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How can I prepare my child who is adopted to respond to rude questions?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Let's face it, kids (and adults!) can be cruel and seem to be getting crueler these days. So one of the best things parents can do is arm adopted kids with the right vocabulary or a couple great comeback lines so they're ready for those guaranteed insensitive peer queries.

The trick is to anticipate what kind of questions may be asked, then help the child master the "right" delivery of the line through rehearsal.

Stress that the child does not have to give out any information he is not comfortable giving.

A simple yes or no is just fine sometimes.

Keep in mind, it's usually not what the child says, but how you say it that's key to success. So you'll need to rehearse those comeback lines again and again until your child feels comfortable delivering them to peers.

Here are a few of the tougher questions and possible answers:
  • "Are you adopted?" Answer: A simple, "Yes." Tell your child lengthy information is not required. Just a simple yes or no and moving on is just fine.
  • "What happened to your real family?" -- Answer: "You mean my biological parents? They live in Korea."
  • "Didn't your real parents love you enough?" -- Answer: "They loved me so much they wanted me to have parents who could take care of me. I'm really lucky."
  • "How much did you cost?" "Did your real mother have AIDS or something?" "Why did your parents give you up?" -- Answer to any rude questions like these (Oh the questions kids can ask -- unbelievable sometimes… and adults usually far worse so be prepared!) is simple: Smile. Say, "That's personal" and then move on.
  • Stress to your child that some folks just lack a "tactful gene" so anything your child does not feel comfortable (or warrant a response) does not deserve an answer. And you'll back they up! The trick for answering those really insensitive questions is to give the "That's personal" type answer from the get-go. Hint: You may have to practice the delivery!

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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.