Helping families with the transitions of International Adoption

About one-third of families who adopt internationally have smooth transitions; another third or so have some difficulties, but manage to work through these issues; and another third have serious and more pervasive problems. In these more difficult circumstances, even the best parents are often not prepared. Those families who are struggling need support, like every family—sometimes from friends and families and sometimes from experts.

To get some good advice from professionals and to hear the challenges other parents face, you may want to join Beyond Consequences live 10-session parenting course right in your own home. The first class is complimentary—so take a test drive.

This Free Test Drive will be on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 9:15 p.m. EST.

Each of the 10 sessions following be on Thursday evenings and run for 90 minutes through November 3, 2011.

You and other parents can ask questions and discuss the specifics of your family situation with the professionals.

Click here to sign-up at no charge for this first class and see how it works on the Internet. Continue reading

Parents’ Attachment Style and the Adopted Child

As most adoptive parents are aware, a secure attachment is key to a child’s healthy development. Attachment is defined as a child’s bond to a caregiver based on the caregiver’s sensitivity and attunement to the child. The healthiest and strongest attachments are formed within the context of family: for children, the parent-child (especially mother-child) relationship, and for adults, the husband-wife relationship. Without proper attachments being formed in the early stages of life through proper parental attunement, a child in almost all cases will experience negative emotional repercussions, including a lack of self-regulation and deep insecurity.[1] For these children, the issues are not just the difficult behavior now, but the problems they will take into adulthood. Adults with insecure attachments often have marital and other relationship problems and difficulty attaching to their own children. These offspring are then affected, and a negative cycle is perpetuated. In fact, 72% of 21-year-olds retain the same attachment style they developed as newborns.[2]

Because of the profound impact that the parents’ attachment style has on a child’s emotional well-being, we as adoptive parents need to understand our own attachment style if we are to help our children, especially those with difficult histories. First, if married, we need to look at how we understand and interact with our spouse.[3] A strong marriage can help enhance our personal ability to attach, enhancing our attachment to our children. Studies show that an increase in marital discord, as well as insecurity, can lead to less competent parenting.  In addition, more marital detachment produces higher levels of detachment in the parent-child relationship.[4] A healthy marriage appears to be the strongest predictor of proper attachment between parents and their children.[5]

Continue reading