If you’re a foster parent, no matter what age your child is, it’s important to remember how crucial it is to lead by example. Many foster children have no idea how to appropriately act when they go from an unhealthy family relationship to a healthy relationship with their siblings and parents. Remember, ALL children look up to their parents, no matter how ‘lame’ they may make you think you are.

Here are a few tips you can use to help you lead through your actions.

  1. Don’t call for perfection

This is a mistake parents tend to make often. While of course, we should all shoot for the stars, children need to know that they can mess up without having to endure shame and guilt, ESPECIALLY foster children.

Many times, foster kids had rules either brutally enforced for them, or not enforced at all. They need to learn how to make mistakes, apologize for them, and move on. You can show them this when YOU own up to your mistakes to THEM.

Make sure to apologize when you raise your voice, get frustrated, or lose patience. Show them that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that we move on, try and learn, and do better next time.

2. Work Hard

Learning to work hard can come from tons of different areas, whether it be through household chores, sports, or later in life at a job. Set your kiddo up for success by showing them how to work hard.

Doing some yard work? Get your child to come help, and show them how to get their hands dirty. Teach them to do things right the first time, and that cutting corners never pays off. Don’t complain in front of them, and adhere to the life lessons you’re trying to instill!

3. Practice what you Preach

Remember that your child really is watching your every move. Foster children especially. Remember, chances are they have never had a good role model up to this point. Notice an undesirable behavior that you want to work on? Make sure to check within your own actions first. How do I act when this situation arises? How would I like to react? How would I like my child to react?

And the DO those things! Don’t just say them.

Thanks for reading.