Being a foster parent to a teenager can be a daunting task. The teenager in your home may become withdrawn or challenge your rules and authority. They could also express outright resentment about having to live with people they don’t know.
However, it’s not all gloom, and you can do a good job, especially if you understand what teenagers in foster care want. A teenager in foster care wants and needs what every other child needs. They want to be seen and heard for more than what is in their file about them. To help you out, here are some tips to guide you as you parent a teenager in foster care:
- Teenagers in foster care want to feel welcomed, loved, and accepted without conditions. They don’t want to feel like guests, outsiders, or intruders.
- Treat them in the same way you treat other children their age. They want the same amount of love, discipline, and praise as other children in the home.
- They, too, would love to be adopted and have a family that is always stable and safe.
- Teenagers in foster homes have identity issues to work through. However, this should not intimidate the foster family or make them scared.
- Ensure you provide them with a safe place to let their walls down. Although this may be hard, it plays a role in building connections with the teen.
- Be patient and understanding.
- Learn how to help a teen cope with triggers from their trauma, which can come out of nowhere when you least expect them.
- Have someone keep them in the loop about their case
- Understand that the teenagers in foster care want someone to teach them how to grow and become successful.
- Love them for who they are and where they are at in the journey of life.
Above all, seek help in parenting a teenager in foster care when needed. It will help you cope with unforeseen eventualities. At TFI, we have the resources to help you become a better foster parent. Contact us today to find out more.