“Our 17-year-old is experiencing depression and has been smoking pot. She told us she sees her depression as connected to adoption, which surprised us, because we’ve always talked openly about adoption. How can we help her?”
“We have always tried to make sure our internationally adopted son feels proud of his heritage. This year, when the class was writing about Thanksgiving, he asked if he could skip the assignment because people from his birth country do not celebrate Thanksgiving. I know I need to talk to him, but I’m not sure where to start.”
“I recently found out that my teen is friends with his birth mother on Facebook. I feel badly that I found this out by ‘snooping,’ but I am also shocked and upset that she didn’t try to contact us or the adoption agency first. What should we do?”
Teens don't tend to talk with their friends about their feelings about being adopted, being teased, or other tough topics. But if you have a healthy, trusting relationship, they'll open up to you. An adoption therapist advises on maintaining an empathic connection with your teen.
As a teen, your child still needs and wants you to be a strong parent—not in a controlling fashion, but as a reliable authority in his or her life. Read on for 10 ways to establish yourself in this role.