Newsletter #33 for Internationally Adopting Parents
October 1, 2006
PAL Center Inc.

In this issue

There is no substitute for preparation to adoption of an older child from abroad.
There will be difficulties - guaranteed.
Think how you can approach
expected issues well in advance.

Check out the course library,
use the opportunity to speak to the instructors.

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 a psychological screening

You receive this newsletter as a former client or correspondent 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

Tom Takihi
Dealing with tantrums
As parents, most of us wish that our children will grow up to be smart, responsible and loving individuals. So, we always find ways to boost their intelligence quotient or IQ. This we do by providing them educational toys and books and sending them to the best school to develop their mental skills and abilities. However, apart from intelligence, it is of utmost importance also that we help build their emotional intelligence or what we now term “EQ.” The home, as in the case of developing IQ, is also where we should help build this EQ.

From the online class JSBG2-Adopting older children internationally: Making a decision and coping with post-adoption difficulties
Defining natural and logical consequences

You are trying to help your child make sense of their world, impose consequences that are connected to the event or action, are age appropriate and are not fueled by frustration or anger.

Example 1: If you are using a reward or consequence of withdrawal of a privilege that is valued by your child, help them see the relationship by making the connection for them. "Mama expects you to do your homework each night. You like to use your Playstation. Your school work is your job. Playstation is what you like to do for fun. If you don't do your job, then you can't play."

Example 2: Antony is 8 and loves to ride his bike. His parents have outlined an area where he can safely ride his bike. He constantly goes out of the bike area, despite constant reminders by his parents. They sit him down and tell him: "It is our job to keep you safe. Your job is to follow the bike rules. You are not listening to mom and dad and you are riding your bike where it is not safe. Until you can follow the bike rules, you cannot ride your bike unless mom or dad can be outside to watch you." By his behavior, he is indicating the need for increased supervision. You may need to continue supervision and containment until he becomes more reliable or complies with the expectation.

Questions & Answers

Dr. Gindis, many adoptive parents are confused about how long to wait when coming home from a foreign country and enrolling their child in school. Some adoptive parents begin sending their child to school right away and others keep them home for a while. What's your recommendation on this?

You have asked a good question, the answer for which is actually not as simple as it may look, because the best time for entering the American school on arrival is always very different for each child. There are at least 4 factors to consider deciding when to begin schooling, assuming your child is somatically healthy:

1. First and foremost is the age: the older the child, the more important it is to send him/her to school without extra delays, in fact -- as soon as the jet lag is gone. The reason for this is not the undesirable delay in the educational process (your child will be behind initially anyway and will need time to catch up with everything American). The real reason is that post-institutional children, especially those, who had been exposed to schooling back in their native country, are used to a rigid structure and are in general more comfortable with the external control and discipline than with any necessity to manage their time and activities at home on their own. In addition, their acute need for the peer communications will be addressed at school, and your need to have a break and some time for yourself is served.

2. If you feel that your child may have attachment issues or, on the opposite, displays some separation anxiety; and staying in close proximity affects the child's emotional well being, it certainly makes sense to keep them at home a bit longer, allowing time for resolving at least some concerns. In this respect, it's important to understand that if you personally can't stay with your child at home and must work and are thinking about hiring a part-time nanny or a tutor, you should consider taking the child to the school instead, rather than invite attachment to another person (not his/her mom or dad).

3. An upcoming initial screening appointment for an appropriate school placement often causes the same question: should parents wait until the results are known before taking the child to the school? If your appointment is soon after the arrival of the child, than it's a good idea to wait with the school appearance, because the chances are your child will need placement that differs from the initial chronological age placement, and you will have to make changes in his/her environment, which the child has already accepted as a permanent situation. If the assessment is delayed for several weeks, than you probably do not have a choice and will have to place the child as the school sees fit and than change it later. Try at least to give the child the idea that the changes are possible in the future, and the current placement may be temporary.

4. Holidays typically break the continuity of the educational process, so if your child arrives not long before a major holiday or school vacation, it may also be a good idea to enter the school after the holiday, not before it.

As you see, there are many things to consider about the school placement time of the child. The outcome of all considerations will be your unique decision. Just keep in mind that the initial adjustment can go on for months, so just sitting at home and waiting while things settle down may not be an adequate solution, while the earlier you introduce the structure and predictability into your child's life, the less stressful it should be.
Boris Gindis, Ph.D.


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