Parenting from a unique position

Foster and adoptive parents open their homes to children from many cultures and races, but all with histories of loss and pain. Willingly, these parents accept the challenge to help children become more successful in life. Their loving hearts and investment in the process become assets to their unique position. Whether the children are in the home temporarily or permanently, moments of healing are possible. As the moments accumulate, healing escalates.

What makes a foster and adoptive parent’s position in the child’s life unique?

  1. These parents did not traumatize the child. (Kinship care)
    1. They lack the responsibility for the trauma
    2. They lack a biological attachment with the child
  2. The children are designed to connect with their parent for safety, security, and a sense of self.
    1. There is a part of the child’s brain that secures safety from their parent’s responsiveness to the child’s communication of fear (cry when hunger, tired, etc).
    2. Foster and adoptive parents, in time, are incorporated into that spot.
    3. Children are dependent on their parents for survival. (humans are the only ones that are dependent for years after birth)
    4. Children develop their sense of self through their parents’ eyes. How they are “seen” and responded to create who they are. If the parent implies the child is a problem when asking for needs to be met, over time, the child’s sense of self will include “I am a problem.”
  3. The child is hardwired to emotionally connect with a parent.
    1. This means that unlike teachers, coaches, therapists, etc their brain is designed to learn about emotions through the foster and/or adoptive parent.
    2. In addition to, NOT the exclusion of, the birth parents.
  4. The parents have the ability to model healthy living 24/7.
    1. Children are always watching, thus parents are always defining what is healthy/good and what is not.
    2. This includes self-care, cleanliness, work ethic, relationships,… everything.
    3. This becomes the baseline to which all other learning is compared…teachers, coaches, therapists, two hundred million idiotic Facebook connections,
  5. The child is dependent on the parent’s cognition.
    1. Children are not born thinking, that part of their brain is not developed yet.
    2. In the early stages of life, they are completely dependent on the thinking part of their parents (child is hungry=cries for food, parent determines how and what to feed child)
    3. That means when our cognition goes down, the children will learn dysfunction.
  6. The parents control and influence the home/learning environment.
    1. Agency’s staff, culture, neighborhood watch, home improvement channels, everyone can tell you what to do with your home, but it’s yours to decide.
    2. Our homes are incubators for the adults we produce.
    3. Children come from broken incubators. What we produce needs to, first, repair the damage caused by the broken incubator. Secondly, we must direct the growth we wish to promote. (TDC, physical activities, co-enjoyable experiences, defining limitations, decision making principles, and many more are parts of our home environment)
  7. Agencies declare this family is safe and will provide for them. (Maslow) (outsiders will know and encourage the child to trust this family)
    1. Before the child arrives at the family’s home, agency staff will have described the family and how the child will be taken care of by the new parents.
    2. While agencies are involved, staff will reinforce that the family will take care of the child.

© 2022, Jeff and Faye. All rights reserved.

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