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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.


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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

4 Tips For Welcoming An Adopted School-Age Child Into Your Home

by Gina Hill

Adoption is often a blessing for both the child who is being adopted and the family who is welcoming the child into their home. While adoption is usually a positive experience in the long run, there can be unexpected challenges and hurdles along the way. That's especially true if you are adopting a school age child. While adopted infants get the benefit of growing up with only memories of their adopted home, school age children may have lived with their biological parents, other relatives, or even a series of foster homes. They may also have been through abuse or they may even be coming from a chaotic foreign country. Here are some tips on how you can help them make a healthy and positive transition into your home:

Start therapy immediately. The first months in your new home will be critical both for your child and for you. These months will form the foundation of your bond. If the child struggles or even acts out, your relationship may be built on a layer of negativity, and you and the child may have trouble developing a strong connection. You want those months to be a positive experience.

Understand that your child is likely dealing with a whirlwind of intense emotions and confusing thoughts. They may feel unwanted by their biological parents, or they may distrust you after a series of negative experiences in foster homes. You may not know the best way to react to these feelings. An experienced therapist can help both of you manage your emotions and communicate in a healthy way.

Don't overwhelm them. The initial few months, or even the first year, in your home should be viewed as a transition period. Your child may not be ready to follow the same rules as your other school age children, or he or she may not be comfortable participating in the same activities. Don't start them off by signing them up for a wide range of sports teams or other extracurriculars. Don't lay out a laundry list of rules and chores in their first week in the house. If they're from another country, give them time to adjust to the language and the culture.

At the same time, explain to them that over time, you will start giving them more privileges and responsibilities. Let them know that you want them to feel comfortable, but eventually, they will need to meet the same expectations as other kids in the household.

Manage contact with biological relatives. Your child may be old enough that they will soon start accessing social media. When they do, they may receive unwanted and unsolicited contact from biological parents and relatives. This can be confusing for an adopted child. On one hand, they may be thrilled to hear from their biological parents. On the other hand, they may not be aware of the issues that led to their adoption in the first place, such as abuse, drug problems, or criminal activity.

If possible, work with your adoption agency or even the biological parents directly to establish strict rules about how and when contact can be made, if ever. If the parent goes around the rules, don't hesitate to get your adoption attorney involved.

For more information, talk to an experienced adoption attorney in your area. They can help you establish rules with the biological family and also suggest other resources, such as therapists and more.