Becoming a foster parent is a rewarding experience. It is also an experience that you have likely thought about and planned for. However, if you have other children in the home, it is not an idea that they may have put as much thought into. As such, the process of blending the family can sometimes be a challenge. Learn about some of the skills you can apply to make the transition smoother.
Start With the Why
Children often have a heightened level of empathy and can process information a lot better than adults think. For this reason, as soon as you decide to move forward with being a foster parent, you want to speak to your children about why you have made the decision.
Although you should gauge just how in-depth the conversation is based on the age and maturity level of the child, you can speak to the needs of other children and how your family can do their part to help in the lives of these children.
Encourage the Children to Play Active Roles
The foster child and your children will feel more comfortable and at ease if they interact with one another. While you should not force your child to do anything until they feel comfortable doing so, you should encourage some level of interaction between the children.
Whether you encourage your children to invite the child to play games with them, sit with them at lunch if they attend the same school, or even share a room, this interaction goes a long way. A foster parent training program will provide you with details about how to encourage interaction between the foster child and the other children in the home in a way that each person is comfortable.
Remove Preconceived Notions
As you will learn in your foster parent training, there is no standard experience. Although there are some things you should expect, your experience will depend largely on the children you invite into your home, and your own family's dynamic.
For this reason, you should not have any preconceived ideas about how your children will assimilate to the change. Take each day slowly and stay attentive so that you can quickly respond to any challenges that might present themselves.
Training is a very important tool in the process. From tips on blending the family to how to handle difficult or uncomfortable situations, completing a foster parent training program for is especially helpful.