Episode – 36 Don’t forget your bios!
One of the questions that we get asked all the time is about how foster parenting has affected our biological children. So, in short I’ll just say that it has been one of the best things to happen to them; however, it is also one of the hardest things that they deal with on a regular basis.
Look at things through their eyes.
It seems like it is so easy to look back and recall fun childhood memories, but it is so hard to remember how to think like a child. As a foster parent you need to be able to think like your children.
- Ask your children what they think and feel about things.
- Pay close attention to their reactions.
- Listen to things they tell you. Expressing frustrations in one area of their life where they are not normally frustrated could mean that they are frustrated but just don’t know how to tell you.
- Try to look back in time and see how you would have felt, thought, and acted.
Sounds so simple, right? Well it’s usually not that easy. Patience is not something that is naturally available to parents, especially after one of those days. So it’s important to remember to make a conscious effort to be patient. To help you with your patience it’s important to remember the following.
- Children often feel threatened by other children, especially if those children infringe on their territory, for example: space, time, attention, possessions.
- Having foster siblings is tough and frustrating.
- When your bio-children are struggling with you being a foster parent, they may simply need something more from you, like reassurance that you care for them, special time with them.
Make a plan to meet everyone’s’ needs.
Remember being a parent takes time and effort. Being a foster parent in addition to being a parent, takes even more time. It is important that you make a plan to meet everyone’s needs. Here are a few key factors to consider when making your plan.
- What are the needs of each individual child?
- Do you know your kids’ love languages?
- Here is an awesome website to help you identify the love languages of your kids and better understand how to use love languages.
- Do they need your time, do they need to do a project with you?
- When are some times where you will be alone with them?
- Maybe on the way to sports or music practice, or
- maybe during bedtime routines, study time, or time while other kids are at school.
- Schedule time, in a calendar, to do specific tasks.
- “On Tuesday I will take Brandon our for an ice cream cone on the way home from wrestling practice.”
- Make sure that you make time for everyone.
- Take them along.
- If your going to the store, pick someone and take them.
- Do something that interests them.
- Video games, tea parties, building Legos, watching sports.
You are not going to be perfect at this at first, or probably ever. Just do your best. Any efforts are better than none.
Realize that foster parenting takes time, A LOT of time! If you want to make time for everybody, you will need to be proactive about it and make it happen.
Call to Action:
- Identify the needs of your individual children,
- Make a plan to meet these needs.
Thanks so much for listening. Stay tuned next week…
If you’ve liked anything that we’ve had to say, share this with your friends and go to iTunes and leave us a 5 Star review and Subscribe. This will help us reach and help other Foster Parents.
Let us know how you meet the needs of all of your kids. We are still working on this in our home and would love your ideas and feedback.
Until next time!
Ben & Deb Pugh
The Foster Parents