Hugs and encouragement to all foster and adoptive parents who are trying to do two full-time jobs this fall, work and school their children! Please be kind to yourself and reach out to your resources to continue to get the support that you need.
I have created a series of blog posts titled ‘Bringing Sanity Home.’ It is directed towards those who are schooling their foster and adoptive children at home and trying to work from home. The ideas and tips will be useful for any foster or adoptive parent.
In Part 2 of this blog, we are going to review how a nurturing and structured parenting approach can help children and parents who are schooling and working from home. I’ve also included a real Mom Life quote in every blog!
Structure in Parenting
The best type of parenting is both highly structured and very nurturing. First, let’s look at structure. Structure helps the child feel safe and know what the rules, boundaries, and limits are in their life.
In order to illustrate this, I like to think of driving a car down a country road. The centerline, shoulder, and guard rails teach me where to place the car on the road. The speed limit and other signage help me to know what is ahead and how fast to drive my car. I know that if I don’t follow the rules, the police can pull me over and give me a ticket. If I get behind a tractor, I may feel frustrated, but I won’t pass if there are cars coming in the opposite direction or if the centerline is double yellow. I want to keep my car and passengers safe and I’m willing to deal with some frustration and my plans being changed to ensure everyone’s wellbeing.
This is the same with our children. The rules, limits, and restrictions we place on their lives give them comfort and help them to learn to trust those who God has given authority over them. They learn the world doesn’t revolve solely around them and their desires. Rules also help them become responsible adults, teach them values, and model healthy living for them so they can one day structure their own life.
Nurture in Parenting
Nurture in parenting is taking care of our children’s basic needs, as well as giving love, attention, understanding, acceptance, time, and support. This helps our children feel loved, worthy, that their ideas and feelings are important, and it allows them to develop empathy and care for others.
If we go back to driving the car on the country road, coming to a nice gas station when you are in need of a stop is like nurture. The gas station has a clean restroom and plenty of snacks and drinks to take care of your physical needs. The attendant is friendly, smiles at you, and gives you his full attention. He will listen to your frustration of being slowed down by the tractor. He gives you a little extra change if you are short and tells you where the walking trails and picnic tables are out back so you can exercise, eat your snack, and take a break.
When we provide understanding, kind words, loving touch, and give our children our full attention, they feel valued and come to believe that not only are their ideas and interests important, but they are important and have a place in the world. Having fun together communicates that they are loved and accepted just the way they are made.
Action step: Is providing nurture or structure easier for you? Are there areas of home life where you can add more structure or more nurture right now for things to go more smoothly? Are you providing small doses of extra nurture for yourself during this time?
Mom Life: Another adoptive mom on Facebook set these expectations for her child for Virtual Learning Sessions. I thought these were great!!:
I am asking my child to ‘ATTEND’:
A – Alert (Posture and body language!)
T – Try (Answering questions even when muted! )
T – Track (Eyes on Task: includes eye contact with teacher OR on the problem being discussed.)
E – Engage (Be in the know!!)
N – Nonverbal Communication with Teacher (Nodding, thumbs up/ down, request cards: help, repeat, slow down . . .)
D – Distractions Off
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
For part 1 of this series click here: https://empoweredcalling.com/bringing-sanity-home-part-1/
For part 2 of this series click here: https://empoweredcalling.com/bringing-sanity-home-part-2/
For part 3 click here: https://empoweredcalling.com/bringing-sanity-home-part-3-2/
Renee is a life coach who specializes in working with foster and adoptive families. She is based in Louisville, Kentucky but works with clients all over the world through internet coaching. You can book a free 30-minute consultation with her here: https://square.site/book/60VP09PS4Z3JB/empowered-calling-llc or find out more information about her services at https://empoweredcalling.com/