How long before my child shows me love?

What are some ways we can bond?

Best Answers

  • Every person is different. There is no way to predict how long it will take. We don't know what all your child has experienced. Moving into a new home is a huge adjustment for a child. Even if the child is happy and thankful to be adopted there still may be some hesitation in your interactions. Time will be your friend in this. It has a way of healing old wounds and puts distance between people and bad experiences they have had. The more time passes, the more you will fall into a routine that your child can learn to rely on. Once your child knows that he can depend on you, you should see him start to come around.

    One very real possibility is that the child is scared to get close to you. He could be scared that you're not going to stick around for long. It's likely that he feels like any connection with you will be a betrayal to his birth parents. No matter what the history is there is a strong connection that doesn't disappear when they are separated.

    It could be that your child loves you and just doesn't know how to show it. Some children are never taught how to show others love. As sad as it is to think about, some kids have never known love at all. The best thing you can do is gently guide him in a way that doesn't seem uncomfortable or intrusive.

    Whatever you do, do not push. You can encourage and find things the two of you can do together. You can get excited about all the things that interest your child. You can't force it though. If you get intense about it, you will be met with resistance. You go 60 percent and let him come the other 40. Focus on getting to know each other having fun and the bond will come.

  • Answer ✓
    Bonding can take time on both sides. I have both biological children and children whom we have adopted. As each of those children came to us as infants, the bonding situation was quite similar with each. While my children seemed to bond immediately with me, it took me a while for it all to really sink in and for me to bond. It wasn't that I didn't love my children. I would have died for them before they even took their first breath. But there is a sort of shock a mother goes through when there is a new child entering the family. This can happen for children as well. It simply takes some longer than others.

    For me, the bonding happened during those quiet feeding our late into the night. I remember sitting up late at night with my oldest biological son, watching Jimmy Fallon while I fed him. I was so tired, but he ate and simply watched me laugh at Jimmy Fallon. Even when he was done eating, he was so content in my arms. I knew he trusted me and it hit me in this time that I would give my life for this little human. For my daughter who came home via adoption at 4 months, the bonding situation was a little different as far as how it happened but was very similar to my sons. It was in the quiet times with her that bonding happened. At bedtime where I would put my phone away, turn off all the screens, and just play and talk with her. She would coo and my heart would melt a million times over. 

    There are whole guides on how to bond with your child, like this one.  However, I found the bonding happened best in the quiet alone times. If you have just adopted, it is totally fine to introduce your family to them and not shy away from that. However, make sure you spend a lot of alone quiet time in the beginning as a family. That will build trust for the child and for you. Regardless of the child's age, this is the "getting to know you" time. Take as much time as able to simply be with your child. 
Sign In or Register to comment.