Teens

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Depression in adopted teens: What families need to know

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Only 20% of depressed teens ever receive help, yet over 80% of people who are treated feel better as a result.

Parenting teenagers can often trigger your own memories of growing up and the roller coaster ride of emotions, drama, unpredictability, and the need to fit in. You may be realizing that being a teenager today is more complicated than ever due to the steady stream of social media in all its various forms.

High school and my older adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Gayla was adopted from Russia at age 11. Here, Gayla's mom describes how the family navigated teh academic challenges of high school.

Galya spent three solid years at elementary school and, though she was older than her friends and classmates, she neither felt nor behaved out of place. How would the move to high school go?

Teens and driving: A personal perspective

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When a young adult has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or other challenges that might affect his or her ability to drive a vehicle safely, what should parents do to protect their child, other pedestrians and drivers?

Even a typical teen takes quite a while to develop the skills needed to be a safe driver. When the situation is complicated by the fact that the teen or young person has ADHD or FASD, driving becomes even more complicated.

In my opinion: Mentally ill youth left behind

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoptive mom says there's nowhere to turn for adoptive families with mentally ill youth. She also describes the services she'd like to see.

It’s estimated that 10 to 20% of Canadian youth have a mental illness or severe behaviour disorder.

You can bet that these youth are highly represented in the adoption population where mental health concerns are often combined with FASD, ADHD, and the brain damage caused by early abuse and neglect.

Return to Romania

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An adoption reunion can answer many questions. It can also change an adoptee's life in unexpected ways.

When she packed her birth certificate, some cherished photographs, and set off, Sevdin MacDonald hoped they might provide valuable clues that would lead to her lost family in Romania.

Birth dad let our daughter down

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Openness doesn't always go smoothly--especially when a child was appreehended because of abuse or neglect.

Openness between the birth and adoptive parents of children who were in foster care because of neglect or abuse has become the norm. This sort of openness relationship can be very different to that between adoptive parents and healthy birth parents who made adoption plans for their children.

Mail brings unexpected connection

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Chelsea was adopted, her young birthmom gave a letter, photo, bracelet, and blanket to her daughter. At first, her adoptive parents sent letters and photos via their social worker. Then each family moved and contact was lost—until now.

When I was a little girl, I used to love to jump out of the car when my dad stopped by the mailbox because I wanted to see if I got anything. Eventually the excitement wore off because I rarely did, but it was still my job to check the mail.

Back up so your child can move forward

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A child welfare expert, and adoptive mom to 12 children, explains how retracing developmental stages helps older adoptees heal.

During college I studied Erik Erikson, a Pulitzer prize-winning psychologist known for his work in the mid-1900s on identity and psychosocial development. Decades later, I noticed remarkable connections between his theories and parenting older adopted children. The key part of Erikson’s theory is that until a person completes one developmental stage, they cannot go on to the next stage.

Teen finds being loved isn't always easy

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adopted at 16, April O'Neil explains that accepting the love and involvement of a new mom isn't an automatic or smooth process.

Because of the support of my mom, and our choice to go forward with adoption, my life has changed in ways I never would have imagined.

In the last few years, I have graduated from high school, got through my first year at Simon Fraser University and, somehow, managed to convince ICBC to give me a driver’s license.

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