I am not certain how many children have started school again but I am guessing that many of your children have or will within the next week. School is such a great time. I have always enjoyed learning and assume that my children do as well. It always breaks my heart to hear a child say that they hate school. Yet, a lot of foster children are in this predicament. The lack of stability in their lives has left large gaps in their ability to learn and they have lost hope in themselves.
Foster parents see this every day. The children that come in their homes are plagued with poor school performance. They do not seem to have the capacity to handle the educational system. There is hope for these children. This is where foster parents come in. By offering a solid, stable home life the child in their care can begin to relax. This will offer the child a chance to figure themselves out. That is when a child can be taught to focus. The focus that I am speaking of is often elusive to foster children because of the harsh circumstances they have lived through.
So, the question that begs to be asked is how you- as a foster parent can have the patience and understanding to successfully bring the child through their trauma and offer them the chance to be successful in school?
This is the tricky part. There is nothing easy about bringing a child into your home. It causes stress that I cannot even begin to put into words. Yet, every child deserves a chance. These are the things that have worked for me:
1. Take the time to deal with your own issues. This is imperative in finding out how to be the best parent possible.
2. Get plenty of rest. Tired, stressed parents do not function well.
3. Make sure that the child is well-fed and comfortable. This is something that the children often do without before they get to your house.
4. Give the child time for learn who they are and figure out how to function in their new normal.
5. Laugh a lot. I know that this seems small but learning to laugh at the little things makes life so much more enjoyable for everyone.
These suggestions will not create an instant A student or change every habit of a kid who has struggled but will allow the child space and stability to learn who they are. Then they can make the changes that are necessary to become better in all areas of their lives.