Tonight, I was having a conversation with my parents about the difficulties that come with trying to teach a foster child. Taking in a child at any age poses some questions regarding how to teach them. What do they already know? What do they need to know?
For a child in foster care, the odds are stacked against them when it comes to learning. Chances are, unfortunately, that no one has been sitting and talking to these children since they were infants. No one has probably given them the full attention that they need, or really tried to teach them anything. Aside from the learning that occurs when you're not realizing, most people are usually teaching their young kids the difference between over and under, apples or bananas, or yellow and blue. Kids that go into foster care probably weren't taught any of that.
As a foster parent, you always need to backtrack and think of the most basic parts of life that a child knows. How many cookies are there if you put 2 cookies on the table? If it's snowing out, do you put on a bathing suit or a coat? If you're hungry, do you want food or a drink? You need to go back and teach a new foster child which room is the bathroom and which is the living room. Tell them that their new brother is a boy, and their new sister is a girl. A shirt goes on your upper body and pants go over your legs. A dog barks, and a cow moos, and people will forever be asking why the chicken crossed the road. These kids need to learn as much as they can from their foster parents, because when they leave that house for the last time, there's no guaranteeing that they'll be taught anything else from their bio parents. You're the best resource that foster child has, so you need to make the most of it while you can. And when you get frustrated because they say that the sky is brown? Well in the words of my mom, at least they're naming a color and not saying that the sky is 3.
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