Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Loving an Adopted Child: Is it Possible?

Is it possible to love a child not born to you?

Is it possible to feel a sense of connection to a child who is not your own blood and who does not resemble you?

Is it possible to accept as your own a child who was born to someone else?

If you are considering adopting a child, you may be plagued by such doubts. Additionally, you might not have the whole hearted support of family and friends, who with their best intentions, tell you that bonding with an adopted child is not the same as bonding with a biological child.

Now if you are in the process of deciding to adopt a child or have already decided to adopt one, but feel apprehensive about the process, read on! You are probably not sure if your kin would welcome your child and accept her. You could also have a small nagging doubt about whether they are right in their apprehensions of adoption and wondering if you are heading for disaster.

Read on to know about some positive aspects of adopting a child and realise that you indeed could have taken the best decision of your life, even if things don’t appear that way at this moment.

  • The first thing to remember is that any decision taken in life would have pros as well as cons. No decision in life comes with a tag saying your life will be awesome once you implement it. So, is the case with adopting a child. It would have its positives as well as challenges. But once a decision is taken, it is up to us to choose what we wish to focus on and build on the same. So, you either worry about all the things that could go wrong once you adopt a child or you focus on all the things that could go right. And when you focus more on the things that could go right, you end up doing the right things and things begin to work out for you!
  • A child is a child is a child. Period. And when you become a parent, an adopted child is as much your child as one you would give birth to. It may be normal to wonder if that is really possible. But the fact is that bonding, with any living being- humans and even pet animals- happens over time. Having an open mind would allow you and the child to bond with ease.
  • Adopting a child gives you an opportunity to be more than who you are. It gives you an opportunity to love without boundaries and distinctions. It helps you realise that love is not always about blood and more about bonding. If you have a biological child already, it helps you see how capable you are of loving two children, who have come to you in different ways, but are nevertheless yours. It gives you a whole new perspective to love and children and enriches your life.
  • Imagine you were adopted as a child and you had a loving family. Would you feel good about being a part of your family and feeling loved? Or would you feel miserable that you have a loving family? Most people would obviously be happy to have loving families. Human beings naturally tend to gravitate towards love. Your child, when cared for with love, would grow up to enjoy having you as family and will become very much a part of it. So, any worries about the child losing his love for you once he finds out he was not born to you may be unwarranted. Yes, he might be curious about his history but that does not mean he would stop loving you. Remember, love grows and remains where it is nurtured.

Adopting a child is a huge decision. However, it does not have to be a painful decision taken in desperation.

When confused about whether it is a good decision or not, remember that it is certainly a good decision. You are adopting a child and becoming a parent. It is something to be proud of and celebrate!

All that is needed is a shift in thinking, preparedness to parent, openness to experience and willingness to love.

Look at the positive aspects of adoption and celebrate the process, with the confidence that you are equipped to handle any challenges you meet along the way!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Being a Parent...

Being a parent, whether you are planning to become one or whether you already are one, is a challenging job. It is bound to have several ups and downs on the way. It helps to be aware of your role when it comes to parenting a child and especially a young child, who is dependent on you for most things.

  • The adult chooses to bring a child into this world- A child does not pop into the world on her own. It is the adult who is responsible for bringing one into the world. Often, adults have children and  love them no doubt. However, at times they feel the child is a hindrance to their lives. Being a parent means being aware at all times that bringing a child into this world is a choice that is made. And when the adult happens to make that choice, he (or/and she) becomes a parent.
  • The child is precious and entrusted in the adult's care- A child is a new life and is precious. A child is also dependent on the adults for her needs. Being a parent means the adult being aware that he would be responsible for the care, safety and comfort of a new life and taking as many positive steps as  he can towards the same.
  • The adult's life will change completely once there is a child in it- The adult may have got used to a routine in the absence of a child. But having a child in her life would certainly change that predictable routine. She would have to set plenty of time aside for the child. It helps to be aware that this is also a phase that can be enjoyed as much as the phase when she had all the time in the world for herself. It needs a slight shift in perspective to look at this phase as an enjoyable one. It is after all going to last just a few years and after that the child will be an independent entity. So, one might as well enjoy this phase while it lasts.
  • The child is entitled to a life all her own and the adult is responsible for giving her a solid foundation in the early years-  It helps to be aware that being a parent does not make the child a shadow of the parent. In other words, the child is a new being and will lead a life of her own one day. Keeping this in mind, giving the child a good foundation in her early years becomes the adult’s responsibility; a foundation that would help the child develop confidence in herself and a positive outlook towards life.
  • The adult would have to spend a lot of physical as well as intellectual energies in order to aid the physical and intellectual development of the child- Being a parent means the adult being aware that he would have to use a lot of his physical energy in order to physically care for the child and intellectual energy to provide meaningful learning opportunities for the mental growth of the child (apart from what is learnt at school). A lot of learning and assimilation happen during the early years and it is the perfect time to sow the seeds of mental, intellectual and emotional development. This would require constant planning and preparation on the adult’s part to ensure that the child is exposed to the best that can be offered. 

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Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Child and Walking

Has your child just taken his first step?

Are you all excited about his first step?

When young children start walking, it is a huge milestone for them.

They seem to feel as thrilled (or probably more) as adults feel when they learn new skills such as swimming, driving or dancing.

How is their thrill evident?

Just by this fact- once having learnt how to walk, they want to walk over and over again.

They fall down.
They get up.
They start walking again.

Many children also love walking up and down the stairs. Not once but countless times!

These activities related to walking can go on for hours on end and can cause the adult in whose care the child is to feel absolutely exhausted.

The adult does not have either the time or the patience to wait on a child who wants to walk without a break. The adult is usually focused on the next task at hand.

Often, the adult would rather just pick the child up and move on to the next task that he needs to do. But the child seems determined to walk. This in turn causes the adult to pick the child up forcefully and the child throws a tantrum.

Have you ever wondered why this is so? Or what you can do if you ever find yourself in this situation?

The first thing to understand is no one teaches the child to walk. So, the child is not walking to make life difficult for the adults or to show that he has learnt something. Rather, it is nature that drives the child towards walking. And the child walks and walks and walks. He never seems tired of it.

As adults, we would be able to appreciate this better when we understand that the child is doing exactly what he needs to do to develop himself at that stage of his life. Then we would sit back, relax and enjoy every step he takes, rather that fret about when he would stop walking so much and so often.

No doubt it requires patience and energy to keep pace with a child who wants to walk continuously. But think about it. It is after all once in a lifetime that you would witness this amazing phenomenon of a child learning to walk. Time will fly and after some years you just might be complaining that your grown up child refuses to walk even a couple of steps. So, why not enjoy this phase while it lasts?

Take time to witness every milestone of your child’s growth and cherish the early years for the wonders that they unfold.

Let us not carry the child who has just learnt to walk.
Let him walk.
Let us not complain about the child who goes up the stairway fifty times or more.
Let him climb up.
It is nature at play.
The child has the right to master his gift.
He says, “I can walk. Please do not lift.”