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How can I help my adopted or foster child form healthy attachments and relationships?

Hi there,

I am an adoptive parent, and I am looking for some advice on how to help my child form healthy attachments and relationships. My child was adopted at a young age, and we have been trying our best to provide them with a loving and nurturing environment. However, I am concerned about their ability to form close relationships with others.

We have noticed that our child can sometimes be distant and detached from others, and they struggle to make friends at school. I want my child to be able to form healthy and meaningful relationships with others, but I am not sure how to go about it.

What are some strategies or techniques that I can use to help my child form healthy attachments and relationships? Are there any resources or support groups that you would recommend for adoptive parents?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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As a foster parent, I have had to help my foster children form healthy attachments and relationships. One of the techniques I have found useful over the years is to act as a consistent and reliable caregiver. Children in foster care have often experienced disruptions in their relationships, so being a constant presence can help create stability and security for them.

Our foster children have also benefited heavily from therapy where they can discuss their emotions and work through any underlying issues with abandonment or attachment. We found that the therapists have experts in helping with attachment issues and can offer guidance for our specific circumstances.

Another thing we have found helpful is to create structured routines and family traditions. When our children know what to expect and feel that they have an important role in a family routine, they develop a sense of belonging and feel more comfortable branching out to build relationships outside the family.

Finally, we try to provide opportunities for our children to interact with age-mates through extracurricular activities, clubs, and playdates. This allows them opportunities to practice socializing in a more relaxed environment, leading to stronger relationship development skills thus building healthy attachments.

It is crucial to recognize the unique needs and preferences of each child to help them learn how to build healthy and reliable relationships. Hopefully, these tips help you in the journey you have embarked on.


Hi there,

As a parent to an adopted child, one technique that has worked for us is creating a strong emotional bond with them. We immersed ourselves in their interests, hobbies, and daily lives to figure out what makes them happy and feel comfortable. It helped us develop a close relationship with our child, which, in turn, helped them to build trust in us and better communicate their thoughts and feelings.

Moreover, we have made sure to offer consistent support through therapy, where talking about their experiences helps them make sense of them. The therapist can provide specific and insightful advice, such as teaching our child how to cope with stress and anxiety.

We have also been mindful of the time spent with electronic devices such as phones and computers, which can significantly impede on a child's development of social skills. Providing more opportunities for interaction with family members, friends, or pets can boost their confidence to approach people and develop trust.

Finally, we enrolled our child in a community with programs for adopted children. The community has created an environment where our child can interact with other adopted children and express themselves in a safe space.

Overall, it's important to note that it may take some time, patience, and a lot of love to build a healthy attachment between adopted children and parents. Keeping up the support, communication, and openness in a loving and nurturing environment can foster lifelong relationships.


Hi everyone,

As a parent to an adopted child, I've found that building consistent routines and trust plays crucial in forming healthy attachments. Adopted children, especially older ones, can have a hard time trusting and connecting with their new family members, so being reliable and consistent can help ease their uncertainty.

We created a schedule which helped our child to know what to expect making them comfortable and stable. It was very important for our child to trust us, and we ensured we made ourselves available when needed, this is how we improved the mood of our child.

Another technique that worked for us was to try and understand our child's past experiences and current challenges. We engaged in open and non-judgmental discussions with our child and help them understand that we are there for them without criticism, especially if they have any trauma. Therapy was also suggested to find resources to help them manage and recover.

We also wanted to take things slow and give our child the opportunity to dictate the pace at which they feel comfortable getting to know us. We gave our child the choice on communicating with our family and building a relationship with them.

Finally, finding a community and support group for adoptive parents and children was beneficial for us. We met people who shared similar experiences and offered advice to overcome our unique challenges.

Overall, supporting our child's emotional needs, stabilizing the environment through routines and being mindful of our child's emotional state has helped us form a healthy attachment with our adopted child.


Hi there,

As an adoptive parent, I understand your concerns about helping your child form healthy attachments and relationships. Our child was adopted at the age of four and struggled to build connections with us and others for years. I found that one of the most effective strategies was to work on building a stronger connection with my child. Spending quality, one-on-one time with them and being available and responsive to their needs can help them learn how to trust and build relationships.

Additionally, we sought out therapy for our child to help them work through any underlying trauma or attachment issues. Therapy space is judgment-free, so they can open up about their experiences and feelings. Through therapy, we learned new strategies for connecting and establishing rapport with our child.

Finally, we joined a support group for adoptive parents, where we shared experiences and learned from others. It was beneficial to hear about other parents' experiences and how they navigated similar challenges.

Remember, every child is unique, with their individual personalities, preferences, and experiences. So, it's essential to stay consistent in our love and support and be patient throughout the process. Good luck!



As a foster parent, one technique we have used to form healthy attachments is ensuring that our child's environment feels safe and secure. Children in the foster care system have often experienced multiple placements and uncertainty in their lives, so it's essential to provide stability and consistency.

We have also made it a priority to listen carefully, validate their feelings, and communicate honestly with the child. This creates a foundation of trust, and our child feels safe talking to us. Practicing active listening skills, by rephrasing or summarizing what the child has just said to show them that we understand what they are saying, is also beneficial in building healthy attachments.

Patience and understanding is key, as every child is different and will adapt differently. Therefore, we take the time to get to know the child and understand their needs, which may include activities that they enjoy or foods they like to eat.

Another technique that has worked for us is to create a care team with the child at the center. We collaborate with the caseworker, therapist, and other important people in the child's life to ensure that the child's needs are met, and that everyone is on the same page.

Finally, as a foster family, we make an effort to create meaningful memories by going on outings, celebrating milestone achievements, and spending quality time together. This reinforces the idea that the family is a safe and loving space for the child.

In summary, creating a safe, stable and loving home environment, fostering positive communication, understanding, and collaboration with the care team, and making an effort to create meaningful experiences, are all effective techniques to form healthy attachments with a foster child.



As a foster parent, I have found that incorporating positive affirmations and validation in daily interactions with my foster child helped build trust and solidify our relationship. Many foster children have not had consistent positive feedback from their caregivers, so by providing that validation, we can help build their self-esteem and confidence.

Through daily affirmations like ‘I'm proud of you,’ ‘You're loved,’ ‘You're important to us,’ and ‘You are doing great,’ I can help my foster child develop a more positive self-concept, and know they are valued in our home.

Another way we promote healthy attachment is by engaging in play-based activities. Play is essential in building developmental skills and relationships with others, so we use games or activities that the child likes, sharing in their interests while playing.

We also seek support through therapy and collaborate with our foster child's therapist to incorporate built-in moments of bonding, such as having dinner together, taking walks, or merely talking about whatever is on their mind.

Lastly, it’s important to understand that each child is unique and has different needs. As children grow and mature, their needs for support, understanding, and validation can change. Therefore, it's crucial to stay tuned in and maintain an open line of communication.

Overall, providing consistent positive affirmations, engaging in play, seeking support, and listening actively and non-judgmentally promotes healthy relationships between foster parents and children, setting them up for a healthier future.

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