Attaching to Adopted Preteens and Teens

Being creative and thoughtful about understanding a teenager’s needs, will help build a strong family connection between the child and the adoptive family.

One of the biggest issues for children who are adopted as tweens and teens is being able to trust anyone. Their life experience has taught them that they can only depend on themselves and adoptive parents may find it challenging to bond with their child on an intimate level.

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Girl Brains and Brainy Girls

“Drama. Drama. Drama.” That is how Louann Brizendine, M.D., starts her chapter called “The Teen Girl’s Brain” in her fascinating book The Female Brain. We all know that teenage girls go through a dramatic change with the onset of puberty. The hormonal shifts leave them – and often us, as their parents – confused and frequently upset. The friendly, open, affectionate child who loved to spend time with us may now be moody, secretive, and obsessed with her looks and her friends. She is also certain she can run her own life without any advice from her parents.

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Girls’ Learning Styles

When the second wave of American feminism began in the late 1960s, most researchers in gender studies believed that all babies are born without gender-specific behaviors. Gender differences came about because parents and other adults treated girl babies differently than boy babies. A typical scientific study was one that had a researcher take a video of an adult with a baby. If the baby were dressed in pink, the adult would cuddle and coo. If the same baby were dressed in blue, the adult would play “rough house.” These studies “proved” all gender differences were learned.

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