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How much should I tell my child about his adoption?

Michele Borba
Psychology
While you should be honest, only give your child the information he needs to know at the time he asks. Too much information is overwhelming for a child. Remember, this is an ongoing conversation instead of a one-time marathon.

Keep in mind that your answers will often be the same ones your child will use to respond to peer queries. Your answer can be a model he can use later to repeat to classmates or nosy grown-ups.

Use words and language that are suitable to your child’s age and ability to understand. Do know that leaving out certain facts due to the age of your child is okay.

Painful details about your child’s past (such as sexual and physical abuse, a parent’s criminal background, the birth mother’s alcoholism or drug-addiction or that the pregnancy was caused by rape) should be kept confidential. Besides you and your parenting partner, only the child’s doctor or mental health professional need to know those details for now.

If anyone asks (like a nosy relative or friend) simply say: “When Kevin is old enough, he can choose to share about his past. He has all the information he needs now.” Then say no more and protect your child.

Every once in a while a “It’s none of your business” may be just fine as your response to a rude adult.

Tell your child he can always say, “I don’t know. Ask my Mom.” Or, “If I don’t want to know, why should you?”
The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

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The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Today show's Michele Borba's cures for difficult childhood behaviors In this down-to-earth guide, parenting expert Michele Borba offers advice for dealing with children's difficult behavior and hot...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.