Adoptive parents face a host of challenges that are unique to their circumstances. One is the added stress the parents of adopted children can face during the holiday season. This is because the close family time might bring up a wave of emotions for the children.
Even children who have adjusted well to the adoption or who were adopted as babies might struggle with challenging emotions now. They know that their adoptive family loves them, but they might wonder about the birth family they don’t know.
The difficulties are more common for kids who have memories of their life before the adoption. You never know what might bring up those memories. They might see something or smell a certain thing that conjures up memories of holidays prior to the adoption. This can make them uncomfortable, which can manifest as behavior problems or uncertainty.
Another challenging situation is when a child is adopted internationally. As they grow up, they might want to know more about what the holidays are like where they are from. Adoptive parents can help them to learn about their culture so they have answers to their questions. It is often a good idea to incorporate components of those cultural norms into the holiday celebrations in the home.
One thing for adoptive parents to remember is that their support will mean the world to their children. Make sure that you are reacting appropriately to the challenges that come with this season, even if that means taking a compassionate stance against misbehaviors caused by the stress of this time of year.