Is the behavior the same as other children her age in
duration , frequency and/or intensity ?
Most children have occasional temper tantrums when they don’t get their way or exhibit other challenging behaviors like lying, arguing, or fighting with siblings. It becomes a concern when these behaviors are occurring on a frequent basis, last for more than a few minutes, are out of proportion for the situation, and/or involve harming themselves or others.
Is the behavior appropriate for my child’s age or
characteristic of a much younger child?
Adopted children who have suffered abuse, neglect or have had multiple caregivers are often delayed emotionally and/or socially. They have missed earlier stages of development and tend to be drawn to play with much younger children or engage in activities that are below their chronological age. We can expect two year olds to act out their frustrations with temper tantrums, exhibit oppositional behavior, and try our patience. When we see this behavior in much older children, it is often a sign that they have not resolved some of those earlier issues.
Is this an issue that has been causing problems for 6 months or longer?
Most typical childhood challenges change every six to twelve months. If this has been an on-going problem for more than six months, it may be time to call for a consultation.
- Should I adopt a child?
- How will adoption affect my family?
- Is it better to adopt a younger child or an older child who needs a home?
- What can I do to help my child feel comfortable in our home and build an attachment?
- How do I help my biological children to adjust to having a new sibling?
- How and when do I talk to my child about being adopted?
- What information should I give about her birth family and why she came to be adopted?
- Do I allow my child to have continued contact with biological family members?
- What should I do when my child tells me he hates me and wishes he could live with his birth family?
- My child has melt downs over nothing – what do I do?
- She lies about everything – even when it makes more sense to tell the truth.
- I found things in my son’s pocket and I know he stole it from school. This is not the first time that he has taken something that wasn’t his.
- I find candy wrappers and other food hidden in her room. I know she gets enough to eat. Why is this happening?
- My daughter tells me she doesn’t have any homework but her grades are terrible. We have constant battles over this and nothing is helping. What do I do?
- The sweet little boy we brought into our home has turned into a monster. He won’t do anything we ask him to and he curses and screams at us. He is an “angel” at school and when other people are around, so they think I am too tough on him. I am afraid to go to sleep at night because he might carry out some of his threats to hurt us.
A child’s understanding of adoption changes as they grow. Developmental milestones can trigger new questions and fears about things they took for granted at a younger age. Entering school requires a child to answer questions from classmates and teachers which can trigger emotions. He may begin to compare his family to others. Traditional school assignments like family trees and sharing details about early childhood cause children to feel singled out or excluded.