There is a lot of difficulty for children in the area of competition. This is obvious by the way that bullying is on the rise. It is intrinsic to people to want to win or be the chosen one. Foster children are the leaders of the pack in this arena. They struggle with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. They need to control their situations and the easiest way is by winning or being on top. This, of course, can not always be and is difficult for parents to deal with because with the loss comes anger. That anger is often misdirected at the parents of the home and chaos erupts.
What is a foster parent’s role when dealing with a child that is competitive for their attentions and praise? What can a parent do to make that child feel important in the family but not take down another child in the process? These are common questions that beg to be answered.
First, it is vital for all of the children in a home to be treated fairly. This levels the playing field and allows each one to develop confidence in their position within the home. This is so much easier said than done. All children struggle from time to time. They do not think that they are being treated fairly. Foster children tend to think in that manner more frequently. This is probably because they are more insecure. So dealing with the stability might offer an easy solution to the fairness component.
Second, do not allow yourself or anyone else to play the comparison ‘game.’ This is so hard to do. Using a sibling as a good example rarely yields the results that you are looking for. The desired outcome is for the child to look at the positive thing/action that their sibling is doing and emulate it. Nope. This does not occur. The child who is being watched it often judged by the watcher and the watcher (who is supposed to learn) only gains disdain and jealously. This jealousy can cause a lifetime of problems. Suffice it to say (and i have learned from experience,) each child is their own being. Look into their life and compare it with their own past. That is one of the safest and most accurate ways to develop a child without the residue of anger. Unfortunately, many foster children come with anger and jealousy. This is where a foster parent’s job gets difficult. If you are struggling under the oppression of anger in your home- please seek outside help.