Growing Up Adopted: Parenting School-Aged Children


Practical advice for parenting adopted school-aged children, from ages 6 through 9.

Preteens can have self-confidence issues around their adoption

When Kids Deny 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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adoption workshops

Connecting with Other Adoptees

As they progress through grade school, most children want to "blend in" and be part of the crowd. But what if a child feels that the way she joined her family–through adoption–sets her apart?

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Talking About Feelings

Helping Your Child Who’s In a Funk

When Janice and Paul's daughter turned 7, they breathed a sigh of relief. Last year Emily's favorite word was "no," and she talked back constantly. Alas, now she seemed worried and sad. She felt that no one liked her at school, that the other kids thought she was weird.

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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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Peer exclusion

Helping Your Child with Peer Exclusion

Parents cannot prevent their child from experiencing exclusion or feeling "different" from time to time. You can, however, lessen the negative effects of this common occurrence during the preteen years.

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adoption conversation

The Continuing Adoption Conversation

Around age six or seven, children start to wonder, "Who am I?" This is when our children can truly understand that joining your family through adoption means they left another.

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A girl navigating difficult peer relationships and getting rejected

What Will Their Friends Think?

As kids grow up, they look to their friends for acceptance — and desperately want to fit in.

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Divorce after adoption

A New ‘Forever’

Adoptive children can feel familial changes, like divorce after adoption, particularly keenly. Use these tips to help kids adapt to new stepparents.

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Culture camp

Is Culture Camp for Us?

What will my child learn and talk about at camp? What would our family take away from a week attending together?

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Tween adoptees can undergo identity struggles

“I Just Don’t Fit In”

Tween adoptees may walk away from their cultural heritage, family outings, and even their family as they try to fit in with peers.

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How to deal with adoption embarrassment

“Don’t Tell Anyone I Was Adopted”

The school year brings the realization that not every child has two sets of parents. Here's how to help your child cope.

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Alleviating children's financial worries

Alleviating Children’s Money Worries

The recession is a grown-up problem, but kids may be having money-related concerns of their own. Here's how to calm their fears.

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Is your adopted child ready for sleep away camp?

Can My Child Handle Sleep Away Camp?

Parents wonder if preteens will experience separation anxiety at sleep away camp. Learn how to tell if yours is ready, and then ease the transition.

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