Fostering children is one of the most underrated jobs in America today. According to AdoptUSKids, there are currently over 400,000 kids in foster care. Each one of those children deserves to be in a loving, supportive home that will help them succeed in their life beyond the foster care system.
Qualities that will make you a good foster parent
It’s okay if you’re not a master of all of these qualities right away. It takes time to grow into the foster parent that you want to be for the kids that you house. Here are some qualities to work on before embarking on your foster parenting journey.
According to Camelot Care Centers, growing strong empathy within yourself will help you connect with your children. Many kids will have faced serious trauma before coming to you. Working to try to understand them and where they’ve come from will show them you are there to care for and listen to them. This can help build a stronger connection and trusting relationship between you. Moving forward, you want to provide them with the best home possible as it isn’t ordinarily easy being a child in the foster care system.
Communication is key to creating strong relationships. Providing a space where your foster child/children feel safe to talk with you on any issue will be able to strengthen your connection. It’s also important that you continuously work to be a better communicator in order to talk successfully with them about problems they are having, issues that need to be addressed and necessary communication skills that will help them. Good communication is being able to remain calm during difficult situations, positively maneuvering through conflict and listening to what is being said and implied during conversations.
Things aren’t always going to be what you thought they were going to be. Letting go of any expectations that you had before accepting a foster child will help you work to be the best parent you can be. Sometimes the child is older than you expected, has special needs or isn’t interested in certain activities that you had planned. Everyone is different. Everyone loves differently, speaks differently and acts differently. It is important to plan for a providing, loving and stable environment, but impossible to plan ahead for every scenario you could possibly encounter.
A Very Well Family article states that being able to give yourself an honest evaluation will help you determine if you have the skills necessary to be a good foster parent. There may be skills that you still need to work on or a living situation that you need to better before you can take on the task. Being able to fully understand how fostering works and will impact your life will help you navigate the process more successfully. The best foster parents will be able to provide their kids with safe, loving and stable homes they will be able to grow in.
Constantly working to strengthen these qualities within yourself will help you be the best foster parent you can be for your kids. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.