In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all running in a field of flowers or dancing in the sun together, hands clasped, laughing joyously, the reality can be a lot different.
Flying Legos, pushes off swings and sabotaged homework can be the harsh truth of adopting siblings, because along with the sweet faces, you adopt the issues and histories of kids in the system. With a little know-how, you can get through it all.
The Care taking Sibling Issue
A common problem when adopting siblings from foster care is that the older sibling has played the role of caregiver to younger siblings. Especially the case in homes in which the biological parents were neglectful or abusive, senior siblings will struggle to give up control to the new parent.
Often seen as “bossy” behavior from the oldest child, fighting for control of the younger ones and rescuing the younger kids when they are being disciplined will be issues new adoptive parents will have to work through with adoptive siblings.
Although this could work in your favor if you could get the oldest child to organize a work crew for you, get everyone to mow the lawn or develop a “Jackson Five”-like singing act, usually it just doesn’t work out this way. Best to just work with the eldest and get him or her to relinquish control.
Usually seen when there are just two siblings, adopted siblings will vie for attention from new adoptive parents. Siblings will show rivalry with excessive tattling on the other child, extreme competition and sabotaging of the other sibling’s success by hiding schoolwork, lying about the other’s behavior or stealing items and “planting” evidence on the other child.
Again, turning this behavior into something that could help you get the windows washed or the dogs walked would be great — you know, “I bet Suzy could walk Fluffy better than you . . . ” but, well, that just isn’t right. Nip it in the bud by spending quality time with each child separately and building each child’s self-esteem. If you don’t have time for that, sign them up for Girl or Boy Scouts and let them do it for you.
Keeping the Past Alive
When siblings come from an abusive past and come together to a new home, they sometimes bring up painful memories from the past to hurt each other. All kids say hurtful things to each other in an argument, but the things adopted siblings can bring up go beyond the usual “you have a pizza face” or “your feet stink” that normal siblings will bring up.
This alone is not a reason enough to separate siblings, but intervention is definitely required. Promote healing of the past for siblings and if needed, arm them with normal ammunition, such as “you eat snails for breakfast” or “you have lint in your bellybutton!”
You as the Outsider
Older adopted siblings can come into your home with an “us against you” attitude. More amplified than normal teen obnoxiousness, you may find them ganging up against you when you try to discipline one of them or try to enforce a house rule.
They may join forces to get their way and, at the very least, try to control their bedtime and the television remote. Once you gain their trust and they understand that you are enforcing rules for their benefit (yah, like that will ever happen), you will have an easier time of it.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More