Raising kids is the hardest part of parenting. Be it about biological siblings or the ones unrelated; you have to accept the fact that what you get, you need to be happy with that. There are certain things to consider when adopting a child. And even if you are not able to deal with the consequences, moving backward isn't the option, especially when it comes to blended sibling rivalries.
The social bias that develops against the adopted children is a traumatizing concept. And the idea that siblings in the family are incapable of bonding is another troubling effect. However, it' is not true and how parents make the two feel, changes the entire perception.
Here are the must-know tips to help both your biological kid and the adopted one to get along no matter what their circumstances are.
#1. Talk To Your Children
Only when you are discussing things is when you as a parent will be able to get each and every situation on the right track. Talk to both of them regarding how you want your family to grow. Make them feel comfortable with your positive attitude. Let them know that it is not just about your own emotions but also of theirs. You need to make them feel that nothing would actually change or has changed. It's just the inclusion of one person in the family tree and nothing else.
#2. Indulge Them In Common Activities
Even though they aren't connected genetically, help them find the habits and interests they have in common. Maybe you can ask both of them to decorate their room with mutual efforts and equally contributed ideas. Or the two of them can share playtime activities to understand each other and get along better. Or they can help each other when it comes to workplace activities.
#3. During Adoption, Take Your Biological Kid Along
Togetherness cannot be associated with the entire act of adoption if your biological child does not understand the purpose of it. Therefore, how hard it may seem, you will have to allow your child to accompany you in the adoption meetings. Let him/ her ask questions if they have any. Let them also understand what's the actual motive behind your thoughts.
#4. Let Them Feel Responsible
If your biological child is the elder one, give him/ her the responsibility of taking care of the younger one, the one you have adopted. Ask them to help the little one, consult when in need and form a bond like real siblings.
#5. Spend Some Time WIth Them Individually
If one talks about the biological siblings of just any family, at some point in time, there arises disparities amongst them. You have to make them understand that the concept of sibling favoritism doesn't really exist. Imagine how hard it can be when it comes to one child being biological and other is not. So, even if it is one hour daily or just an hour on a weekly basis, you will have to take that initiative and find time out to listen to both of them. You never know, there might be a stage of conflict that can really turn into a big problem, but you might be able to sort that out. After all, that's what parenting is all about!
#6. Make Them Understand That Adoption Is Just A Word
You might hear statements like, "dad loves you more because you are his own child" or "dad loves you more because you are adopted." But you know what, they might not even understand what it actually means but they somehow get stuck with the term adoption. And that's what sooner or later turns into critical sibling rivalry. But, dear mom and dad, don't go over the board with special treatments for either of the children. You don't have to let them notice that something is wrong which is trying to be covered up. But, you also don't have to make them feel like guests. So, no one would feel unwanted unless you don't make them feel so.
#7. Consult A Specialist
Some sort of sibling rivalry is nothing to worry about. However, if any of your kinds, be it the biological one or the one who is adopted, starts displaying certain personality changes or negative behavior, then it's time for you to pay attention. If you think that the siblings would get along on their own, you might be wrong. It does not work that way. You have to take a step towards making the right decision. Your family needs some professional as well as medical assistance. Consider a counseling session with a therapist or a psychologist.
#8. Don't Hide The Facts
Even if your kids are not biological siblings, you don't have to hide the fact that one of them is adopted. Just imagine the situation where they come to know the truth from someone else, or just by accident - such situations ruin relationships. Just let them know about this when you feel is the right time. After all, such secrets not only break trust but also save them from feeling awful at a later stage. You don't have to wait for them to become adults or even older. Share with them as soon as they can listen.
#9. You Cannot Expect Them To Be Grateful Always
Each one of us understands that children who get adopted are just treated like voiceless commodities, who got included in a transaction without ever being asked about the same. They don't have a say in whatever happens to them and their future. So, just to make the kids get along, you cannot expect the adopted one to express gratitude that you adopted them and got them into a nice family. No, it's not that easy. Adoption means a cut off from one's birth culture, food, friends, native language and that to literally just overnight. Expecting them to indulge in family activities just because you adopted them and gave them a second life is a double-edged sword.
#10. How Would Biological Siblings Be Treated?
Just for a moment, think how would you handle and treat your biological kid? If you just got a thought that yes, even the one adopted is like your biological one, then rewind. He/ she should not be "like" your biological child. Maintain an attitude that they too appear as your own. They are your own children. Period.
So, when you display such a behavior, even your biological and adopted kids understand. No matter how they may have arrived into the family, the crux remains the same, you have to help them deal with the struggle the way you would help your own child.
#11. Be Prepared For Their Questions
If you actually want your kids to get along in a positive manner, be ready to answer their questions. Act like a lightning baton instead of leaving everything to the kids, so they gradually rip each other apart. Deal with the tensions occurring in the family in a very mature way. No avoidance, please.
#12. Address Their Differences
For kids who aren't genetically related, you need to be very careful when addressing their issues. They generally cannot relate to the family dynamics. And there are many physical as well as cultural differences. So, it is you who will have to teach them about the beautiful diversities existing in the family. Remind them and yourself too that differences are nothing to worry about and it's beautiful to have them. If your adopted child belongs to an entirely different kind of a tradition, celebrate his/ her heritage. You can even try to imitate some of their traditions in your family celebrations.
#13. Develop The Birth Order
For the blended families and children, children tend to develop their roles and responsibilities by themselves. And this probably happens due to their order of birth. So, while you are adopting a child and you already have a biological one, surely consider the displacement of your kids as per their birth orders. And in the case where you feel the younger one (biological) might have an issue accepting the older one (adopted) as an authoritative family member, find out ways in which you can consider that order without hurting anyone's feelings.
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(Image Courtesy: 1.Willingness, 2. Adoption, 3. Parenting, 4. Healthline, 5. Slate, 6. BAM, 7. Inner Self; All Gods Children(Featured Image)