Welcome to the ProSquad! Every week we'll be checking in with our crack team of experts to find answers to parenting's trickiest dilemmas and hottest issues. This week we launch the series with a question about adoption, and another about battles over dinner.
How has the internet impacted adopted children's search for birth parents?
Many who have been adopted wish to know more about their birth identity and the Internet has made the process of searching for birth parents much easier. In fact, the Internet is now the most commonly used method to reunite those searching with their birth family members. Since open adoptions have surged in the past decades, more information (surname of the birth parents, date of birth, city or town of birth, or any sibling details) is readily available for the person searching, increasing the overall success. For those who have little information or had their adoption closed (few states currently provide persons who have been adopted access to their original birth certificates) information can still be found. A person initiating a search can register on sites like Adoption Registry Connect or Adoption Reunion Registry, as well as contact the hospital and state they were born in. Adoption can be fraught with a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs, so I recommend being prepared. Consider reading Child Welfare Information Gateway's fact sheet about searching for a birth relative before you or someone you know begins to search.
Adoption Pro, Judy M. Miller is an adoptive parent, adoption advocate, support specialist, and she coordinates and teaches parent preparation education to parents who are in the adoption process. Judy is a columnist for the adoption network, Grown in My Heart. Her essays and articles appear in adoption and parenting magazines and in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families (Adams Media), Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (EMK Press) and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom (Chicken Soup or the Soul).
No matter what I try, my 4-year-old won't eat a mushroom. Should I just give up this battle?
Parents frequently worry that their children don't eat particular foods. I would never say to "give up," but I would suggest approaching feeding in ways that don't involve "battle." When you are engaged in a power struggle with your kids over food, no one wins. Successful feeding strategies involve providing your child with multiple exposures to a variety foods prepared in a variety of ways, being a good role model for eating, patience, and perhaps most importantly, respecting the division of responsibility in feeding. Briefly, the division of responsibility in feeding is a model developed by Ellyn Satter which states that parents are responsible for the what, when, and where of feeding, while children are responsible for the how much and whether or not to eat. More information on raising successful eaters is contained in the Dinner Together newsletters and blog.
Kathleen Cuneo, Ph.D. is a psychologist, parent coach, and mom of three. Her mission is to empower parents to find their own parenting voice and develop strong connections with their children. Dr. Cuneo is also the director of Dinner Together, LLC, which offers consultation to families seeking to have more frequent, successful family meals and deal with the challenges of picky eaters. Dr. Cuneo earned her doctoral degree in Applied Developmental Psychology and also has postgraduate training in working with infants, toddlers, and parents. She has worked with children and families for the past two decades.
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