Difficult Conversations: Adoptive Parents & Kids

As an adoptive parent, there will likely be a time you may have to have some difficult conversations with the child you adopted. These topics could be as difficult as poverty, criminal behavior, abandonment, abuse or neglect.There is not going to be a perfect script or magical way to make these conversations go smoothly. However, there are some tips you can use to try and help you through these talks. 

Difficult Conversations: How to Handle Them


Your child’s difficult story may be hard for you to handle or grasp. Any hardships they have faced will be upsetting to you. This may want to make you want to skirt around the truth when they ask questions. The best thing to do is be honest. You may think you are protecting them, but one day they will likely find out the truth and be upset that you hid it. This is especially true with so much information being on the internet. During difficult conversations, it is best to just be honest. 


Be open to having difficult conversations as much as your children want to. This will take time, and may reoccur many times. These stories are part of them. They may have images, memories, trauma and fear deep inside of them that may never go away. Because of this, they may need to keep talking about it with you over a long period of time. After a while, these conversations may start to drain you, but for the child’s sake, keep having these conversations. Keep being willing to listen. 


During these difficult conversations, and always, show compassion. Your child may have a lot of healing to do, and your compassion will help them on that journey. As mentioned before, it likely will be a long road, but show plenty of love along the way. Be sympathetic towards their suffering, what they went through and are currently feeling.


Sometimes, it’s best to just listen. Do not try and interrupt or counter anything that they’re saying. Let them know it is okay for them to talk to you. Sometimes, as adults, we need to vent. Your children should be afforded the same thing. Especially when getting into difficult conversations, just allow them to speak. 

While no one likes difficult conversations, they are bound to come up after you have adopted a child. These tips can help guide you during these conversations. Remember to be honest, open, compassionate and listen.