Parenting the Adopted Tween

TweenWendy Lane shares some sound advice regarding adoption information and adoptees ages 10-12 years old.

Information on parenting adopted teens can readily be found, but parenting adopted tweens often gets overlooked. The tween years (generally 10 to 12 years of age) are a time when parents typically still have a significant influence over their kids. Once they hit the teen years, parent’s influence may start to diminish. Your tween is just dipping their toes into the waters of the separation and identity formation of the teen years.

These years offer a window of opportunity for you to address any unfinished business you may have with your tween. It’s a good time for an adoption check-in. Do they know their full adoption story? Is there anything that you have left out that you were planning on telling them but hadn’t yet? Do they have questions but just haven’t felt comfortable asking them? Now is the time to discuss their full adoption story with them and open the door to their questions or concerns.

As they progress into the teen years it becomes more upsetting for them to learn new information. If they believe that you have intentionally withheld information from them they can become angry and less trusting of you. These conversations are not always easy but they are necessary because they can help your child understand his/her past. Of course, every situation is unique and every child matures at a different rate, so these differences must be taken into account when talking with your tween. Acknowledge their past and you will ultimately build a stronger relationship with your child.