4 Ways to Love Your Child Through a Hard Time

Kids are not always at their most lovable when they're struggling, but you can be there for them, even when it's rough.

Karen White July 16, 2016

Kids, like adults, sometimes go through rough times. Kids who are adopted have to deal with issues that other children often don’t. Sometimes it can be hard to like your child, even though you love them more than anything else in the world. Here are a few tips for loving your child through a hard time.

Remember who your child is, NOT who you want your child to be.
1. Remember who your child is, NOT who you want your child to be.

It is okay to not like the way your child speaks or how they act. What is not okay is berating them for their feelings. Kids pick up on your disappointment or displeasure even if you try to hide it. We all have our own idiosyncrasies that make us who were are. Finding a way to love your child's faults can be hard, but acknowledging who your child is and letting them be the person they are will go a long way in helping them deal with their emotions.

Be realistic, but kind.
2. Be realistic, but kind.

Lots of adopted kids have histories that aren’t always happy. Being honest (while age-appropriate) with your child will help them more than always protecting them from the bad things in life. People sometimes do things that are bad, or that hurt others. Helping your child see their own and others' mistakes will help them learn to deal with similar situations in the future.

Change the way you punish and praise.
3. Change the way you punish and praise.

When your child is already upset or mad, sometimes your go-to punishments or rewards aren’t the best approach. If your child is hurting, sometimes having them do a chore with you (such as helping cook dinner) instead of sending them off to do something alone (such as setting the table), will give you an opportunity to talk through their feelings. Even if you don’t discuss the problem, this "together time" can open up lines of communication and create a positive environment in which you can later discuss the issue.

Love, but don’t try to save.
4. Love, but don’t try to save.

You can’t "fix" your kids' hardships. You can only love them through them. Kids need to be held responsible for their actions and learn that they can’t change what other people do. When an issue arises, let them vent. Let them cry and be angry. Then let them come to their own conclusions. No matter how much you want to fix the issue for your child, if you always jump in with an answer, you're only teaching them that they can’t figure things out for themselves.

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Karen White

Karen White is the self-proclaimed leading authority on being "that mom." You know the one. The PTO Vice President, room mom, baseball team mom, AND leader of well-behaved kids (OK, the well-behaved part may be stretching it . . . like really stretching . . .) When she isn’t threatening to tackle one of her boys on the ball field if they don’t run faster, or convincing her 4-year-old daughter that everything doesn’t HAVE to sparkle, she is also a wife and stay-at-home mom of three. One of the three happens to have been adopted, but good luck figuring out which one it is, since they all have pasty white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes.

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