Research shows that many adopted children tend to develop a mental health diagnosis. In fact, a 2008 study compared about 500 adopted and non-adopted children and found that the odds of having an ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) diagnosis were approximately twice as high in adoptees compared with non-adoptees.
This can be even more problematic when adoption agencies hide information and mislead parents who are leaning towards adopting. Then, when adopted children begin to exhibit mental health symptoms, parents may not know how to respond. Furthermore, they may not have made the decision to adopt if they knew that their child might develop a mental illness.
The mental health of adopted children is becoming more and more significant, particularly because the number of adoptions in the United States continues to rise. According to the National Council For Adoption,there were 130,269 domestic adoptions in 2002, whereas in 1996 there were 108,463 domestic adoptions. Continue reading
Sometimes as parents, there might be an event or a life changing circumstance that affects the way you relate to your children. Perhaps you recently went through a divorce. Or perhaps you lost one of your children in an accident. Or it could simply be that the day to day responsibilities of home and work somehow required putting the relationships you have with your children aside temporarily.
Regardless of the reason, it’s important to return to the basics of parenting from time to time. To refresh yourself on what’s necessary and important for facilitating healthy psychological and emotional development.
First and foremost, research indicates that parents need to provide consistent care to their children. And this begins from infancy. Studies show that an infant must develop a strong bond with at least one primary caregiver in order to appropriately develop socially and emotionally. In order for this bond to become secure between infant and caregiver, the following must happen:
- The caregiver must be responsive and sensitive in the way that he or she responds to the infant.
- The child must be able to consistently rely on the caregiver for soothing in times of stress.
- The caregiver must remain a constant in the child’s life from 6 months to approximately 2 years of age.
When there are children involved in a divorce, parental care for those children must continue despite the marital split. If individuals cannot agree on when and how their children will be cared for, it is sometimes agreed upon during the legal proceedings. For instance, a parent who is working full time may only be able to care for his or her children on the weekends and on holidays. Perhaps the other parent has the children during the week.
If you’re not involved in a legal situation with your partner but you have children together, likely you’re trying to figure out between the two of you how to meet the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of your children even through the divorce. Whether you’re in a legal situation or not, there are going to have to be conversations, communication, and contact with the other parent for the sake of the children. Knowing how to do that in a way that keeps the children’s best interest in mind is at the heart of a gentle divorce. Continue reading