Making An Adopted Child Feel Welcome

The day that an adoptive parent takes custody of their new child is a highly anticipated event, fraught with emotion and more than a little anxiety on the part of all concerned.  Making an adoptive child feel welcome is a task that is best approached by the entire family, including extended relatives, friends and acquaintances to enable a smooth transition for the adoptive child. It is imperative that an adoptive family recognize that the child may have issues related to past negative experiences associated with foster homes and orphanages, and to obtain the child's trust and affection will be a process of considerable length in duration.

An adoptive child will begin to feel welcome upon the realization that they are wanted and respected within their newly acquired family unit.  This can be simply accomplished by listening attentively to the child's wishes and desires, and communicating to them that their opinions and feelings matter and hold equal value to those of others within the household. This most basic of concepts can be put into action by allowing an adoptive child to make a choice of their own accord whenever possible, within the limitations of administering good parental judgment. In this sense an adoptive child will immediately begin to comprehend that they are part of a much larger entity, and their input is of significance in the scope of family values and daily practices of living.

An adoptive parent can enhance the comfort of a child by maintaining an even hand in applying parenting skills, including rewards and discipline, in an equitable manner to all children present in the home. An adoptive parent that is too lenient with a new child becomes a "patsy", and  excessive discipline will only serve to distance the adoptive child at a time when bonding is necessary for a future directed at peaceful coexistence.The major components of making an adopted child feel welcome are all best applied through demonstration - unconditional love, guidance, concern, and the redirection of unsuitable behaviors in the best interest of the adopted child.

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