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Communication between parents and children must be appropriate to the development, character and temperament, and the capacity of understanding of the child, whether adopted or not. When it comes to adoption, it is necessary to consider that adopted children experience the pain of separation from their biological parents when they are born. All adopted children must adjust to the new reality, to new sights, sounds, smells, and new experiences.
Starting at 8 years of age, when the child already has a great power of understanding, parents have a perfect opportunity to begin to share with the child the issue of adoption in a calm and comfortable way, thus building the foundation of future dialogues, of trust and truth. Follow some tips on how talk about adoption with children, from 7 or 8 years of age.
But around the age of 7 or 8, the child begins to recognize that family is normally defined in terms of blood relationships. Looking at it like this, they have no biological ties to their parents, but they do have biological parents (and possibly biological siblings) somewhere, and here some children may begin to express confusion about their place as a member of the family ... Also, this period is characterized by the development of reciprocal logic.
With regard to adoption, the development of reciprocal logic helps to sensitize the child to the issue of abandonment. For young children, adoptive parents talk about adoption emphasizing their desire to have a child and build a family. The boy, as the story progresses, needed a home, and the adoptive parents chose him to be part of the new family. What is not usually discussed is why the child needed a home. Once the child enters a period of logical thinking, he realizes that to have been chosen, he first had to have come from somewhere, which means that he was abandoned. During this time, the child begins to understand adoption not only in terms of family construction, but also in terms of family loss.
Between the ages of 9 and 12, boys gain a deeper understanding of what the adoption process means. The first early signs of sadness or grief may surface around this time, as children begin to solve problems, set priorities, and seek relationships. It is also in these moments that they begin to see the public side of adoption and to understand that, socially, they are different from their friends, although they may not yet fully understand why this difference should matter.
Children are better able to process embarrassing information about their adoption than when they reach their teens. If your child's story includes unpleasant situations, however, be sure to discuss and share the facts with him without making judgments about them.
Between the ages of 13 and 15, it is quite common that your young adolescent does not want to visit his biological parents or adoptive parents. This is a particularly difficult time for most young people, in which they want to assimilate into their environment and not be differentiated by any characteristic, whatever it may be. From the age of 16 onwards, as with most young people, adopted teens are constantly trying to figure out how they fit in with the world around them, as well as trying to establish their own independence.
This is often a time when they show unusual interest in adoption issues and in obtaining information about their biological family. As teens develop sexually, they begin to weigh the different options their parents had, and they often judge their actions and decisions. They are also constantly striving to achieve their own balance between genetic and environmental influences.
You can read more articles similar to Talk about adoption to children ages 8-15, in the On-site Adoption category.