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Do all older children come with behavioural problems?

9 replies

strawberrysocks0 · 08/12/2016 10:45

If they have suffered abuse?

OP posts:
Kr1stina · 08/12/2016 10:51

Mostly yes

And even more likely if they have been neglected . Or spent any time in the care system . Or had multiple moves.

And if they don't come with them , they can show them as soon as they are settled .

Of course many younger children have serious problems as well. Trauma is very equal opportunities Sad

strawberrysocks0 · 08/12/2016 10:53

Does it always have to be anger though? Like violence, etc.

OP posts:
Buster5187 · 08/12/2016 11:20

We adopted an older child, and have thus far had no anger nor violence. Like Kristina has said though, that's not to say it won't ever happen. He of course has other 'issues' but none being expressing anger etc. I'd say you have to expect any kind of behavioral issues, both for older and younger adopted children, and not go into it in the view that 'they won't' have any'. Past trauma/neglect/multiple moves can express itself in many forms, or lay hidden.

RatherBeIndoors · 08/12/2016 11:54

I would expect there to be "difficulties with emotional regulation" whatever age, where a child has experienced trauma and neglect. You can read Margot Sunderland on the neuro reasons for this. It might come out as aggression, or anxiety, or self-harm, or any number of other forms of expression. That's going to be unique to the child and their experiences (and might reflect behaviour they have witnessed as well).

DorcasthePuffin · 08/12/2016 12:00

Behavioural problems very very common among all adopted children - younger children are not immune. But it doesn't always mean anger and violence - I know adopted children who are very troubled, but more withdrawn and compliant.

I think it's worth finding out more about how anger and violence manifests, too, and what this means for the rest of the family. My dd (adopted before she turned 1) is sometimes angry, aggressive and defiant - and sometimes sweet and loving and loyal. It's bloody hard work, and I would never have dreamed that a child adopted so young would manifest so much damage. But the sweet and lovely times are frequent enough to keep me going, and she always behaves well at school which gives me hope.

There are other children who are so traumatised that they can only operate out of anger and fear, and who do not easily express love for their parents. I think that is the very tough end of adoption and must be very difficult to live with.

Summary advice:

  • I know some absolutely lovely older adopted children. They have problems but these are not expressed through anger and violence.
  • I know children who were adopted very young (including my own) who do have a lot of anger and aggression.
  • Don't make the mistake of thinking there is a simple correlation between age at adoption and subsequent behaviour/problems.
  • Understand that even where children are angry and violent, there is a whole continuum of experience.
  • Research very closely any potential match, and don't be fobbed off with social workers telling you only the good parts.
Kr1stina · 08/12/2016 12:53

Is violence the thing that worries you most OP?

UnderTheNameOfSanders · 08/12/2016 17:47

DD1 was nearly 8 when we adopted her.
An absolute dream until she started college age 16 and a bit.

Last 15 months has been a roller-coaster. No violence, but wanting to grow up way way too fast, very emotionally vulnerable, thinks she knows it all and will make things work because she is so much in love.

giraffessay · 08/12/2016 21:12

I think I might have behavioural problems if I'd been abused, and then dumped with a load of new people I don't know, and everything tastes different, and they can't even wash things right, etc etc.

OlennasWimple · 12/12/2016 00:01

I'd say pretty much all adopted children have behavioural issues of one sort or another, the difference is that younger children may not have expressed them yet but with older children you may have a better idea of their specific challenges

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