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Blame it on the adoption? - Page 2

post #21 of 26

This is a question that you will ask yourself over and over again throughout the years: Is "this" adoption-related?  And I think it's good, as adoptive parents, to keep asking that question. Even children adopted at birth can have extra challenges, at various developmental stages, that are related to their early life experiences, including in utero. Adoption itself can be a source of trauma, and some kids are more sensitive to this than others.


My rule of thumb has been that if my daughter's behavior seems out of the normal range for her age and stage, and doesn't seem to be responding in a typical way to "good" parenting practices, then it's been worth investigating if something adoption-related is going on. As a thread bystander, I have no way of judging this for your son, but as you have heard from others, toddlers frequently experience lengthy tantrums. Educate yourself about the range of "normal" and see what responses work best for him. Never be afraid to ask for help if you need it or if you're unsure!


post #22 of 26

A good friend of mine is one of five adopted children. She and all of her siblings were from different situations. A few had seriously traumatic prenatal, infant & toddler stages before they were adopted and as a result grew up with serious mental, behavioral and developmental issues. My friend once told me she felt like because of the stigma attached to her siblings and their issues, every minor behavior or attention issue she had as a child was over analyzed and her parents, teachers and health professionals and turned into a bigger issue or "disorder" and attributed to the fact that she was adopted. Mind you, she was adopted at a few days old and her biological mother was healthy and received good prenatal care. To this day she resents much of the intervention in the form of therapy and medication for things that for most children would have been chalked up to normal childhood or teenage issues.


I think all children are different, and it is certainly wrong to automatically assume that because a child is adopted any behavior issues they have are extraordinary, a sign of a bigger issue or a product of their history. That being said, people will make those assumptions because sadly there are situations that play out that way. I hope the tantrums end soon and you can continue to enjoy your beautiful son.



post #23 of 26

I think people are very quick to attribute any stand-out behavior in a child to what they perceive as that child's "differences."


My dd (5) was at a class party the other day. All the kids were over-excited (it was pre-K "graduation"), over-sugared, over-tired. There was a lot of jostling over toys and playground equipment and lots of tears. At one point, dd came over to me, upset, because she wanted a turn on a swing and another kid was pushing her. After I sent her on her way, another parent turned to me and said, "Oh, you definitely you need to have another one. That is SUCH only-child behavior."


Dd was not behaving any differently than any other kid at the party. In fact, she's much better about waiting turns and sharing toys than most of the kids in her class. But because she is an only, and that parent perceives only children as "different" or "weird," she automatically ascribed (the perfectly age-appropriate) behavior to that.


All of this is a long way of saying: Your ds sounds like a perfectly normal 20-month old. :)

post #24 of 26
I have a wild one too. My AS is 21mths. His tantrums have gotten better, but he had no problem throwing one at any time or place for whatever reason. I chalk it up to his lack of communication skills. He can' t really explain himself, so he had to show you how loyally ticked off he is that he isn't getting what he wants. Hopefully yours will calm down more as he gains communication skills.
post #25 of 26

Even if you gave birth to the child, he could still throw tantrums. One thing I hate more than anything in the world is when a child is adopted and then people act like merely being adopted makes them a defect. Giving birth never guarantees a perfect child. 

post #26 of 26

For me and our new 2 year old dd, I do try to figure out what behaviors are age appropriate and what behaviors might be trauma related. I am not blaming adoption for everything, I am trying to help her as best I can. When she screams, is she frustrated because she has 2 year old verbal skills or is there something deeper going on? It's difficult for me, very challenging. She's experiencing things from her own perspective, i don't think it's wrong to consider what she's been through (separation from her family, then from her foster family, and what she's witness/experienced in her home of origin) and I don't think that means she's defective.

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