How To Help For An Adopted Child Who Is Suddenly Acting Out
Adopted children often come from troubled homes where they may have experienced some form of trauma. Unfortunately, even a trauma that happens in utero or early childhood can have lasting effects. They might have problems trusting others and connecting with others. They might lash out in anger or engage in reckless activities. Ultimately, they are trying to find a way to feel safe in a world that hasn’t made sense to them.
If your adopted child is suddenly acting out, there are some strategies that you can use to help them learn to manage their behavior. If you find that their behavior is entirely out of control or they are a danger to themselves or others, you may need more serious interventions. Some teens benefit from attending a therapeutic boarding school where they can work with trained therapists every day.
How to help your adopted child manage their behavior
When disciplining an adopted child, it’s essential to learn what is helpful and what is harmful. Some traditional discipline methods that work well for biological children won’t have the same effect for adopted children. Remember, your adopted child has likely endured some form of trauma that distinctly affects their view of the world.
Have honest conversations
Some adopted teens act out because they are frustrated and don’t know how to express their feelings. Your adopted teen might have a lot of questions. They might want to know more about their birth parents or about how you came to be their new parents. If your child has lived with you since they were little kids, maybe you didn’t want to give them all of the details at first. Some of it may have been too much to explain to a small child.
As a teenager, though, your child needs to understand where they came from and who they are. Help them understand the overarching view of what led to them being adopted. Ensure that they know that being given up for adoption doesn’t mean that they weren’t worthy of love. It means that their birth parents weren’t equipped to be parents.
Let them know that they are loved
Children who feel abandoned when they are young can develop intimacy issues as they grow up. They might have trouble trusting that you won’t leave them if they mess up too much. They might also struggle to feel worthy of love and acceptance.