Skills needed to become a good foster parent

Parenting a foster child is easier said than done. It is a big responsibility and you can find no easy recipe to make it work. Since every child is unique and every situation is different, you need to approach the matter of foster parenting on an individual basis depending on the child you are fostering.

Having said that there are certain qualities and skills that can help you to be a successful foster parent. But more than anything else, these skills will help you to bring about a difference in the lives of your foster children and form a beautiful bond with them. Here are the essential skills you need to have to become a good foster parent.

Patience

When it comes to foster parenting a child, patience is an invaluable quality. Remember that the child entering your home under your foster care will be facing a new life and a new environment. This life and environment may be quite different from what the child is used to.

On the other hand, your home has its own set of rules, regulations, and culture that you would want the child to follow. It may not be easy for the child to adjust to everything at once. Your foster child may even take a long time to adopt these changes. You will have to exercise patience and offer unconditional support while dealing with the child.

Clear communication

As is the case in all relationships, communication assumes a vital role in developing your relationship with your foster child as well. In most cases, children coming under foster care have gone through mental or physical trauma or neglect.

Being a foster parent, you will have to reach out to them and encourage them to speak and share about their lives. You will have to learn to develop listening skills as well. By communicating with them, you will be able to help them to gain confidence and transform into emotionally strong individuals.

Ability to handle challenges

If you are having a hard time going through the adoption process, fostering parenting might be an option. But do not forget that becoming a foster parent comes with its own share of challenges. You may be up for several twists and turns along the journey of foster parenting that you might not have anticipated at all.

One thing to keep in mind is that training to be a foster parent and actually being one is two different things. No training can completely prepare you for the role of a foster parent. You will have to exercise your ability to overcome the challenges on a day-to-day basis as you go about creating a loving bond with your foster child.

Empathy and understanding

To be able to develop a healthy relationship with your foster child, you will have to understand the child’s position first. Place yourself in the shoes of your foster child and try to visualize the things from the child’s point of view.

This will help you to gain a better understanding of your foster child’s needs. Once you have an idea of what the child lacks or why the child is behaving in a certain way, you will be able to gain the child’s trust by communicating verbally and non-verbally that you understand and empathize with the whole matter. This will go a long way in laying the foundation of a happy and healthy relationship with the child.

Being a team player

Bringing up a foster child is not a solo act. This is something where you will have to work with your immediate family in order to raise your foster child in a loving and caring atmosphere. At the same time, you will also have to remain in constant touch with the birth family of your foster child. Sometimes you may even have to guide the family of the foster child as well in order to ensure the child’s well-being.

In many cases, foster parents have to deal with social workers frequently. Considering such varied aspects of foster parenting, you will have to learn to be a team player and work with a whole bunch of people to provide your foster child a happy life in your home.

Adaptability

It’s not just the child who has to adapt to a new environment when moving under foster care. As a foster parent, you will also need to be able to adapt to the changing situations that may arise in your life due to the child.

For instance, your foster child may develop an emotional issue or suffer from a medical problem. This may need you to drop your regular plans and attend to the child’s needs at short notice. If you are not ready to make such adjustments, your journey of fostering a child may not be smooth. Being flexible and adaptable will help you to develop a fulfilling relationship with your foster child.

Ability to shower unconditional love

Children in foster care often come with the baggage of a love-deprived childhood. This can impact their emotional state and reflect on their behavior. Showering them with love, care, and appreciation can make a big difference in their lives.

Your act of showing them unconditional love can help them to overcome their past and grow up to become responsible individuals. Taking care of such children and showing them love is not always easy. This is where you will have to be resilient and make sure that they do not feel deprived of love when under your care.

Becoming a foster parent can be a rewarding experience in itself. On one hand, it will help a child to get a good life, love, and care. On the other hand, you will be able to derive satisfaction from the fact that you are impacting a child’s life in a positive manner. Fostering a child may not be simple, but it’s not impossible either. With genuine effort and the skills mentioned above, you will be able to fit into the role of a foster parent in a confident manner.

The Truth About Having A Second Child

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When you have a baby for the first time, there’s no doubt it’s a life-changing experience – but you haven’t seen anything yet! Your second child is a vastly different experience, in more ways than one, and there are some surprising truths that no one else seems to tell you. So, if you are expecting your second child, or planning on making one, read on! Here are some interesting things that many of us moms-of-multiples often find out – after the event.

The pregnancy

Remember the constant worry, concern, and plan-making that occurred during your first pregnancy? The chances are, you left no stone unturned in your quest to enjoy the perfect pregnancy, whether it was taking part in yoga classes or massaging your tummy with all kinds of strange-smelling oils. But for the second child, it’s going to be a different story. It’s not that you don’t want to do the same things while carrying your next baby – it’s merely because you don’t have time. Child number one will be on your case 24/7, and the chances are that you won’t even have time to notice you are expecting until well into your third trimester.

The Truth About Having A Second Child

The Extras

Think you have a house covered in children’s gear right now? Wait until you double that amount. There will be a few things you need to replace or buy new, for a start. Baby seats for the car, are a good example, as are double strollers. Unless your eldest is already walking, you could do worse than click here to get in-depth information on double umbrella strollers or head to your local baby store for some demonstrations. There will be mountains of clothes to deal with, too, as well as toys, games, and the gazillion baby accessories we all get given as gifts. If you want to know how much/how little storage your home really has, get ready to find out.

The real mom

You are a mom as soon as you give birth to your first child, of course. But you’ll really know what it means to be a parent when you have your second. There will be no catching up on sleep when your baby has their daytime naps – Baby Number One will need entertaining. There will, in the future, be a time when you feel like less of a mom and more of a boxing referee. And all those offers of babysitting services to give you an evening break will dry up as soon as your friends realize they have two munchkins to deal with now. And packing up to go anywhere – even to the local grocery store – is going to require more planning and equipment than you need for a week’s hiking in the Rockies. In short, if you had a smooth experience bringing up your first, your second could well end up causing you a world of pain!

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m putting you off! Having multiple children is a beautiful experience and totally worth it – but it can often take a lot of work to pull off!

 

Tips for Teaching Children About Stranger Danger

With it being summer and kids out of school, it is a perfect time to teach your child about stranger danger, if you haven’t already! Sadly, we live in a world that is full of hate, crimes, kidnappings and more, it is is vital that we teach our children to stay away from strangers. Children are innocent and trusting, and it is up to us to teach them that not everyone will be kind to them!

It can be a little hard teaching them the difference on who is safe and who isn’t but with these tips below it might help you out. The definition of stranger danger, is someone your child doesn’t know. Children need to know that if they don’t know them, to stay away. Now, a police officer, firefighter, they don’t know them, but they need to know they are safe people to talk to if they see.

Tips for Teaching Children About Stranger Danger

Always Have a Buddy 

Make sure your child always has someone with them when they are outside. This can be a friend that they go to the park with, or play outside together, even an older sibling. Just make sure that they always stay close with their friend and never go into a strangers house, or talk to strangers when they are out. If someone approaches them, to leave. If you leave them for a minute at a ball game, say stay close to Uncle Jimmy. Make sure you always have a friend or family member that is an adult that your child can go to if you are not right there.

No, Go Yell, Tell

This is a part of the National Crime Prevention Tips, for teaching children about strangers. By telling the stranger, “NO”, and then run away from the situation to a parent or adult they may know near by. As your child is running, tell them to  yell for help as they are doing this. Once they find an adult they know, tell the parent what happened. This is very simple, and I suggest role playing this with your child so they can learn and remember in case a situation arises.

Follow Gut Feelings 

Teach your child how important it is, if someone makes you uncomfortable get away as fast as possible. If they are asking you if you want candy, or to come into their home, those are all bad signs. Teach them that if their gut is telling them to get away, always follow it and run away. If someone does make your child feel uncomfortable make sure they know to come and tell you right away.

Stay Close Together 

When you are out at a parade or walking around at the mall, teach your child to hold your hand and stay close. This will help keep them a lot safer, and you can physically feel them holding your hand. Try to always stay on top of where they are, when you are in stores, so that they don’t wander off and have a stranger approach them.

Make sure to sit down and talk to your child about stranger danger, and act out scenarios by role playing, so they can get the feel of what can be a negative situation. Show them and teach them how to get out and react fast, because it can truly save their life!