Choosing to adopt a child if you already have biological children is a big decision.
It not only affects you – it affects the child or children that you already have as well, and for some, it can be difficult to cope with an adopted sibling.
However, there some ways that you can help your child understand their new family life while helping to sooth and assuage common fears of children who will be getting a new sibling.
Whenever a child finds out that they are going to get a new sibling its likely going to have some impact on them.
Some children feel excited about having a playmate – others feel jealous that they might have to share their parent’s attention.
Some children even resent their parents for having another child at all.
Most children actually go through a range of emotions when a sibling is on the way, whether they’re adopted or not.
Talking with your children and explaining the situation to them will do a lot to calm their fears and help them focus on how much fun having a sibling can be.
Make sure you keep an open dialogue with your child so that they can ask questions whenever they come up.
Jealousy and fear of losing attention are common among children whenever a new sibling is going to be brought into the house.
However, there are some issues related specifically to adding an adopted child to your home that your child may have as well.
When you first get an adopted child, it may take some time for your biological child to warm up to them.
This really isn’t any different than having a second child of your own – children don’t always identify with a new member of the family right away.
While a child not identifying with a new sibling, especially in the case of adoption is normal, there are some things that you can do to help your child feel better about the situation.
Take time to point out similarities from when your child was younger to your adopted child.
Talk to your biological child about how they were at that age.
The simple act of having that conversation can help a child identify with a new sibling and make them feel more cared about at the same time.
You should also give your child some simple tasks in caring for a new sibling.
They shouldn’t be long and complicated, but getting your child involved will help them relate to their new sibling.
Jealousy is a relatively normal part of any child’s life when a new sibling is introduced to the family but, this normal jealousy can be compounded when a child is adopted.
Some children feel that if you went out of your way to get another child, you must like them more.
Of course you know that isn’t true, but it is normal thinking on a child’s part.
Some children even feel inadequate, especially if you adopt a child of a different race or simply that looks different than them, which is often the case for adopted parents.
For the most part, this jealousy will subside over time when your child sees that you do still love them and spend a great deal of your time with them, as well as their new sibling.
Remember though, you do need to tell your child that they have no reason to be jealous of a new child and that you love them just as much as their new sibling.
Make sure your child is able to talk to you about their jealousy.
If you’re adopting a child and you already have a biological child, chances are that you’re adopted child will be younger than your biological child.
If that’s the case, try to get your biological child to take the older sibling role as soon as possible.
That means helping out and doing little things for the child.
Ask your biological child to watch your adopted child – even if you’re just a few feet away.
This added responsibility can help form a bond between a biological child and their new sibling.
Despite whatever your child’s initial reaction to their new adopted sibling is, don’t worry.
They will grow to love their new brother or sister. It will just take some time for everyone to adjust.
Make your best effort not to pay more attention to anyone.
Most parents become enamored with new babies, and with all the attention they require it’s easy for the older ones to be somewhat cast aside.
Just carve out the time for you and your child to spend together.
This new transition will work out fine.
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