When people see kids who have come into foster care they feel pity. They feel sorry for the kids. To have been taken from the family and home of what they know is tragic. Any person who comes from a loving home couldn’t imagine being taken away from that against their will. For the most part they are right to feel those things. Most kids that come into foster care do leave the situation that they know. No matter how traumatic their lives are. It is what they know and what they want back.
What most people fail to realize is that in the situation of neglect there are basic needs not met but also social needs, emotional needs. The need to learn rules- not met. The need to learn respect-not met. The need for personal accountability- not met. The need to learn respect for other peoples’ things- not met. The need for discipline-not met. Knowing when it’s appropriate to ask for things- not taught. The need for basic reading and writing skills- not met. The need to use the restroom appropriately- not met. So many things that don’t get taught due to neglect.
If you were to see an adult disciplining a spoil child for whatever reason, society seems to think good for them. If an adult sees a foster child being reprimanded for not acting appropriately then, ‘shame on those foster parents for not loving that child as their own’. When in reality being disciplined is showing them that they are loved just as much as biological children. Foster children deserve to learn how to function as positive humans in society and if in the foster home is where they learn that then that’s ok.
Most children who come from neglectful homes don’t have rules. There is no need to pity them and give them everything or let them do anything they want. No matter the circumstances that isn’t the proper way to teach a child.
A foster child can learn respectful rules and boundries like any other child. Yes there are added issues that need dealt with. Emotional disappointments that will come. Being let down by birth parents over and over again. Physical challenges that need addressed in private at home. Teaching them what is actually normal behavior and what is not acceptable. Always teaching them with the outcome of what type of adults will they will become. Can you help them get through the challenges that present while teaching them how to carry themselves properly in society and be proud of the people they will become?
The role of the foster parent in changing the neglect is a tough one. Kids will only change their behavior if they want to. Older children seem to know that the change is optional and that is tougher.