Newsletter #27 for Internationally Adopting Parents
August 13, 2006
PAL Center Inc.

In this issue


online comprehensive

JSBG2 - Adopting older children internationally:
making a decision and coping with post-adoption difficulties

is coming
on August 20!

Jody Sciortino, LCSW,
Boris Gindis, Ph.D.



Bgcenter accepts files and videos
for an early stage screening
of your perspective child.
Due to their size, such files often can't
transmitted via email or
delivered quickly via regular mail
(ex.: while you are abroad).

Call the center for instructions
on uploading your files for professional analysis

You receive this newsletter as a former client of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment & Remediation, or a former student of the Bgcenter Online School, or a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.


Latest Articles
from the

International Adoption Articles Directory

Robert K. Crabtree, Esq.
Managing your documents under IDEA:
Part II - What documents should you create?

Why create any documents? One simple reason is that you may have to tell your child’s story to another person - perhaps to an evaluator, an advocate or lawyer, or a hearing officer – in order to get help, and documenting events as they occur will help you tell the story accurately and in good order. Another reason is that documents can help clarify understandings you reach with people – particularly with service providers or school administrators. Yet another reason is that a note written at the time something significant has happened may help to support you when you need to prove to another person that the event happened the way you claim it happened.


Surviving Power Struggles and Control Battles
from the online class JSBG2
Adopting older children internationally:
making a decision and coping with post-adoption difficulties

One of the most wearying of dynamics for the adoptive parent of an older child is that of the constant battle for power and control. Parents are supposed to be in charge, not the children, but these children are vying for control at every turn. "Put on your shoes," becomes a major battle. Bedtime becomes a game of cat and mouse. Something simple like "please hang up your towel" becomes a Battle Royale. Why? Because they are scared, they don't trust you and in order to stave off the terror and discomfort of the unfamiliar, they fight with you to be in charge. It is exhausting and exasperating. You suffer from battle fatigue. What can you do?

  • Pick your battles. You and your child have a big job to do. Choose the issues that really matter. That does not mean give up or give in; it simply means that whatever you feel is important, be prepared "to go to the wall" with it; follow it through to resolution.
  • Establish bottom line expectations; the non-negotiables such as no harm to self or others or destruction of property.
  • Allow them to make reasonable choices. If they are watching TV and you ask them to empty the garbage; give them the choice of doing it right away or waiting until the commercial. At the commercial, make sure they follow through.
  • Watch for the hook. Some children enjoy the battles and feel most secure when they are engaged in a power struggle with you. It makes them feel in control. Watch for the times where they may bait you and try to hook you into a struggle. Observe out loud that you recognize what they are doing and let them know you will not battle with them.
  • Try to separate your frustration from your instructions. The more frustrated and exasperated you become the more your child will feel in control. Try to soften your tone and lower the tempo and cadence of your requests. Try to keep them matter of fact.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. You are human you are going to have imperfect parent days. Days when you don't have the energy or inclination to do battle. Unless there is a safety issue, allow yourself to let go and shut down and not follow through or do battle.
  • Find ways to refuel. Taking care of yourself is critical; pursuing interests, pleasures and time with friends and family, other than your adopted child, is essential.
  • Find activities that you can do together that are not centered on expectations but pleasure. Most of your day is spent telling your children what to do and not to do. It is important to find something that you can do together that you both enjoy that does not require setting constant limits. Example: Sergei is an active seven year old in constant motion. He requires vigilant supervision, has poor impulse control, no sense of safety and judgment and engages in continuous battles for control. Their favorite place to take him is a small, fully enclosed playground by the highway where he can make all the noise he wants, run around and play without the threat of losing him or escaping the boundaries. Time at the park allows Sergei to blow off some steam, his parents to enjoy his zest and energy in a safe confined environment.


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