Foster children growing up fast is a part of their reality. The life that most of these children have been forced to live has placed them into the adult role and a lot of cases the care giver to siblings and at times, biological parents. It is hard to imagine living day in and day out with the pain and hardship that these children have lived most of their lives with.
There is no choice when your are the oldest and there is no food in the house for your younger siblings. The child then becomes the provider by stealing food or any other means to care for their siblings.
You can look into some of these foster children’s eyes and see the experience and wisdom that you should only see in adults. It is heartbreaking to see young children already living and learning the hard lessons of an adult life.
The reason I am talking about this is because it changes them. You cannot go back and undo what these foster children have lost. Some foster children can learn to adjust to being a child with a childhood but it does not happen overnight. Sadly some foster children are unable to release the control of being the adult and leaving them unable to experience being a child.
This can effect how you parent foster children and other children in your home. This is something that I did not fully understand until I became a foster parent and then it took me some time to figure out how to work through it for my foster children and myself. With every foster child it will be different so, it is a learn as you go experience We learn just as much from our foster children as they learn from us. Foster parents do not have all the answers to parenting challenging. We will make mistakes along the road but hopefully this helps make us better foster parents.
I will share some of my experiences parenting children that have been the care givers and adults in their lives.