Adoptions sound great. But the whole process of nurturing a baby to a toddler, to a grown-up person is a complicated process. The developmental stages of an adopted child navigate through a number of phases. These although similar in the basic premise, can be subtly or majorly different in the case of adopted children.
Let’s talk about the five developmental stages of an adopted child that parents witness and get through.
- Less than 1 Year
In adopting an infant, the process of bonding with the child and the need to help it cope is minimum. But not negligible. Even though a baby might not feel more complicated things, but it does face change. It is most likely to reflect its mood and preliminary health initially. Although nothing to be concerned about, an adopted baby may have messed up sleep cycles. Bladder problems, persistent crying, or bowel disturbances can creep into the change in environment. They do understand smell, touch, or the primitive familiarity with his mother that made them grow safe and comfortable in the first place. A drastic change in this ambiance is bound to bother them for a while, but they soon recover.
- 1 – 2 Years
This is a phase where your young ones become excruciatingly inquisitive about every other thing. You end up using the word ‘No’ as a response to most of their actions. Under such circumstances, it can be annoying and frustrating for a child. This can lead them demonstrating a number of traits like crying, shouting, biting, or just throw random temper tantrums. While most adoptive people tend to overlook it thinking it is the adoption working up, it is most likely not. It is normal for your biological kids and the same goes for your adopted kids too. All you need to remember as a parent is that children are different. They will take their own time in developing and mastering certain behavioral skills.
- 2 – 6 Years
Once they have learnt the language and know how to talk, this phase is going to be really tough for you with them having unending curiosity and questions. During this age, kids tend to drift away to a magical world of their fantasy. They try to understand the functioning of the world around them. Always encourage questions and always answer them – this is very important. Parents should remember adopted kids tend to cope time and again with their identity and the possible reason for having to be adopted thus eventually, unconsciously deeming themselves as unworthy. Never let that happen! It is normal for them to ask and ensure that you patiently address all their queries. If you keep the discussions open and transparent, the kid will learn to communicate properly irrespective of how grave a problem he is in.
- 6 – 11 Years
This is the time when the kids might face pangs of separation anxiety and grow a feeling of abandonment. As a parent, be loving, caring and giving.
Adolescent children tend to contemplate more about their life and question their existence. Parents have to be patient and enduring during this phase as along with physical and hormonal changes, the child goes through emotional turbulence. A step by step information and knowledge surrounding his adoption and satisfactory answers to the child’s questions can help you navigate through easily.
Attachment problems and health issues can crop up in any stage. Keeping in mind, the very definition of adoption, you can ease out developmental stages of adopted children.