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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chronic bad mood

I really need to hear from all of you out there who have adopted a child (or children) AFTER you have had a biological child. Anna is struggling. Everyday she says that she is "having a hard time". Every. Single. Day. Her constant whining and complaining and rebelling and drama is wearing us down when we're already worn down with all the changes going on in our home.

We've tried showing her extra attention, we've tried to be very positive around her and help her feel special - giving her "big girl" opportunities, etc. We've tried discipline. I think that Anna is jealous of our attention to Kristina (naturally) but she will try to get her in trouble saying that Kristina hit her, etc...but neither Tyler nor I am ever around to see this behavior. We don't know if it's happening or not and that is frustrating.

I hadn't anticipated that Anna would be having such a hard time. I'd like to know if you've experienced this and WHAT YOU DID TO HELP IT GO AWAY!!!!!!!!


ramblinamblins said...


I would either "tomato stake" her or Kristina for awhile. Or both of them. Tomato staking, if you haven't heard, is where you keep your child right with you, in eyesight, all the time. In this way, you can praise all the wonderful moments/actions and correct the not-wonderful ones. It would also give you a clearer picture of the relationship between Kristina and Anna.

I've not adopted so my advice my not be worth a hill of beans! But I couldn't read and not try to help.

ramblinamblins said...

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating the more traditional approach to tomato staking which would involve a physical correction. We don't use that in our home. But I use a modified tomato staking which I explained above.

Just didn't want anyone to think I was advocating physical discipline.

Melisa said...

That is funny. I was going to say the same thing the above person wrote. Keep one or the other with you at all times so you can see what Anna is talking about. If nothing is happening, you will know. If Anna is getting hurt, you can stop it. That is all I can come up with. Keep me posted!

Bethany said...

I was going to suggest one on one outings with just her. But you say you have tried that. What about putting her in more of a helper role with the kids?

Courtney said...

I'm so glad Diana commented on this--I thought she would be the perfect person as their situation is so similar to yours.

{{HUGS}} Jill! Just keep taking it one day at a time. It's a long process of adjustment for everyone.

MoonDog said...

there is an attachment group on yahoo that might be helpful to you. they are a wonderful caring group of RESPECTFUL people who have countless times given me ideas when I was at my wit's end. I believe its called ATN_attachemnt or something similar. I know it has ATN at teh beginning but I cant remember exactly the name. Hope things look up for you soon.

MoserUpdates said...

I have a unique perspective. My brother was 4 when he was adopted by my parents. I was 20 and away at college (an 8 hour drive). I rarely came home, so I didn't get a chance to bond with my brother for a long time. But when I visited I struggled with jealously for a long time. Jealousy over the way he was being disciplined or not disciplined, jealously about the amount of attention and money spent on him, etc. It's been 10 years and I love my brother with all my heart and don't struggle with these things at all anymore. I think it just takes time, even if you'd had a biological baby, Anna would still need to learn to share mom and dad.

I agree with everything Diane said...especially about family counseling. This will help you and your family learn to communicate in ways you'll all understand and give you a professional outsider to view the family.

HUGS! You're doing a fabulous job :)

Josh and Adrienne McElwain said...

Jill, I know you probably do not want to here this much about my life, however I think I can give you a very good insite into how Anna is feeling. I don't want to put a lot of detail here, but hit me up on msn or facebook chat. I haven't adopted kids but I was 15 when my parents brought 4 of them back from Haiti. My mother went to BYU full time and my father own's a business. I watched the kids until I had a huge blow out with my father over some things that were going on in our home and left at the age of 16, I lived with a friend for about a year, and then when she moved I lived out of my car for 17 months. It was a pretty interesting time for me. I learned a lot and realized what was happening to my family from a distant point of view.
The children my parents adopted were 14, 9, 6, and 2.

Tami said...

Diana has answered this so well that all I can do is add an Amen.
We dealt with this in Alek when we brought Anya and Nick home. It was a rough transition, but I can honestly say six years later that the three (now four) of them are the best of friends. (it didn't take six years to get to this point...more like two).
Patience, time...and supervision is what its going to take. The staking sounds like a good idea - that's what I do with Maddie quite a bit. It also helps with bonding -which isn't a bad thing.
We're all praying for you. ((hugs))

Kathey said...

You have been given some very good advice here. I'm so glad you've got a good support system.

I know an excellent cranio-sacral therapist in Yellow Springs.

Love, Kathey

Christine said...

It will get better. Same things happne when you introduce another bio child. Since this has been a while, have things gotten better?