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Keeping Discipline on an Even Keel: Finding a Balance for Adoptive Parents

Posted on in Children
family, adoption, adopted children, biological children, Illinois family lawyerTwisting and turning through the daily challenges of blending the lives of your adopted and biological children can certainly add a few new ones along the way. One being the subject of how to discipline and keep your household functioning on an even keel. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, finding a healthy balance is essential. For parents in this situation there is a certain disconnect when it comes to disciplining a blended family dynamic. There is a tendency for parents to hesitate to discipline an adopted child while setting fewer limitations on their biological offspring. This situation may also hinge on whether your adopted child has behavioral issues due to underlying issues. Each of your children are unique. Following these simple suggestions may define the house rules for all involved and keep you from second guessing your decision to choose adoption to grow your biological family. House Rules Involve your children in the rulemaking process. Provide them the opportunity to set a few rules or provide input to the rules you have established. Just remember to define rules according to the individual child's age. You may notice that since they have participated in the process, they will accept the new rules with less conflict. Consequences Just as you provided your children the opportunity to set the rules, give them the same opportunity to define the possible consequences when the rules are broken. Once again, consequences should be age appropriate. Consistency As parents, you also need to remember not to deviate from the rules or consequences. The rules are the rules, no ifs, ands or buts! Giving in every once in a while will only tempt your children to test the limits. Seems easy, right? Perhaps easier said than done. As the ruling executive branch of the household how you discipline is your choice but some of the following may assist with establishing a well-rounded discipline program. Time-out

One of the oldest and most effective discipline methods. Pick a specific time-out post for each child. When placing your child in his or her designed location set the length of the time-out based on the child's age plus one additional minute.

Time-in

If your adopted child has been diagnosed with attachment issues this method may prove more productive than the traditional timeout. The length of the time-in should follow the same format as time-out but the child is shadowing your every move while serving his or her time.

Privileges

Go both ways. A child who is following house rules can earn privileges and when ignoring the rules can just as easily lose privileges. Privileges can be defined by you or by including input of the children.

Behavioral Chart

One of the most effective methods to monitor. Charting can give your child a better understanding on what they need to work on as well as experiencing success in other behavioral areas. You can decide on the reward for specific achievement levels.

Family Meetings

Schedule weekly family meetings. This provides the children and the parents the opportunity to discuss the events of the week. Remember to give everyone equal floortime and remain positive never letting the meeting turn into a grievance session.

Professional Advice

If you find that some behavioral issues are just too difficult to handle, consider weekly sessions with a therapist. If you feel that your adopted child would benefit from working with a therapist you may be surprised how the past has played into behavioral issues. Possibly your biological children may also benefit if they are dealing with any issues of their own with regard to the new family dynamic.

Deciding to grow your family with blending adoption and biological children can be challenging. By incorporating a family tailored discipline model you should be able to achieve a healthy balance for you and all your children.

If you are up to the challenge and considering adoption, the disciplined adoption attorneys at A. Traub & Associates can prepare you for the road ahead. Whether you are considering a domestic or even international adoption we will guide you through the process to ensure that your decision is not only a rewarding one but a legally sound experience. Take the first step to expanding your family by contacting us at 630-426-0196 to schedule an affordable consultation today.

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