Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More or Less?

I find Sophie to be less mature than her peers...definitely less mature than Ben or Hannah at that age. As a mom and a teacher I would say compared to Soph's peers she is more like a kiddo who just turned 4 years old, not a kiddo who will be 5 years old in May. She often "acts" like a baby. I know we can say that some of that behavior could be due to her not having much "baby" time in China, but we did a lot of regressing as part of our attachment journey. On the other hand, she can seem to be very mature, staying focused on a particular task, being able to entertain herself when needed, and teasing or being "snarky". The girl definitely gets the appeal of pulling someones leg!

So tell me do you find that your child from China is more or less mature than their peers?


Deb and Sean said...

Definitely more mature!!! My daughter fits in VERY well with grade one kiddos, even though she's barely four.
My thoughts ... she is an only ... around adults for the most part and just tries to fit in! Some days, her 'attitude' is more like a 14 year old I'm afraid. I sure miss my baby!!!! But I adore my little girl ....

a Tonggu Momma said...

In some ways my Tongginator is more mature - she is very intuitive (others also say this), very aware of loss (because of her experience with adoption, but also deaths), self-aware (for example, she told me two weeks ago that she learns by looking, not listening), and very confident in her own little self when it comes to being comfortable in her own skin.

In other ways... she will be seven in March. And, as a former teacher, I would liken her social skills, independence from parents, etc to be at least one full year younger than her peers.

Sandra said...

I would definitely say that Tahlia is less mature than her peers. She will often act like a baby as well and does not deal well with discipline. Jazzie on the other hand is mature in the fact that she is a very deep thinker. She will come up with things that other 8 years might not think of. However, there are other aspects about Jazzie that I find less mature than other 8 year olds.

Lindsay said...

I find Hannah a mix of both. Very adult orientated in terms of the company she often seeks and also very mature in many ways with very advanced speech and empathy.

However emotionally she is often more like a toddler or younger in the needs she expresses. She likes to play at being a 'just born baby' and will regress to totally non-verbal behaviour.

Some of this I'm sure is partly a result of her sister coming home although it was all behaviour that predates S's adoption; some I think is sensory related (meltdowns over clothes, food, noises and smells) and some is a very clear expression on her part to be a baby. In fact I have medical appointment next week over the increasing severity of her sensory issues. Oi! Some times her behaviour seems unintentionally young for her age (especially when tired or needing a snack), other times it is deliberate regressing on her part. She has even told me she wishes she were the baby. She'll ask for rocking and a bottle, wants a dummy/paci all the time (which may be sensory related too), pretend to have a diaper change etc.

It's exhausting and frustrating, especially because in some ways (ie academic) she is literally years ahead of her chronological age. It is a very baffling mixture for me and I struggle to know what part of the baby to indulge and which part to tell to grow up! I'm thinking of letting her be a baby and having some extra birthdays where she'll 'grow up' to see if that will help her let go of it. But then again maybe she needs to hold on..... basically I don't know what the hell to do!

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

Maddy is definitely younger acting than her peers. It becomes VERY evident to me when she is around my grand-daughter who is only 6 months older than her. Maddy still needs a pull up at night and it is usually SOAKED! She still wants to sleep with us all of time. She wants to be rocked all of the time. She still asks us to "hold you", and wants to be carried. She refuses to learn her alphabet, shapes and colors or to tie her shoes saying "she just can't do it". However, when she is alone, watching her shows, I know she knows the shapes and colors because she calls them out to the TV.
I find it very frustrating and I'm also not certain how hard to push. Kindergarten is just around the corner and her testing for this is in a month or so. My other children were always ready and knew everything they needed to know ahead of time. I'm thinking Maddy won't.

Liz and Ava said...

Ava is also definitely younger emotionally and socially than her peers.She is much more needy(which to me at this point is a good sign as when we first got home(at 23 months, and the size of an 8month old) she acted like she didn't need me at all, even pushing me away in anger when she would fall and get hurt.It took her two years before she would relax into me and actually put her head on my shoulder. I beleive she has progressed to an anxious attachment from pretty well no attachment at all in the beginning.
She often plays she is a baby who can't walk, can't talk, doesn't know how not to hit yet etc.
Still requests a bottle of chocolate milk and a cuddle especially if triggered or really upset, weepy at something...often not being able to identify what.
She also is still in a pull up at night and is most often soaked. She is 5 1/2 years old. It was just this past September that she has consistenly dry during the daytime. She will still frequently say she has to have a poop and when she come out tells me she only peed. That clear distiction in sensation still isn't there. My Neuro Reorg practitioner told me that because of the profound deficit in sensory input our children got in orphanages that it is not surprising it took her so long to toilet train day time and is till not night time. You need sensory input in order to feel sensations.
I remember hearing from my social worker prior to adopting that at the time of adoption, no matter the chronologicl age , their emotional/social age is set back to zero...starting as if they are a new born.
Now Ava isn't always at an emotional age of 3.5yrs but often is...and when she is she needs to be parented as if she is 3.5 and my expectations of her need to be that of a 3.5yr old.
She also had alot of "faking ability", pretending she didn't know stuff that I know she did. Her numbers, colours, shapes, letters, their sounds etc. That was all part of the attachment part...the need to control in order to feel safe. She would let others see she knew stuff...but not me, her mother, her primary attachment figure...that she wasn't attaching to.
She definitely wants that babying and all that it entails...and justly she never got it in the first place.
She is in kindergarten now and her teachers say she is very bright. I am fighting with them to keep her in kindergarten again next year because of her social/emotional gap...which will only widden as she gets up in grades. My primary concern isn't her academics, it's her social and emotional ability to keep up.

C's Mom said...

C is Miss Maturity too...or, at least, Miss Independence. She is an achievement freak. I am sure she comes by some of this from having me as her mom and being an only of a single. Still, it sometimes concerns me because she is such a "I do it all myself" kind of gal. I suppose I actually DO want a bit of my baby a while longer.