Adopted age versus chronological age

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Adopted age versus chronological age

It's very important and beneficial to view your adopted child's age as the age that they first came to your home rather than their chronological age. When a child is adopted, there has been a disrupted attachment. So they don't have those natural skills of looking to the parent for safety and soothing. So you're going to need to start the attachment process from the very beginning, whether they're three or five or seven. And you may find yourself doing things that you would naturally do with an infant, like feeding them or rocking them to sleep. And we're also just beginning to understand the effect that trauma has on the brain. So, often these children, they've experienced trauma. And when your child experiences ordinary stress, that can send them into a tailspin that can make them regress back to the age at which they were which the trauma occurred. And so you're going to need to parent them at the neurological and emotional age that they are in that moment of stress.

See Kathy Gordon's video on Adopted age versus chronological age...


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Kathy Gordon

Parent Educator

Kathy Gordon is the single adoptive mother of a very spirited nine year-old boy, but was not prepared for the challenges of parenting a child whose brain was developed under stress. When her son was three, Kathy had the good fortune of taking parenting classes with Ruth Beaglehole, founding Director of the Center for Nonviolent Education and Parenting, (, and she realized this powerful compassionate method of working with children was something she wanted to teach. She has been a teacher, director and coach most of her adult life. Kathy was certified as a Parent Educator through the Center for Nonviolent Education and Parenting in May of 2008, and will now continue her training by becoming a Certified Hand-in-Hand Parenting Parent Educator. Kathy works with families individually, teaches parenting classes and facilitates trainings for educators and schools communities. Her practice is called Unconditional Connection because we all long for connection, and we long to be unconditionally loved. We live in a society in which we are continually judged by our behavior. Kathy offers research-based information and tools to help people look underneath and beyond the behavior, so that we may be more unconditionally connected thus creating a world of cooperation and peace. 

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