Bonding with Older Foster Children

Gregory Keck, PhD Attachment Therapist & Adoption Expert, shares advice for adoptive parents on the best ways to adopt with your older adopted child
How Parents Can Bond With Older Adopted Children
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Bonding with Older Foster Children

Comment
37
Like
37
Transcription: 
If you are adopting an older child you might want to consider something that we call developmental parenting and that is getting a general idea of where's the child's level of psychological development? How mature are they? So, if he's really 15 should you parent him like he's 15 or like he's 10 or 12? And we encourage people to spend a lot of time with older kids. Sometimes they adopt a 15-year-old and think, “Well, they're a teenager, they don't want to be around adults. We shouldn't keep him close.” And we're saying, “Parent him as you want and keep him close to you. You got to spend time.” We want parents to be the magnets to draw the kid to them, so they need to be likeable, and they need to be friendly yet they need to set boundaries. But just because a child is 15 or 16 doesn't mean he or she is ready to go drive and go date because if they've been in the foster care system or an institution for years, 10 years, they're not going to be developmentally mature enough to handle the kinds of things that a typically developing 15 or 16-year-old is. So we would say spend a lot family time, do a lot of cuddling, and holding, and nurturing, and playing, and maybe even playing some games that you would play with much younger children to engage them with you. And there are things that parents can do that don't cost any money that just allow the kid to spend time with them. They can play eye contact games, and write on their back in letters and have the kid guess what they're writing, to do things that just bring about some close interaction between the child and the parent. And we would like to see that go on as long as it can and as frequently as it can, and as often as the child can tolerate it.

Gregory Keck, PhD Attachment Therapist & Adoption Expert, shares advice for adoptive parents on the best ways to adopt with your older adopted child

Transcript

Expert Bio

More from Expert

Gregory Keck, PhD

Founder & Director, Attachment & Bonding Center of Ohio

Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Attachment & Bonding Center of Ohio. He is an internationally known psychologist and trainer who addresses the issues of trauma, adoption, and post-adoption challenges. He and his staff provide attachment therapy for adoptive families whose children have experienced serious early childhood maltreatment prior to adoption. In 2012, he received the National Association of Social Workers State of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the parent of two sons who were adopted in adolescence.

More Parenting Videos from Gregory Keck, PhD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter