Monday, October 9, 2017

Disciplining your Adopted Teen

Image result for adoption love
A common fear for parents that have adopted is they are afraid to discipline their child too harshly.  The fear comes from the feeling that their child has already been through so much that the child needs more love than boundaries.  Another common feeling is the fear of further damaging their ego.  While these fears are understandable you still have a child to raise and hopefully, send out to the world as a healthy adult. You have to set boundaries, rules and guidelines as you do with any other child.

The teenage years are already a mess of hormones and peer pressure and trying to figure out identity, especially as an adopted child.  However, limits need to be set and they increase the child's sense of security and belonging in the family if done in the correct way.  Parents often fear the word “no” but if your answer to something really is “no” then you should say it.

In a recent podcast interview, Dawn Davenport talked with Katie Naftzer  about the different skills needed to help your adopted child through their teen years. Their overall tips were:

1. Learn to not rescue your kid
2. Setting adoption sensitive limits
Image result for adopt a teen3. Having "connected conversation"
4. Helping your teen envision their future


1. Don’t backtrack or apologize
2. Don’t negotiate
3. Don’t send mixed messages
4. Convey guidelines and consequences ahead of time
5. Improve your awareness of what is happening in their world

Remember, your teen doesn’t have to agree with you all of the time.  Sometimes you and your teen will make a decision together and other time it will be completely your call.  

Book Recommendation from Dawn Davenport: "Parenting in the Eye of the Storm"

Drafted by Brittany Alness, staff member of the Law Offices of Karen S. Law, PLC.

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