The other day I wrote a post about single parenthood, a fact of life for many adoptive families. A lot of people (mostly women, but not all) choose to parent on their own, while others, like mine, become single parent homes after the children arrive. The other day I mentioned a recent study by the Pew Research Center which indicates that there is a bias when it comes to single parents and that about 2/3 of Americans believe that families headed by single mothers are actually bad for society. An attitude that definitely hurts my feelings! I come to this issue from two perspectives: First, I grew up in a single parent household, and now I am experiencing it firsthand as a single… [more]
I’ll admit it: my daughter, Beauty, has a Case of the Terrible Two’s. I say it with both relief and regret—relief that’s she’s developed into a two year old whose lust for independence has led her to push her limits, and regret because, well, a day without tantrums in this house has been a rarity as of late. And let’s face it, a house loaded with tantrums is not a pleasant place to be, even if it is a part of growing up and learning to stretch her wings of independence. Let me stop to clarify for a minute: tantrums, in certain forms, are completely acceptable in our home. It’s all a part of a child’s process of growing up… [more]
Our son Z is nine years old but really, emotionally, he is four. Confusing I know, but it is reality of raising a child who has been emotionally stunted by his past. Z can throw a tantrum unlike any child I have ever seen. In fact, I hope I never see another child throw a "Z Tantrum". Nothing about his behavior would indicate that he has graced the earth with his presence for a solid nine years. Z has thrown these fits since the beginning. Unlike T, Z never had a honeymoon period. His behaviors cropped up on his very first overnight visit. I have seen him throw tantrum after tantrum but nothing quite like his fit last weekend. Our family decided we would head… [more]
I wrote in a recent post about how I’d been looking over old e-mails to our children’s social worker, just as we were beginning to explore adoption. One of those early e-mails warned that the kids were sometimes too cute for their own good, in that people were tempted to overlook a great deal that they ought not to, in light of the severe behavioral issues they had at the time. It’s still been a struggle to figure out exactly what methods work best with each little personality. My daughter tends to cycle: she’ll be fine for a couple of months, then she’s back to lying…or stealing…or wetting/soiling herself. She will resist every bit of schooling for home school. And will look at you the most… [more]
There has been discussion over on the Christian Adoption Blog about how much involvement a child should have in making restitution. The debate, I think, stems from whether or not you feel the child has control over the issue or not. If a child vomits, as was the scenario one reader chose, generally speaking one would assume that is involuntary and thus a parent would operate under their usual modis operandus. If it is deliberate, to my way of thinking, the child must be involved in making restitution since others were inconvenienced to each the child consideration for others. Yes, I am the mom, and yes, I have many jobs that I do automatically, however, in my own opinion, I think distancing a child from feeling… [more]
For some time now, I’ve observed that right around the time my oldest goes through a growth spurt, we start to see really wonky behavior: crankiness, sleeping more, eating like there’s no tomorrow, and the like. Though I saw, and still see, this with him, being that he was our only child, it didn’t occur to me to look for this same tie-in with our newest arrivals. But, boy, something is definitely in the air! My youngest has shown signs of regressing to certain behaviors we’ve not seen since shortly after his arrival here. He’s throwing mild tantrums, and being whiny, clingy and verbally very cranky. My daughter, who lost another tooth today, has also displayed some undesirable traits that appear to be growth-related. She, too, has been rude… [more]
Many adopted children have some form of special need. Whether that special need arose from life before entering an adoptive home, from prenatal care, or just the way that life turned out, some adopted children are resistant to the forms of discipline that work well for other children. For those children, we adoptive parents need to get creative!
I have tried just about every type of discipline, both positive and negative, with my son that was not abusive. Because of his Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), his impulses can make it challenging to get him to stop negative behaviors. I have had to experiment with many types of creative disciplines to alter his behavior.
The key to a creative discipline is tailoring it to your child. So, you… [more]
Spanking is one of the most controversial areas of discipline, and the controversy only heightens when you throw adoption into the mix. I know a man who adopted an older child whose birth parents had routinely beaten the child and his siblings. This adoptive father had to find alternative ways to curb the child's behavior. He pointed out that when a child has endured numerous beatings, a swat on the behind is not going to make a difference in his behavior.
While what this adoptive father said is true, I see the real damage coming from the flashbacks that a spanking could trigger. The child's history has already connected love and pain, so spanking a child who has suffered physical abuse is a very bad idea. A… [more]
Time outs are the big fad of this generation. I have used them myself with varying levels of success. I found that time outs worked better when my son was younger. As he has moved on to his school-age years, I find that putting objects into time out works much more effectively to curb his behavior than putting him into time out.
People do time outs in different ways, but most agree on the formula of one minute of time out per year of life. For example, you would put a two-year-old child into time out for two minutes. When my son was a toddler, I gave him a time out to his crib, and this was very effective. For preschoolers and up, you can give… [more]
I am big fan of the book Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. The focus of the book is on teaching children responsibility, and the authors point out that human beings learn best through making mistakes. When we have the freedom to make the wrong choice, we learn from the logical consequences of our actions and then make a better choice the next time.
One example they provide is when your child does not want to wear a jacket in cold weather. They suggest that you allow your child to make this choice for himself and say nothing. The child will learn on his own that it is a good idea to wear a jacket the next time it is cold… [more]