About 800,000 children are part of the foster care system in the United States, according to HealthyChildren.org, and it’s just sad to think that this is the reality for so many children. Foster parents often are amazing beacons of hope who swarm in to save the day when little ones have been neglected or abused. Preschoolers and toddlers who are raised by loving foster parents can grow up to be successful adults, with most of the credit going to the superhero parents. Different factors can influence a child’s long-term outcome, and those are based on their emotional, psychological, developmental and social needs.
A Nurturing Environment
The last thing a toddler or preschooler in the foster care system needs to experience is an unloving home. The reality is that your tot probably come from a neglectful environment, and probably would not be enthused about entering into a similar situation. Coming from those types of backgrounds leaves some kids emotionally and psychologically scarred, but scholars at the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggest that family support and foster kids’ levels of resistance can turn them into superheroes in their own right. Showering your darling with lots of love can do wonders for their mental health over time.
A Deep Commitment
Again, think about what lifestyle your little darling was once exposed to. If your child was abandoned in the past, then now, more than ever, your child needs a deep commitment. And while some abandoned children become self-proclaimed adults with “abandonment issues,” this doesn’t have to be the reality for your child. When your little one sees that you are consistently committed to their care and overall well-being, this will teach your child to trust once again. And if the going gets kind of tough as your child gets older and begins to show some behavioral concerns, it will be important to remember all of the wonderful reasons that you made this commitment in the first place.
Sooner or later it’s likely that your little one is going to have questions about her family of origin. Welcome those questions. This conversation doesn’t have to be awkward, either, like at an inappropriate moment or blurted out inconsiderately because the family didn’t properly discuss how this information was going to be relayed. Relax. Assume that these questions are coming so that you can be ready for them. The Child Welfare Information Gateway suggests that adoptive parents help their kids create useful items such as life books and life maps that help them develop a sense of individual identity, while also helping to cope with difficult experiences that happened in their life.
Overall, it’s safe to say that what you put in you’ll get out when it comes to how your toddler or preschooler will develop and adapt through to adulthood. There’s no definite answer or crystal ball that can predict what outcome your child will have. Don’t fret over what could happen. Instead, enjoy the tender and fleeting moments that you have with your child. Teach your child what you know about being successful in life, and don’t worry about the rest because your child will be listening, and will want to make you proud. Lastly, if you see signs of behavioral or emotional issues, don’t hesitate to get professional help.