When Mother's Day hurts

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Author: 
Adoptive Families Association of BC
Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

All parenting has its ups and downs, and parenting adopted children is no different. One thing that is different is that there are certain times that tend to be more difficult for adopted kids than their non-adopted peers.

Holidays rank high as one of these difficult times. Like birthdays, the holidays are a natural time to reflect on family and the past, and this is often true for adopted children. For obvious reasons, Mother's Day and Father's Day are extremely common times for adopted children to feel down or to have a lot of questions about their birth parents.

Here are some tips to help you with them:

  • Stay open to questions without judgement. This will help your child feel safe expressing her feelings to you.
  • Incorporating traditions that honour your child's birth parents and/or heritage can be helpful.
  • Reflect and talk about the possible experience of a child's birth mother.
  • Encourage the child to write in a journal if talking is difficult.
  • Be prepared to lend a listening ear and a loving voice during these sensitive times.

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