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When an adoption takes place there is always a story behind in which the child has been taken from his family or from a center and given to parents who have their own customs and ways of doing things. That means that, as a father or mother, you hope that your child adapts first to your way of proceeding, which is what is normal for you, but what does the child think?
We know that really, not much attention is paid to what the child may think and that causes conflicts to arise because in the face of a behavior in which the child leaves us in evidence, we limit ourselves to quarreling and trying to cut the situation but seldom we we stop to think about the origin or the meaning it has for it.
The problem is not how you can explain your way of doing things, if not that you know almost nothing about his previous history, and that will prevent you from predicting and understanding certain behaviors that can leave you speechless because or you do not expect them or They are out of your context (not theirs), and you don't know how to handle them: fights to get into a swimming pool, tantrums and crying before going to the doctor, theft of food from relatives' homes ... But why does he do that?
Do you know if there was running water in the boy's house? So how will you understand that the daily shower is essential for you? Do you know if your son has suffered abuse of any kind? Then how is he going to understand that the doctor, that unknown man in a white coat, is not going to hurt him when he sticks a stick in his mouth or touches his belly? Once we place ourselves in their world, it is much easier for us to understand the reason for some behaviors that are not wanted or understood in our society.
1. Protects: If you see that the child is behaving out of the 'usual', take your child and remove it as soon as possible from curious stares. With tranquility, and without getting nervous or nervous, always with affection and naturalness but firmly. You must prevent people from murmuring, pointing it out, ... Think that it is very likely that your child does not understand what he is doing wrong but we live in a society that is not prepared for certain things, intolerant, that enjoys criticizing others. And your child is adopted, that already makes him different and for many people it will be the perfect reason to focus their attention on him.
2. Don't judge: We start from the fact that the child does not know the behavioral and social norms of your environment and clings to what he knows how to do because, among other things, it gives him security in a space where everything is new for him.
3. Do not yell and do not scold him in front of others: Shift the focus of his attention and reassure him. Wait until you are in a place, alone and calm, to be able to talk about it.
4.Try to understand: Ask him why he did that, where he learned it, but don't force it.
5. Explain the social norms: Make him understand that certain behaviors are not well regarded, cannot be performed in certain places, and the importance of doing things right. You can establish with the child a place, a moment, where he is allowed to act in a certain way so that he does not feel censored.
6. Respect their privacy: Do not tell people what he has done or how he has behaved and less in front of him so as not to embarrass him. You have to be clear that you can be trusted.
Ana Maria Linares
Psychologist specialized in adoptions
Atama Integral Clinic
You can read more articles similar to The behavioral problems of adopted children, in the On-site Adoption category.