In most family settings, you have parents and children all at home. However, there comes a time when children leave home for university or leave home to start their independent life. The once busy and noisy house gets quiet.
Many of these parents will reminisce about the times that they spent together with their children. There will be an eerie silence at home as they on ponder what to do with their future either alone in the case of a single parent or as a couple. There are those that are happy now that the children are gone, and that they can have some time alone.
However, most parents silently lament the loneliness that comes with the new era. Others may suffer from mental problems such as anxiety and depression. This is what society generally refers to as empty nest syndrome.
There are many support groups to help such parents cope with their new life. These support groups may offer some solace, but you still end up in the same quiet home. Fortunately, you can bring in the sounds and the warmth that you were used to by fostering a child.
Thousands of children all over the country are looking for a chance at parental care. Some may have been abandoned while others may have lost their parents. Fostering a child is no easy task, and is not a light or stress-free responsibility, but when done correctly and with good intentions it can be a highly rewarding experience for both you and your foster child.
By fostering a child, you make an incredible contribution to another human being. It is also a chance to give a child a taste of a life that he or she never had. This by itself can have a lasting positive impact on the lives of foster children. Most of the children can now turn their lives around, access new opportunities, and achieve success in ways that were hitherto impossible.
What Does Fostering a Child Entail?
Fostering a child entails providing a safe family environment at a crucial stage in the development of the child. You step in the shoes of the child’s parent and take care of them. While you may not replace the child’s parent, you give the child a chance to feel the parental love they may never experience. On the other hand, you get to have a new member of the family.
There is no standard description of what it is like to take care of a foster child as no child is like the other. The denominator is that the child was unable to live with the biological parent for one or more reasons and ended up in the hands of the authorities.
According to the Huffing Post, fostering a child brings invaluable interactions for the child. The foster carers also enjoy companionship and support that make the sunset years, warm, vibrant and happier. Fostering also introduces you to new families, new insights, and backgrounds. You also tend to form a bond that will outlive the period the child will have been under your care. A degree of satisfaction also comes with knowing that the child that you have fostered is no longer vulnerable.
Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them
As indicated earlier, fostering a child may at times not be a walk in the park. You may have to deal with some challenges especially before the relationship with the child takes root.
One of the main challenges is usually the behavior of the kid. Most of the children under foster care have gone through abuse and emotional pain. Therefore, they may show self-destructive or antisocial behaviors. Instead of being judgmental or developing a negative attitude towards such children, it is vital that you give them all the support that they need. Be patient with them and show them, unconditional love. It might also be important to seek professional help. There are also social support systems to deal with extreme behaviors.
Just like raising your own children, you may at time feel exhausted or experience burnout. It is essential to join a network of foster parents or working hand-in-hand with your partner. Remember to take care of yourself too. Eat healthily, do some exercise and get plenty of rest.
Fostering a child might not be easy. However, it might turn out to be the most fulfilling thing you have ever done in your life. Do not be consumed by loneliness — consider fostering a child today.