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foster child fitting in while still expressing her individuality

Smiling teenage friends walking together in the street.

There are many things you need to know as a foster parent, such as how to communicate with your foster child and help them through the transition of settling into a foster home. It can be quite difficult for a child to be uprooted from the only home they have ever known. Plus, they also have to acclimate themselves to a new school and make new friends. If there are any other foster children in the home, they’ll have to learn to get along with them too. Indeed, the foster parent plays a critical role in helping a foster child get through this phase. Here are some tips to help you do so:

Respect the Child’s Individuality

One thing you have to understand is that all children are different. Even though they are not fully formed adults, they still have completely different personalities. Thus, one child might sail through the transition, while another might find it very difficult. Alternatively, one might respond by asking questions and satiating his/her curiosity, while another might respond by withdrawing into him/herself.

It’s up to you as a foster parent to understand the actions of the child and to respond in a way that will encourage the child to fit in and be happy.

Fitting in vs. Asserting Individuality

To a certain extent, it is important for the child to fit in, make new friends, and feel more adjusted. However, if the child is trying to assert their individuality, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A child always needs to strike a balance between fitting in and being who they are.

So, if you feel that the child is not fitting in because of certain good qualities they have, then you don’t need to encourage them to fit in. For example, a child might feel pressured to skip school along with his/her friends who are doing the same. But, if the child refuses to do this and continues to go to school, s/he is asserting their individuality in a good way.

Learn More With 2INgage

Contact us to learn more about helping your foster child strike the right balance between fitting in and asserting their individuality.