Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Family Life
Text Size
Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest

Adopted Children & Discipline

Some parents are hesitant to discipline the child they have adopted. They may set fewer limits than they would for a birth child. They might react less strongly to misbehavior.

Learning to Discipine: A Parent's Responsiblity

What are the reasons for these patterns of parental inaction? Some adoptive parents are afraid their youngster might stop loving them if they disciplined her. Or they may doubt their own right or ability to parent this child fully.

If that is your attitude, you are not fulfilling some of your parenting responsibilities. One of your tasks is to help your child grow and mature by disciplining her and helping her adjust to the limits you set. You need to look at the obstacles that may be preventing you from assuming this parental role, such as being fearful of losing her affection to a birth parent who is in close proximity.

Things to Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that even though you did not give birth to this boy or girl, he or she is your child. That means you have the right and the obligation to say, "It's time to go to bed now," or "No, you can't have your brother's toy right now." Your child's well-being depends on your willingness and ability to function as a full parent.

If your child ever says to you, "I don't have to mind you; you're not my real parents," respond with a statement like "We are your real parents. We just aren't your biological parents." A parent is someone who parents and who loves his or her child, and that is what you have been doing for years.

Last Updated
Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12 (Copyright © 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest