How To Get Past Kid Defenses When “Talking Adoption”
Sometimes your best-laid plans for talking adoption with your kids get sabotaged! Right? You’ve thought deeply about what to share/ask, determined the best time, and perhaps even rehearsed possible scenarios and outcomes.
The pre-planned time arrives and you ask, “How about talking about adoption for a few minutes?”
Many parents hear responses like these:
• “Nope.” Child then walks away or stares into space.
• “WHY do you keep asking me about adoption?” Adoptee exits room in a huff.
• “Adoption is NO BIG DEAL, mom!” Teen adoptee throws up hands.
• “I am happy that I was adopted. That’s all I need to know.” Adult or teen adoptee looks puzzled at your desire to talk more, like you’re a bit crazy?
Later, you may have a car full of kids and you’re making a left turn into the busiest intersection in the city. Above the chattering, you hear, “Why did my birth mother give me up for adoption?”
You take a deep breath as your heart races. If I could read your mind, you might be asking, “WHAT can I do?”
Allow me to give you some of the inside scoop about we adoptees. Many of us, myself included, can be downright tricky at times. We find it difficult to trust you or anybody, except ourselves. Basically, we are control freaks and just as traditional talk therapy with a clinician doesn’t reach us, neither do pre-planned adoption talks with parents.
So, what’s the answer for reaching defensive adoptees?
• Throw out pre-planned agendas for talking adoption.
• Learn to “think outside the box” about the timing. Be flexible!
• Identify real-life situations that can become springboards into deeper conversations with your child.
• Be patient with yourself. Developing this new set of skills takes time.
• Remember that your adopted child does want and need to talk but is scared.
Lucie, the main character of this book, along with her adoption -savvy parents, will show you how to talk adoption in a winsome way that will be welcomed by your child.
All best to you!