Growing Up Adopted: Parenting Preteens


Practical advice for parenting adopted preteens, from ages 10 through 12.

three friends sitting on grass, talking about adoption

Parents Share: What My Child’s Friends Want to Know About Adoption

Parents Share: What My Child’s Friends Want to Know About Adoption

Parents share the questions their children have been asked by friends and classmates over the years, from being in an orphanage to whether they know their "real" parents.

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An adoptive mother hugs her preteen daughter after a good talk about adoption

What Do Preteens Think About Adoption?

Before the moody teen years, pre-adolescence can present its own challenges for parents. How should you respond to tweens’ questions about adoption or initiate conversation with a preteen who doesn’t seem eager to talk?

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A preteen looks in the mirror as she wrestles with identity struggles

Helping Preteens Build a Life Story

As preteens strive to define themselves, they must work adoption into the story.

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A girl answers intrusive questions about adoption at school

How Preteens Can Answer Prying Questions at School

How to help your middle schooler cope with curious peers.

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Teenagers developing empathy by volunteering together

Building Your Child’s Sense of Self-Worth

Families that expand their worlds to incorporate all kinds of cultures help their children develop strong racial identities.

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How over functioning parents can step back and let kids do homework themselves.

When It Comes to Homework—Are You Doing Too Much?

Battles over homework can disrupt family life any evening of the school week. To lessen the trauma, parents frequently step in to help and occasionally step over the line. We asked Anita Pollic, a fourth grade teacher at Lebanon Christian School in Lebanon, Ohio, about this important topic.

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A teddy bear our daughter no longer needs now that she's growing up.

“Our Daughter is Growing Up”

Our only child is away this week. It's a first for us, 11 busy years after we triumphantly carried our daughter home from the adoption agency.

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Bonding Over the Family Photo Album

Finding Belonging in Pictures

After adopting older children, these parents found that maintaining a family photo album was a useful tool to encourage bonding.

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Family Activities

Family Activities (That Don’t Involve Screens)

It can be a challenge to tear tweens away from their screens for some good old fashioned family bonding—until you try one of these activities!

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Feelings about adoption can leave kids lonely

Wanting to Be Like Everyone Else

Your preteen just wants to be cool. But how can he, when he's "different"?

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Preteens can have self-confidence issues around their adoption

When Kids Deny Their Adoption

It's not uncommon for preteens to pretend they weren't adopted, in an effort to not be different.

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An adoptee imagining life in a different family, watching another mother serve spaghetti

What If? Imagining Life in a Different Family

Sleepovers and play dates give our kids an intimate glimpse of life in a different family — and may prompt reflections and questions.

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father and daughter talking about adoption outside

Adoptees and the Seven Core Issues of Adoption

Adopted persons tend to experience seven core issues related to their adoption. Discussions of adoption over the years have often overlooked the pain and struggles of adoptees, but identifying these core issues and helping children integrate them as they grow validates their experiences, decreasing feelings of being different and isolated.

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