How & When to Tell Your Child?

Speak with your child


Should you tell your child that she is adopted? If yes, when? That’s a dilemma all adoptive parents face. Quite understandably, it’s an issue that requires a lot of tact and thought. But if you handle it confidently with an honest approach, you’ve won the challenge.

Here are some pointers that could help you deal with this comfortably:

When Is The Right Age To Tell?

The right time is probably as soon as the child becomes interactive. Ages 3 to 7 is considered the ideal period to tell your child. Starting early helps your child learn and understand. This could also prove to be beneficial for you – giving you confidence to handle the issue without much discomfort at a later stage.

Read: Teaching children the value of money

However, there are conflicting opinions among experts on this. Some believe it’s best to start talking to the child at an early stage so that he/ she starts accepting the fact. While others feel that it is best to wait till the child is older, when he/ she is ready to comprehend better. But – don’t wait until the child gets to know from an outside source. Nothing can be more embarrassing than your adopted child coming and asking you about her real parents. Besides being a shocking revelation to the child, it could have a long-term negative impact on the relationship between you and the child. So don’t withhold the information for long.

Read: Teaching your child about "good touch" and "bad touch"

Be Honest

While it’s important that you only tell the truth to your child, you can be discreet about things you would not want to tell the child. For instance, if there’s a difficult side to your child’s story, and you prefer she rather not know about it, focus instead on the happiness she’s brought to your family. If you’re unable to answer a question, just admit that you don’t know, and don’t make-up a story.

Read: Is your child shy?

Make It Simple

Adoption is a very complicated subject, so make sure you keep it simple and bring it down to your child’s level while you’re talking about it. Also remember to take the child’s age into account before you disclose the facts. Don’t tell too many things that will leave the child confused. Be discreet in giving information and tell only what is necessary or she needs to know at her age. The rest you could reveal gradually.

Re-Assure That You Love Her

When you talk about adoption to your child, do make it a point to re-assure her that she belongs to the family. Make her feel wanted and loved and tell her how important and special she is – to all the members in the family.

Read: 8 wonderful benefits of hugging your child

Be Ready To Talk When Your Child Wants To

No matter how often your child pipes up with question, it is critical you answer her – and make sure to be positive. Repetition will help the child absorb the concepts surrounding adoption. It is also one way of helping her handle the topic comfortably.


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