Being a foster parent is different from being an adoptive parent. A foster parent will be responsible for taking care of their foster child or children only for a temporary period. Meanwhile, if you adopt a child, you will serve as the child or children’s official parent for the child or children’s lifetime.
However, even if being a foster parent is temporary, it should not be taken for granted. Despite the short amount of time, the time of the foster parent with their foster child has a great impact and will go a long way.
Some people who decide on being a foster parent may be parents already or may have experienced being a guardian. However, there are also some people who haven’t had experience with taking care of a child on their own.
If you are reading this article and is interested in our community foster care, most probably, you are thinking of being a foster parent. However, you might have doubts such as, “Will I be a good parent?”
That is why we have come up with a list of the top 8 good parenting tips that can help you in your journey of becoming a foster parent. Even if you already had experience with being a parent, we suggest that you go on and read ahead. You might discover some new tips that you can use as a parent and gain more insights about parenthood. We believe that while we all have different parenting styles, parenthood is something that we can improve so that we can nourish further the lives of the children we care for.
1. Lead by Example
As parents, whether as a foster parent, biological parent, or an adoptive parent, we all want to impart good learnings, culture, and behavior to our children. We take different opportunities so that we can tell our children how we should behave, how we should treat other people, and more.
Along with telling them how things should be, we should be highly aware if we walk the talk. Most of the times parents wonder why children seldom listen to what they say, even if it has been repeated many times already. Don’t forget to ask yourself, “Am I setting a good example for the children?”
Always lead by example! Few words are needed. Your actions can already teach your children the lessons that you want to impart.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
Getting your child grounded or spanking them may be thought of as effective ways for disciplining your child. However, up until now, positive reinforcement is still the better choice than negative reinforcement.
When you use negative reinforcement, the child will remember their deficiencies and might have a hard time to compensate for them. Fear might be instilled instead of respected.
However, if you use positive reinforcement through rewards and praise, children will be motivated to acquire more talents. Through positive reinforcement, you are also able to aid your child in reaching their potentials instead of wallowing over what they do not have.
3. Do Not Compare Them to Other Kids, Siblings
There is a tendency for people to compare children as an attempt to teach them who is a good example. Instead of teaching them who is a good example, we are actually teaching them what they are not or what they do not have. Comparing siblings is especially not encouraged. Comparison creates rivalry among siblings.
4. Get Support
Being a parent is no easy task. It is not even just a task. It is a role that you must embody for a long time. Just like all parents, we all experience hardships in our journey as a parent. We oftentimes wonder if our parenting technique is right for our child. Sometimes, we undergo so many problems that they are piling up and we do not know which one to solve first.
In times like these, it is okay to ask for help and get support. You may ask support from a friend, your own parents, colleagues, or even professional advice. You will be experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions as a parent. Therefore, as you support your child make sure someone is supporting you as well so that you could maintain your sanity and you can still enjoy your parenthood.
5. Do Not Ever Give Up on Your Child
A teacher may give up on your child. A friend may give up on your child. Your parents may give up on your child. However, you as their parent can never give up on them. You should be their number one supporter. Sometimes, it gets hard, especially if your child displays behavioral issues, or if they are not doing well in school. However, if you give up on your child, who will be there for them?
Always remember that each problem has a solution. Some problems need more time to solve, but they can be solved. Give all you can and always be the parent that they need.
6. Identify The Child’s Strength
A person’s youth is a huge factor in how they think of themselves in their adulthood. Notice how people who seem to have insecurities always trace these back to their childhood? It is because the childhood is one of the most fragile and vulnerable states of a person.
Therefore, as young as your child is, help them identify their strengths, talents, and skills. This will build their self-esteem which will give them the confidence that they can use in their whole lifetime.
7. Give Them Positive Attention
Love and affection are very important for children. Make sure that you are able to give love and affection to your children. Children often turn out to be rebels because they are not given positive attention by their parents. Therefore, when this happens, they seek negative attention instead.
8. Nourish Your Child’s Independence
There can be a thin line between being protective and being over-protective. Oftentimes, parents justify their being controlling by saying that they are protective. As we set limits to our children, we should also give them a chance to practice their independence.
We won’t be in this world forever, right? Moreover, we won’t be there for our foster children for their whole lives. Therefore, by fostering their independence, they are able to practice decision-making skills, self-control, and direction.
Even if you will only be a temporary parent for a foster child, it is still impactful. The child you cared for will always remember what you taught them, the care you brought them, and the love that you gave them.
Are you courageous enough to be a foster parent? Make a difference now. Call us at 719-321-4319.