Hello Cathy, we adopted our son seven years ago and he is twelve now. He has started running away, truanting from school, and telling everyone who will listen that he wants to go back in care. I was wondering if you had any advice for us?
CG: Dear Gaynor, I am sorry to hear your son is going through a bad patch. I’m afraid he’s of the age when he will test the boundaries. It is also the time when adopted children examine and question their history. What your son needs more than anything is reassurance that you are his permanent family no matter what he does. His real family – by law and in the role you play and the love you give him. Forget about promoting his birth family for now. He doesn’t want to hear about that. So many times I see adopted parents, wanting to be politically correct, promote the birth family to the detriment of what they are giving. He wants normality – a normal family that is rock solid and not going to give up on him. The reason he is saying he wants to go into care is because he wants to hear you say: ‘No! Never in a million years! You are our son. We are your parents. When you run away we will bring you home.’ You will all come through this as a family but your son still needs firm boundaries for good behaviour and I suggest you read my book Happy Kids for strategies on how to achieve this. Cathy x