10 New Year Resolutions That Foster Parents Should Make

As the New Year begins, it is time to think about making positive changes to your life. Whether you are a seasoned foster parent or planning to do it for the first time this year, you need to have a fresh take on foster parenting. Irrespective of the fact that it is a big responsibility, fostering is a rewarding experience as it has the potential to change lives. It can help you in making a difference to the lives of the child and his or her family. Additionally, it is an opportunity to experience immense personal growth as you experience the joy of giving. Here are a few resolutions that foster parents should make this New Year to make their journey even more rewarding.

1. Focus on spending quality time with loved ones

As a foster parent, the most important thing that you can give to a child is your time as it makes them feel welcome and comfortable. This year, focus on spending quality time with them, each one individually if you have more than one foster child to look after. At the same time, give ample time to your spouse, family members, and biological children as well.

2. Try to be more empathic

Fostering is a challenging job as there will be several issues to deal with. These challenges could range from the behavioral issues with the foster child to adjustment problems with your own children, disagreements with your spouse, and more. Rather than being rigid, learn to be empathic while dealing with them. Saying no may seem easy but it is much better to look for compromises in all situations.

3. Try to be a good listener

Another resolution that you should make this year is to practice the art of listening. Being a good listener is one of the key parenting skills as it helps you to understand the child’s behavior, feelings and problems. Children, particularly foster children, deserve your attention and the more you try to listen to them, the better you can handle them.

4. Worry less about them

Undoubtedly, safety is a major concern when it comes to the decision of fostering children. But worrying yourself to death is not going to do you and the child any good. Ensure safety at home and educate them about being safe outside if they need to. There are things that you cannot control; so it is better not to worry about them and do all that you can to fulfill your responsibility to the best.

5. Be ready to explain things

Children who come in foster care need to understand that you have the best motives for them. Whatever decisions you take for them, be ready to explain the implications with patience and love, rather than just ask them to follow what you say. This will get you closer to them and build a bond for a lifetime.

6. Make reading a routine

Modern parenting has lost the charm of reading as gadgets have taken over. This year, make a resolution that you will read out to your children every night. This is a good way to spend quality time with them as well as teach them good values. No matter what the age of the child is, have a good book ready for them at bedtime and they will gradually settle into the routine.

7. Write a little more as well

Another habit that you should inculcate as a foster parent this New Year is to start writing a journal. Document all your experiences, challenges and rewards in a diary and you will have something to treasure. Start writing notes of encouragement, recognition and love as gifts to appreciate the child for their daily behavior.

8. Connect a little more

Being connected is the mantra to success whether it is about foster parenting or any other aspect of life. This year, resolve that you will connect a little more, with the foster child, your spouse and biological children and yourself too. Caring for everyone will help you achieve new parenting milestones as a foster parent.

9. Don’t shy away from seeking supportBringing a foster child home and making him or her settle in the family needs a great deal of conviction and patience. There will be a lot more work to do as well. So don’t shy away from seeking help from your friends, family, social workers or community.

10. Have realistic expectations

Make a promise to take it easy and have realistic expectations from yourself because you may face challenges and you may fail. Do not expect too much from the child as he or she may also need their time to adjust in the new system.

There is no formula of successful parenting as everyday is a new day. Start the New Year with a fresh perspective and you will definitely come out with flying colors.

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