test_contentimg

4 years old using word adopted

Report content

Hi all


Our 4 years old AD knows that she is adopted and started to use the word adopted. She would say something like ‘my hair is different (curly) than yours mummy, is it because I am adopted? ‘

We are open with her about the adoption. However she does not fully understand what being adopted means at this age. We are slightly concerned about her telling all her friends at school that she is adopted. We would rather her not tell everyone at this age and maybe tell some special fiends when she is older and understands more.


I don’t want to tell her that it’s our secret, because I don’t want her to grow up thinking that she is a secret and something that she should be ashamed about.


Any suggestions how to deal with this such that the 4 years old understand. She is very intelligent!


up
Be the first user to support this

This is a difficult one, because however you explain it, it may seem to your daughter that being adopted is shameful and something to be hidden. This is why we decided not to intervene and allow them to tell whoever they wanted. My children appear to be very willing to tell people , it is certainly something that is a very big part of their identity.


up
3 users have supported this.

We let ours tell if they wanted. School knew already. Both were open about it and went through phases where they were keen to tell - though this was when they were quite a bit older than 4. It is an important part of their identity and I respect that - much too big to keep secret unless they felt the need. So I only occasionally counselled that they didn't have to tell - that was when I knew they understood the implications more.


TBH other 4 year olds won't really understand and will probably soon forget. Mine had the odd adverse comment from others when they were in juniors but it was never a big deal. I made sure they grew up knowing other adoptees too, to avoid them feeling adoption was only something that had happened to them.


Actually I found it easier as I didn't want to hide their adoptive status from other families they knew, but didn't feel I should be mentioning it on meeting new people. So their openess solved my problem!


Awkward moment at new hairdresser with 12 year old recently. HD commented on dd's name which is her birth name and asked me reason for my choice. I didn't want to say dd adopted but didn't want to lie in front of her, so did say so. Dd and I had a good discussion afterwards. She was a bit miffed I'd said it but agreed with my decision given I couldn't consult her over it. We agreed not to say she was adopted in a similar situation in the future.


up
2 users have supported this.

We are open about it and that has worked well for us. My children used to proudly announce that they were adopted when they were younger. They are still confident about it, which has served them well in school. They say most of their friends would like to be adopted too. Smile I don't know how you could keep it a secret, but at the same time help them to feel good about it.


I try to say we are an "adoptive family" whenever I can, so it is not just them being affected and different, but all of us.


up
Be the first user to support this

we are very open about it, I think there is a difference between her saying that shes adopted, its the truth, and her disclosing details of why, which woukd be more of a concern


up
Be the first user to support this

Don't worry, as Milly says most kids are not interested that age and won't give it much thought, and they forget.

I would be aware with such young child if you talk about birth family not to say anything you would not tell other parents while waiting at the school gate.

Just pressume everything you tell her will go around in school, so talk in general mostly. As you say she does not understand fully, so tell her things she can tell her friends when they ask 'where's your real mother?' (at home, lol) and similar. But I do not think that will happen for some years to come.


up
2 users have supported this.

We are open about adoption with our children and have never tried to stop them from telling people, if they wanted to. We have, however, cautioned in an age appropriate way that once the information is out there that you can't take it back. I personally found this quite tricky because it is a quite difficult concept to get across to a child of any age. I'm not sure that we always got it right but we haven't had any major fallout.


Where we did have a problem was with AD (age 5 when she came to live with us) using her birth siblings as a sort of one-up-man-ship trophy. AD would get into a confrontation with another child and then say "well, I've got two brothers and a sister". Logically, not relevant to the altercation but in AD's head highly significant in the "I've got something that you haven't" stakes. All that happened was that the logical children around her at school (all aged probably 6-7) would say "no you haven't ..." because they "knew" that if she had then they would have seen them. Deeper altercation ensuing as a consequence.


There is no right or wrong answer to this. But I don't see how you can keep something that you celebrate a secret. Personally, I would just go with the flow and if you AD says something that you feels need explanation then either approach the school or an individual parent or just go with it and see what happens. Otherwise, I would just let it go.


Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


Peahen.


up
Be the first user to support this

We never kept it as secret and friends know. Whenever I spoke to others mums and questions about early childhood (and things like pregnancy and breastfeeding etc) came up I never kept it a secret. However only recently I thought I should live the choice to her who she wants to tell in the future. Obviously being 4 years old she may want to tell everyone and I wanted to make sure she does not regret this in the future.


We put the emphasis on the fact the being adopted is unusual / special and it is just a different way to make a family.


We wish cebiebies series ‘our family’ will have one episode about adoptive family at some point the future Smile


Thanks for your comments Smile


up
1 user has supported this.

I think as long as you show her that it's a positive and a good thing then she will take that on board. She will learn as she gets older how to handle information approapriatwlu


up
Be the first user to support this