Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

By Betsy Keefer; Jayne E. Schooler et al. | Go to book overview
Late latency and early teen years can be used for educating the child about the causes of rape or incest within a family. This can be done by visiting support groups or victim advocate groups, scheduling time with therapists skilled in the subject, or researching the topic in the library or on the Internet. It is important that children and teens learn that rape is about anger and control of others, and that incest is about extreme family dysfunction--it could be related to other forms of physical abuse, anger and control, lack of boundaries, and/or to the adult incapable of developing intimacy with other adults.
Children and teens can be challenged to discover what they need to learn about life and about themselves that will enable them to function well in a family and society, and not make the same type of decisions that their birth parents made.

Whenever a child comes into this world as a result of rape or incest, that child is cherished and treasured by his creator. What ultimately does a parent tell a child about himself? Parents tell him the truth. That he was created in the image of God. That God knit him together in his mother's womb. That he, like every child, was fearfully and wonderfully made and that all the days of his life are ordained by God. 14


SUMMARY

Sharing difficult realities with a child is a challenging task for adoptive parents. It takes courage and insight to impart potentially devastating facts sensitively but truthfully. The information in this chapter, as well as advice from other adoptive parents and professionals will help equip parents for the task ahead.


SUGGESTED BOOKS ON TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT SEXUALITY

Almost 12: The Story of Sex by Kenneth N. Taylor. Tyndale House Publishers, 1995.

Asking About Sex and Growing Up: A Question-And-Answer Book for Boys and Girls (any age) by Joanna Cole; Illustrated by Alan Tiegreen. William Morrow and Company, 1988.

How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It's Best to Start Early, but It's Never Too Late- A Step-By-Step Guide for Every Age by Linda Eyre and Richard M. Eyre. Golden Book Publishing Company, 1999.

It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (ages 9- 12) by Robie H. Harris, Illustrated by Michael Emberley. Candlewick Press, 1996.

Kids First Book About Sex by Joani Blank and Marcia Quackenbush. Down There Publishers, 1993.

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