Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Dads are the most important aspect of every child’s life whether it is his own child or an adoptive foster child. If it’s your own child you can deal with it in a certain way but if it’s a foster child you have to take more care and attention in another way, I can tell special care. Your job is not done only by signing the papers; you have to take the responsibility too. You have to give them your valuable time, I know time is very precious in every body’s life but it can’t be at the cost of your child’s happiness. You need to take out certain time every day for your kids. These are some special things I would like to share which would make the father-son relation stronger. Today I am going to share some special things a dad need to do for his foster kid.
Allocating time: Try to take out a certain time that is, it can be in the morning or evening. I think evening time would be more appropriate because both of you would be free from your respective school and office. I think that time you need to talk to him about his day, his school and friends. You can discuss with him all the things like a friend so that he can share with you some secrets too.
Become his friend: Try to be his friend more than father because he would share his secrets to his friend rather than the father. If you come to know that he is doing something wrong, don’t be harsh to him. Try to make him understand the situation and explain very gently. At the first instance itself he may not listen to you but slowly he will start to listen and understand you. So start behaving like a friend.
Regular picnics: Fix a Sunday in your calendar in every month for a family outing like a picnic. In this way you can spend the whole day playing with your kid. If the whole family is present he can even come close to his grandparents too. Playing, talking will make him come closer to you. If you are busy even then taking out this Sunday out it would relax you too.
Be honest and disciplined: Kids generally inherit some of their dad qualities. Even if they don’t inherit they get it by looking at them every day. They will start to get your habits, disciplines and even honesty. If you are honest in your work, your daily activities he would surely learn this from you. Being discipline would make him disciplined in his life. So in the same way he may get your bad qualities too. So keep him away from your bad habits or start to leave them for your kid.
Express your love: Start expressing your love to your loved ones especially your kids. They need to know how much you love them. You may not that expressive but once in a while let them know how much you love them. Tell them those three magic words I love you and see the change. This will make them think that someone is there in their life that really loves and cares about them.
Remember their activities: Try to remember their favorite game and food. Sometimes their best friends name, which teacher they like the most, which TV show they watch the most. Try even to meet their friends when they come to your home. Try to go and meet their teachers so that you can know how he is doing in his student life. This will help you to know more about your kid and bond would grow stronger.
Career to choose: Let him choose his career, try not to interfere much. Try to give him suggestions but don’t make any decision about his career what he needs to do. He may have an interest and talent in some particular things; try to raise it more by giving him guidance and special coaching. In this way he can select his career in which he is talented. By forcing he could do the thing you want him to do but he will not excel in that. So let him choose his career.
Don’t show the difference: Don’t make him ever feel that he is foster kid. If you have kids of your own and a foster kid too then there is more responsibility. Never make a difference or partiality in your activities so that the foster kid may be left alone in the family race. Try to give equal love to both of them so that he can never feel what he is.
These are few things that a dad should take care while raising a foster kid. Following these simple steps will help both the son and dad to form a special bond in between them. Your son can become your best friend and will become a support for you in your older age. Your principles and honesty will help him grow more in his field. He will be happy with his day to day life and will love you forever. Just like you love him. Now it should not matter to you whether it’s a foster kid or your own kid, love is the utmost important in everybody’s life. So start taking the responsibility.
Thank you for reading.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.