It is normal for your adopted child to feel reserved when they come to an entirely different culture and environment. The food, language, clothes, discipline, toys, communications may be completely different. They need special guidance at their younger age.
While it’s important to keep a note of what they want to say it’s also important that you understand what they do not say. Be honest, clear, calm when communicating with them, and listen carefully to what they say. Below given are some ways that will help you to communicate with your adopted child in a better manner.
- In case your adopted child had experienced an abusive family situation before, she may be completely new to a number of activities, like communicating with others or expressing feelings properly. Mingling with other children, enjoying together, playing and having fun might be new experiences. If such is the case, you should be patient as these children require some time to adjust to new situations and be like other children of the same age group and there might be delays in adopting manners and lifestyle. There might be a further delay if your language of conversation is not your adopted child’s first language.
- It is important to build communication with your adopted older child. Building communication with your adopted older child will be a reassurance to her, helping her to come closer to you. A very helpful tip is to listen. Give a patient ear to what she says. Make her feel that what she says is of utmost importance to you. Using phrases like “Wow! Tell me more,” “Go ahead,” “It is surprising!”.
- To make your new adopted older child involved you can talk about almost everything – about yourself, your home, your relatives, about the neighbourhood, about the upcoming holidays, festivals, etc. At the same, give her the time to speak or express what she feels.
- Make them feel important. Ask about their likes and preferences. There might be occasions when you don’t understand what the child is saying. Be patient. Employ the best guess about what they mean to say and communicate wih them and ask them if you are correct.
- A very healthy habit is to make your child read – sign on the streets, on people’s Tees, etc. Get her some board books and storybooks. Read out stories to them and wait for their reactions. Involve them by asking questions like “what do you think will happen next?” “Will she get her lost toy?” etc.
- Love them and let them know it. Of course you love your adopted child and that is why you brought him/her into your life. But that’s not enough. You’ve got to communicate to them that you love them. Showering them with affection, treating them to things they love, like cake, cookies, etc. will only help them open up quickly with you.
Adoption is a serious decision. You are a role model to your adopted child who looks up to you. Since they’re not babies but school-going kids, you’ve got be careful about how and what you communicate. The way you communicate with your adopted child in the initial days and months will shape her ideas, manners and discipline for the rest of her life.