Want To Be A Foster Parent?

Being a foster parent can be a delightful and satisfying adventure and will definitely be a difficult challenge that requires your full attention and patience. Even so and if your heart is truly into the adventure, it can be wonderful for both you and your foster child. There are many aspects to being a foster parent; but for now, let’s think a while together about a few of the behavior and adjustment concerns that may develop while the child is with you.

Your foster child comes to your home with her strong points and special problems. It is hard for any child to adjust to a new family; but for your foster child, it is extra tough. If her past family experiences had been positive and healthy, being her foster parent would be fairly easy. Loving her and giving her a chance to live in your home would be enough. It is sad but true that love and a good home are not enough for her.

Your foster child is with you because she (or he) could not stay where she was. Maybe she was abused. She may have been neglected. There might have been other problems that made it impossible for her to stay with her family. Whatever happened, she was not safe, happy, and getting her needs met. She now has more problems than most children.

Learning about her special problems is your first step. You will love her, care about her, and encourage her. That’s just the way you are. At your home, she also can count on help with her problems, whatever they are. She will get what she needs, whatever it takes.

Let’s think about children who are abused and neglected. Abuse and neglect cause lifelong problems. Being mistreated hurts children in ways you can see and in ways you cannot see. They suffer at the time and will have problems at later life-stages. Although the harm done may not be easy to see, it is there.

Categories: Parenting

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On Comes Family Violence

It started with a temper tantrum. It didn’t amount to much. He was only 3 and the truth of the matter is that it was kind of cute. Then he was 15 and it was actually out of hand, but still not worth the hassle and expense of getting some outside, professional help. Then he was 20 and there was no hope for it. He was just going to be difficult. And then along came family violence. I don’t understand. He certainly didn’t grow up that way.

Sure, substitute she for he and the sad story is unchanged. In this episode of Audio Tidbits Podcast, I revisit temper tantrums and the importance of managing them gently and thoughtfully when your child is very young. Please listen and think about it along with me.

Categories: Parenting

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Driving Everyone Up The Wall

Have you ever wondered how frustrated people manage to be so frustrating? Well, it requires a set of skills that most people don’t have but can develop, with practice. If you aspire to be among the frustrating elite, here is a full dozen of the most useful techniques for totally frustrating people. With time and concentration, even amateurs can become proficient at frustrating most anyone. The only requirement is to creatively expand these techniques to numerous relationships and to add new and innovative techniques as you go along. Read and judge for yourself.

1. Always play it safe; and above all, don’t take any chances. If it is not in writing, either get it in writing or refuse to do it until it is in writing. If it is already in writing, ask for clarification. Once you have gotten clarification, check with a few other people to see what their understanding is and then ask for a meeting to discuss the confusion everyone is experiencing.

2. Put most of your time and energy into worrying and hoping nothing changes. When things do change, ask for written procedures and clarification. Once you get clarification, suggest that the changes be put off until everyone has had an opportunity to provide input and to discuss the long-term implications of the changes. After everything has been discussed at least twice, take your sweet old time getting with the new program, letting everyone you talk to know that the changes are causing things to back up and nothing is getting done.

3. Avoid taking responsibility for anything. Certainly don’t volunteer and be reluctant even if asked. If you can’t avoid it, ask for written instructions and check back often for additional instructions and clarification. If someone tells you, “If you can’t handle this, I will find someone who can,” you should say, “That’s an excellent idea. I really have too many other responsibilities to handle this right now anyway.”

4. Don’t put up with the quirks and idiosyncrasies of other people. You know how to behave and they should too. If there is anything about them or the way they do things that you know isn’t the way people should act, mention it to a few people. Say something like, “I suppose you have heard what people are saying about so-and-so.” Not one person in a hundred will resist saying, “No, what?” Now just lay it out, being careful to emphasize that, although you don’t feel that way personally, other people are getting pretty fed up with it and that you just want to give everyone a head’s up about the problems that are brewing out there.

Categories: Frustration Factor

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The Frustration Factor: It’s Always About Me

Ray Vinham stands up to a light round of applause and delivers his campaign speech to the Westover Leadership Coalition. It is the evening he has waited for since the day he joined the civic group. From that first meeting, he had known that his being president was critical if the club were to get out of its rut. He revels in the knowledge that his day has finally come.

The I-Players of the world are alive and about to drive their associates up the wall. It’s always about me is their theme song and they sing it loudly and enthusiastically. Sit back, relax, listen and learn. You are about to be the next unwitting victim driven up that wall, if you are not very careful.