5 Valuable Tips for Being the Best Parent You Can Be

Am I a good parent? It’s a question millions of Americans will ask themselves daily this year. There is no handbook for being the perfect parent. There is no agency that releases literature on how to get it just right. Parenting is an ever-evolving, ever-changing role many of us play, working our hardest to get it as good as we possibly can.

Of course, everyone needs some community support with parenting, especially the foster parents of the world taking in children that are not their own while giving them a new start.

Here are 5 valuable tips for being the best parent you can be:

  1. Be Loving, Yet Firm: One of the most damaging things a parent can do to a child is coddle them beyond the point of no return. Although you may not want to, you need to say no – a lot. Your child can’t have what they want, when they want it, at all times. You’ll be doing them a favor for when they reach adulthood, understanding boundaries, how to share, and how to adapt to foreign situations.
  2. Family Rituals: Studies have shown our fondest memories when we reach adulthood are from the family rituals we pursued as kids. You probably remember some quirky thing you did every Christmas. Creating predictability in this sense makes the children feel like part of the family – part of something bigger than themselves.
  3. Acceptance: Don’t clip your child’s wings. Every child is different and unique in their own way, and you must let them be independent regardless of your opinion. “Helicopter parents” can thwart their child’s ability to converse with other human beings or pursue goals because of the smothering. Your child needs to exert their own independence without commentary.
  4. Step Back: As a parent, you’ll have an overwhelming desire to fix everything you can, at all times. However, some of our greatest childhood lessons occurred when our parents didn’t step in to save us. You want your kids to have their own problem-solving skills that will take them throughout their lives.
  5. Be Fun: Every kid needs fun. Especially as a foster parent, these kids possibly came from dark and dreary backgrounds, in need of a setting in which they can just be kids. Play with your children and show them that the world isn’t always so serious.

TFI Family Services
Here at TFI Family Services, we work with you, the foster parent, to ensure you are provided with a recipe for success regarding your foster children. Although we can’t train anyone fully with a “how-to-parent” blueprint, we can offer our support, expertise, and education to you daily. Consider these parenting tips this year when you feel like you’re totally overwhelmed with the responsibility. Remember to sit back, breathe, and focus. No one is perfect at it.

7 Family-Friendly Spring Activities to Enjoy Together This Season

Spring is finally here, which means children are itching to get outside and enjoy the warmer, happier air. As a parent, it can feel overwhelming when the weather starts to warm, with kids wanting to do all sorts of activities outside to celebrate the upcoming summer season. However, there are plenty of safe, low-budget outdoors activities that you can do with your children or monitor efficiently from the kitchen window.

For all the foster parents out there, here are 7 family friendly activities to provide for your kids this year:

  1. Kites: Kites are just as amusing to kids today as they were 100-years ago. They cost close to nothing and can keep children entertained for hours. As Mary Poppins said, “Let’s go fly a kite.”
  2. Scavenger Hunt: It only takes a little planning to set up an outdoor scavenger hunt for your kids. Consider coordinating one and setting up this weekend while they’re still sleeping.
  3. Biking: Although bikes can be expensive, consider the amusement and healthy physical activity that kids get out of biking today. Providing them with a bike will keep them entertained every single day of the week.
  4. Mini Golf: If you want to really kick-start the spring season happily, take the family to the nearest mini golf course. There is perhaps nothing more exciting to a kid than playing mini golf with the family.
  5. Gardening: Although the thought of gardening might not be exciting to kids, planting and tending to one for them to watch and observe is incredibly beneficial for them. Ask them to harvest the crops and help pull up weeds. Their natural fascination will make it a rather enjoyable experience.
  6. Camping: No, you don’t have to pack up the family and travel hours to go officially camping – you can do it right in your backyard. Grab a tent and set it up for the kids. Allow them to camp out in it overnight. Tend to a fire that evening, obviously supervised, under the stars and make it feel like the real camping experience.
  7. Picnics: Another activity you can do right in your backyard is set up a picnic for the family to enjoy. Pack a basket with fun treats and sandwiches, lay out a blanket, and tell your kids it’s time for the spring picnic. They will be undoubtedly excited.

TFI Family Services
Here at TFI Family Services, we provide guidance, support, and resources to foster parents navigating the waters of foster child-rearing. As such, we want you to come together as a family, which is why we’re recommending you take advantage of the upcoming nice weather and use it as a tool to bond and communicate with your children. Whether it’s camping in the backyard or indulging in your own family picnic, those are the memories that your children will never, ever forget.

The Top Benefits Realized by Children in Stable Foster Homes

When a child receives news that they are being welcomed into a safe and loving home with open arms, they are immediately filed with hope that their future will get better. Children in the foster care system have been tossed around, forgotten, and neglected by families, adults, communities, and the system. All they want is to be wanted.

By giving a child the chance to flourish and become the person they were always meant to be, the positive benefits of that occurrence are felt throughout the world. Here are some of the top benefits realized by children in stable foster homes:

  1. Mental Stability: It’s not easy being on your own at the age of 6. Many of us can hardly even imagine. That’s why, when these children are accepted into stable foster homes, their mental stability regulates, providing a healthy base upon which they can grow and develop for years to come. Although fostering can’t completely wipe away the sad memories, it can fill their lives with new ones.
  2. Education: Many abandoned children have never had access to proper education. In order for them to succeed once they reach the age of 18-years-old, they need basic education under their belt. Supportive foster homes provide these kids with a way to attend and complete schooling, helping them to feel almost “normal” again.
  3. Generational Changes: Instead of contributing to the system that put these kids where they are in the first place, by realizing the love and compassion of a foster home, they are now more likely to go out there and break the chain for the future. They understand what stability in the home looks like, and can work more diligently towards achieving that for themselves.
  4. Socialization: We may take socialization for granted, but during our formative childhood years, socialization is incredibly important. It’s when we learn customs, speaking norms, and how to interact with others. Many of these kids have never had proper socialization, and are unable to connect normally with others. Foster homes provide them with a community where they can talk, listen, cry, and laugh with other people who care about them.
  5. Trust: Naturally, children in foster care have a deep-rooted distrust when it comes to the adults of this world. Can you blame them? Distrust towards everyone around you translates into a lonely life, one without employment and comradery. Foster homes demonstrate that not everyone is to be distrusted. There is still good in the world, and you can find it when you least expect it.

TFI Family Services

The next time you stop to think about becoming a foster parent, consider how beneficial the arrangement will be for the children you welcome into your home. To ensure the process is as smooth as possible for you, we work with you every step of the way, ensuring you are equipped physically and emotionally for the foster parent lifestyle.

Consider filling out an application today.

5 Reasons You Should Become a Foster Parent in 2018

It’s hard to ignore the statistics today. There are thousands of American children in need of a safe and supportive home, and although you may consider the role of caretaker now and then, there are not enough foster care homes available to these children today. Some of biggest reasons why we’re afraid to make the foster care commitment is because we don’t know what to expect.

If you continue to push your inner desire and emotional calling to be a foster parent away week after week, we’re going to look at the top reasons why you should become a foster parent in 2018:

  1. The Numbers: On any given day, there are nearly 428,000 children in foster care in the United States. Looking at 2015 specifically, over 670,000 children spent time in the U.S. foster care system. If nothing else, the numbers don’t lie. There are thousands of children waiting to be welcomed into a warm house they can call home.
  2. Generational Shifts: Yes, the numbers may be overwhelming, but you have to consider the impact you are having on future generations. By taking a child in, you are changing the course of their life, showing them that they can reach for their dreams and do so with a loving base. Children in your home will learn what it takes for families to be stable, abuse-free, and safe, something they can transfer onto their children.
  3. A Universal Experience: The skills, emotional depth, and mental development that you will acquire as a foster parent can be applied to everything you do in life thereafter. Your newfound ability to humanize others, understand the story behind every face, and interact with diversity is just a few of the great lessons learned while foster parenting. You will see the bigger picture, and how everything falls into it.
  4. Changing the Norm: Far too many children grow up in a setting that doesn’t resemble a family. Residential facilities, group homes, and other housing options may cover the basic needs, but they don’t provide the critical family and communal emotional support that comes with a home. It’s this kind of interaction that children require to be stable and functioning adults when they mature.
  5. They Need You: It’s plain a simple: a displaced child with no home or family is in dire need of anyone that is willing to step up and care for them. At the end of the day, we’re social creatures, requiring communication, emotional support, and access to people that we feel care about us.

TFI Family Services

Becoming a foster parent is a monumental decision, one that scares many able-bodied, experienced, and loving individuals away from saying yes. Here at TFI Family Services, we work with you to ensure you are totally equipped and supported every single day, experiencing the foster parenting journey with right by your side. Consider filling out an application today.

April 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month began as a reaction to increased public awareness of child abuse throughout the 1970’s. As a result, Ronald Reagan declared April National Child Abuse Prevention month in 1983. The goal was to increase understanding of what contributes to the prevalence of child abuse and, more importantly, how to prevent it.

Why Right Now is the Time for You to Consider Becoming a Foster Parent

Thousands of children are bouncing around the American foster care system today, waiting to be adopted into a family they can call their own. With figures reporting that more than 428,000 children are available for adoption at any given time the United States, the number appears to be increasing since the turn of the century.

For many, the thought of becoming a foster parent has been there for years; however, the magnitude of the decision can deter applying to actually become a foster parent. Deciding to open your home up to a child in need is a life-changing decision, but we’re going to look at why right now is the time for you to seriously consider the new title of foster parent:

  1. You Care: If you’ve reached a point in your life where you want to help children, truly providing them with safety away from the abuse and neglect they have suffered, it’s time to consider the foster title. Foster parenting is a powerful way to lift up the heads of young children and youth, showing them that there is a new future on their horizon.
  2. You’re Mature: We all want to be kind and loving to kids, but what about making the tough calls to be firm when it’s required? If you’ve reached a point in your life when you’re able to distinguish between the appropriate times to be affectionate, and the appropriate times to discipline, you’re ready to be a foster parent.
  3. Experience: Although it’s not a requirement for foster parents to be biological parents to other children, if you fall into that category, then you already have the experience required to welcome another child into your home.
  4. Meaning: For those who haven’t raised their own children or were unable to for whatever reason, becoming a foster parent will provide your life with a depth and meaning it has been missing. Our services here support you and ensure you are covered with all information and resources required to be a stellar foster parent. Everyone has to start somewhere.
  5. Legacy: If you feel the desire to have a positive impact on somebody, changing the community and the world for the better, there’s no easier way to do it than by opening your home up to a child in need. Despite the challenges you’ve already faced in your own life, you can make a child’s life that much better by hugging them in your arms every single night.
  6. Challenge: For some of us, we respond well to challenges. If you want to challenge your preconceived notion of what you thought your life would be, fostering a child in need is a great way to do it.

Foster Care with TFI Family Services

Here at TFI Family Services, we understand the emotional, physical, and mental demands that come with being a foster parent, which is why we work to support you throughout the entire process. If you’re afraid of saying yes to your inner calling of being a foster parent, give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you today.