Being a foster parent is a wonderful thing because you are able to provide a safe environment for children who need one. However, it can be wrenching to help a new foster child get adjusted with your family's rules and customs. Here are some tips for helping your foster child adjust and making the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Don't Speak Poorly of the Child's Birth Parents
First, you are going to want to avoid speaking poorly of the child's birth parents. Regardless of how they have acted, the child will likely feel loyalty and love towards them and will have a harder time trusting anyone that does not validate this loyalty and love. As a result, speaking poorly of his or her birth parents can make the overall transition and adjustment period into your home take longer because the child is going to be warier of you and the rest of your family. Asking the foster child to talk about his or her birth parents if he or she wants can make the foster child feel like you understand and care about him or her, since he or she is going to be spending a great deal of time thinking about his or her birth parents. If you cannot think of anything good to say, simply do not speak of them. Only listen when your foster child brings them up.
2. Introduce Routines and Chores Immediately
It might be tempting to wait until your foster child has settled in to introduce routines and chores, but it will be easier for the child in the long run if you introduce everything new all at the same time. If your family sits down and eats breakfast together before school every morning, then you are going to need to make sure that this expectation is clear from day one. If you assign a chore list, make sure that every child in your family, including your foster child, has a fair list of chores to do and receives the consequences for not doing them. This will allow the child to get all of the adjustment out of the way in one fell swoop, similar to ripping a bandage off.
3. Get Help if You Need It
If the child has been exposed to a great deal of trauma or many caregivers within the past few years, then you might need more assistance from professionals. Know what resources are out there in terms of mental health counseling before the child comes into your home and make sure that you use these resources should you think you need them.
For more information, talk to a foster care agency like Braley & Thompson Inc.Share
9 November 2015
When my children started struggling in school, I knew that I had to do something to help them. I talked with them, but it didn't seem to help at all. Fortunately, a friend of mine recommended a great family therapist who specialized in relationships and family. We met with her as a family, and it was amazing to hear everything that my kids had to say. I started learning more and more about different things my children felt, and it really helped me to shape my parenting style. This blog is all about building stronger relationships with your kids so that you can have a happy, functional family.