I am a birth mom in an open adoption. I have a 7 year old son. Recently, his parents informed me that my son has been having problems in school because he daydreams too much. His teacher is saying that he might be using fantasy as an escape from his problems? What can I do?’
~Son in the clouds
Dear Son in the Clouds,
It is very normal for adoptees to use fantasy as an escape from emotional pain. Adoptees commonly daydream about being rescued by their birthparents. Often times adoptees daydream about what life would be like if they had been raised by their birthparent. This is not a bad thing and this alone does not indicate a need to be overly concerned. It’s a common survival technique for adoptees and it helps them to process and cope with all of the feelings and emotions that are bigger then they themselves can accept at this stage in their life. The goal would be that in time your son will feel more safe and comfortable with sharing his needs and feelings. These daydreams will become less and less “escape” focused.
I know feelings of helpless can creep in at times like these so…what can you do to help?
If available in your area I highly recommend looking into post adoption based joint counseling, coaching and/or a support group for all parties to benefit from. I would also suggest starting an “open-book journal” with your son. One within which you can start a conversation and he can finish it or where you can each take a page to share your thoughts on a particular topic one day and ask the other personal questions on the other day. Keep honest communication open. It’s the best gift you can give.
Make sure you let us know how things work out.
Much love to you,