When they think about fostering, many people consider fostering a young child. However, fostering a teenager can give you all of the benefits of fostering a younger child and can be just as rewarding. Here are some top tips for parenting a teenager to help you to be the best foster carer possible.
Allow Them Independence
Teenagers often desire independence in their lives more than children, and this can be difficult for foster carers to deal with, especially since you may feel protective of them. However, giving them the opportunity to be independent, such as allowing them to do their own thing and to make their own decisions, is vital to both help them to develop skills that they need in the future and to prevent them from feeling smothered. By giving them independence in a safe way, while also offering them advice and support, you will be able to ensure that they feel as if their autonomy is respected. So, if you believe that you are ready to foster a teenager, you should head to thefca.co.uk.
Offer Them Their Own Space
When you are thinking of fostering a teen, you should make sure that you create a room in your house that is just for them, and which they can escape to when they feel overwhelmed. This space should be somewhere they can relax and should afford them the privacy that they require. You should try not to enter this space without their permission, or look through their personal belongings, as this can breach their trust and show that you do not trust them.
Guide Their Futures
As a teenager, a lot of their time may be spent looking toward the future and what they want to get out of life, such as in terms of their career. Therefore, you should make sure that you are there to guide them, such as helping them to find out the best steps that they need to take to achieve their future goals and dreams. This will then help them to feel supported and will ensure that they can have a bright adulthood once they have left your care.
Take Them Seriously
Many teens can feel as if they are not taking seriously or believed, especially if you tease them about what they do, or do not listen to what they say. Therefore, you should always make sure that communication is maintained between you and them, that you respect their decisions and listen to their reasoning, and that you do not mock them. Instead, you should make sure that you take them seriously at all times, and that you help them to make plans that will allow them to sort through their worries and concerns.
Bring Them Into Your Family
Teenagers may be more reluctant than young children to become a part of your family, especially if they have been in foster care for many years or have been let down in the past. However, you should always make the effort to give them the family time that they need and ensure that you see them as equally a part of your family as your birth children or other family members, this also means encouraging them to do chores, help make family decisions and getting involved in every day life like meal planning and caring for pets. .
If you follow these tips you will find it helps you to connect to your foster child, build a relationship with them based on mutual trust and respect and prevent you from feeling drained as a parent.