such as, “You’re not my mommy” can leave scars on your heart – if you let them. How do you deal with statements such as those when you care so much but it seems like the child cares so little?
Coping With Hurtful Statements from Your Adopted Child
Understanding – The first thing you need to realize is that when a child lashes out in such a manner, he or she is only doing it in order to make you feel bad. Most of the time, they don’t mean the hurtful things they say, but they say them because it is a defense mechanism in order to distance themselves. Try not to take what they say too seriously when they are blatantly trying to hurt you.
Take a Time Out – When arguments get heated, anger and frustration can make you say and do things you wouldn’t normally say or mean. As mentioned above, it’s merely a method to hurt the person with whom you are arguing. Almost everyone can get to this point. When you and the child are obviously frustrated to those degrees, separate yourselves and take a time out in order to relax. More can be accomplished with a clear mind instead of one that is irrational.
Persistence – Successful parents never surrender or give up on their children. They will do anything in order to provide the best they can regardless of circumstances. Depending on the age of your adopted child, this may be quite a task to undertake. He or she could already have negative reservations about adults depending on the child’s circumstances. By being persistent, you are demonstrating that you are indeed there to stay and they can rely on that as an absolute certainty. Even if they attest to hating you, don’t give in for the child needs you more than he or she will ever realize.
Continue Bonding Practices – Keep trying to bond with your adopted child. Even something as small as inviting them to play a board game can have an impact on his or her outlook of you. Invest yourself into their hobbies to try and build a bridge across that gap. There is always a common ground for two people to see eye to eye – you just need to find that place. Don’t force yourself onto the child, but be persistent in trying to spend quality time with him or her.
Journaling – If your experiences are rocky, start a journaling time at night. Whether you do this yourself or as a family, it can be something that is shared while providing a method to vent frustrations in a constructive manner. It can be extremely therapeutic for yourself and the child – even if it’s just pictures made from crayons.
Negative statements can be difficult to shrug off at times. Nothing can be fixed overnight, but you may see the impact you have on the child’s mannerisms over time. Don’t succumb to frustration and regret, and be the parent that he or she needs you to be.
About Our Guest Blogger
Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.
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