Submitted by PeterAKenny on February 23, 2021
What a wonderful way to silently greet your new foster child over the first few weeks. "Whatever!" Plan to observe and listen. Without expectations. See what develops, what happens. Open your heart. Accept him or her for who your new child appears to be at this moment. Don’t expect anything. He may respond to your love with resentment. Love him anyway. He may react to your encouragement with passivity. Encourage him anyway. He may lie and steal. Fix the problem, not the blame. Protect yourself and your possessions. Be patient. If he steals from you, check his room for any pilfered items. Frisk him and his bags before he leaves the house. If he lies to you, double-check his word. If he frustrates you with passivity, set firm deadlines and enforce them. Evaluate the behavior rather than the person. Don’t judge. Judging assumes you are dealing with a bad person. Let God decide that. Your job is to deal with the behavior. Blaming often cements bad behavior by providing valued attention. Nothing interferes with our relationships more than our tendency to judge one another. That’s what prejudice is - Pre-judging. Instead, separate what he does from who he is. Of course, you must protect your property and person by dealing with any misbehavior abruptly and impersonally. On the other hand, enjoy the good moments. But avoid starting off on the wrong foot with your new foster child by expecting him or her to respond to your loving care with gratitude. Take what comes, and let your child grow in appreciation of her or his new home.

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