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Family counseling for families of adopted children

Some people in Salt Lake City might think that the process of adoption and the years following are a magical time of giving a child or youth a home. While there are moments of magic, it is best to prepare for developmental bumps in the road for adopted children. Many families are unaware of some of the issues they might face after adopting a child. Family counseling is a way to prepare for and deal with any issues that may arise.

One of the most common issues that can come up in a family counseling session is the anger felt by the adopted child. While adoption is a great way to build and bring families together, oftentimes parents do not acknowledge that the children might not like it. Most children in Salt Lake City communities are not adopted and children that have been or are going to be adopted want to feel like the rest of the other “normal” children. Children might feel angry that their biological family has left them; they might even feel that they were the reason their birth parents could not parent them or fear they will be left again.

In a family counseling session, parents of adopted children will learn to be proactive parents rather than reactive parents. A reactive parent might try to fix all of their adopted child’s issues when they are struggling with the anger. They panic and try to make everything OK. Proactive parents reassure the child that those feelings are OK and that anger is a normal feeling.

There are some other feelings that typically accompany the anger that adopted children feel. Depression and anxiety are completely normal emotions for an adopted child to feel as a response to their grief. These problems manifest themselves through temper tantrums as well as eating and sleeping problems. Family counseling could help prevent those feelings from progressing to substance abuse, running away or delinquency.

Sometimes extensive family counseling is needed to address extreme anger issues. If the anger is affecting emotional development or if it is preventing the building of relationships, the proactive parent should seek help through family counseling.

Some people in Salt Lake City might see family counseling as a reason to feel sorry. It is important not to feel judged or guilty about the decision to seek help. Family counseling is a way for families with adopted children to have a support system and resources to successfully work through any issues.

Katie Alvarez is a writer for Swinton Counseling. She writes content for many other clients at Fusion 360, an advertising agency in Salt Lake City.