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.
In my last post I was discussing about how to deal with foster kids fighting among each other and a role of foster parents to deal with such kind of situation. Previously As I said fostering kids is not an easy task . They come from many different community and culture and it makes them even more uncomfortable to deal with another foster child staying at the same home of different culture and society. Generally many foster parents do tend to face the same kind of situations and there are many different ways we can help deal with our foster kids and stop them from doing so . In my last post I discussed about a few ways to keep them away from fighting and there are still a few more things which can be done to avoid bad situations,
1. Give the kids time to grow and recognize – It’s always difficult even for us adults to accommodate someone new in our family and it takes time to free with them and adjust to new conditions, so how can we expect foster kids from different age groups and different families to get together soon and behave like a sibling. So giving them enough time to grow with each other while under foster parents with care and supervision they tend to know each other and value relations. Sometimes it even may take longer for one foster child to adjust with the second child and to have respect and concern for an unknown member in the family.
2. Have family time together – if also not the best way but it is always advisable to have a get-together with the other members of the family for a picnic, a sports event and even movies . It helps decrease tension and also create bond between the new siblings during playtimes and other activities held in groups. It develops a good bond between the two kids and if worked out may even help them care for each other at crucial times. It even makes the kids learn about moral values in a family and the happiness of working together.
3. Talk about every single issue openly – Talking about issues by calling the family together in a common meetup . If there are problems within the family discuss them as a family. Hold family meetings and share between each and every member .Go around the room and have each member share something they like about each member of the family before starting in on any problem. Be sure to pre-teach in this situation and remind everyone that the family is a safe place. Sometimes just by talking you may figure out the confusion between the kids and have a quick remedy to be taken care of. One can even figure the odd man creating problems and situations can be handled at family levels.
4. Plan supervising new projects together for the kids – the best way to check out things if they are working out for you as a foster parent is by planning some projects for the kids in which contribution of both children are needed like planning decorate their rooms , doing some gardening along with you or any kind of teamwork. This will help the kids come together and having worked together may ease out wrong feelings about oneself towards another. Many of the times team works create wonders and bonding between the kids clears disturbance between them. Do not forget supervising and let them do things alone.
5. Accepting the reality that they may not get along – when every trick in your mind fails and as a foster parent you are unable to handle the situation anymore it is best to accept the fact that whatever you try they may not get along peacefully with each other. So till the time the fights are reasonable and no one is hurt its ok for you to live with the fact but when the situation is out of hand it is best to consult a social worker around your foster facility and ask for advice. Sometimes it is the end and someone has to be removed for handling the situation out of your custody.
Hopes these tips works out for every foster parent and if not always welcome to discuss new ideas about taking care of foster children under your care . Stay tuned for more foster news and happy fostering dads.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.