3 Foster Parenting Tips to Calm Emotional Chaos
This video is a resource on the Washington State DSHS YouTube site which also has other fantastic foster parent training videos.
This is an excellent video for anyone caring for a child either currently or previously in foster care. Gary Benton gives many practical and insightful tips on dealing with children who have learned to thrive on chaos.
Three of the most valuable takeaways I learned from this video are:
1. Learn to be internally controlled. Don’t let your emotions control you. No one can make you feel a certain way unless you allow them to. It is critical that you have your own emotional health under control before helping your child.
2. People don’t remember events as much as they remember feelings and then they tie memories to those feelings. What feeling do you want your child to remember about you. What do you want them to feel when they see you coming.
3. Children can’t unlearn a behavior. Once a child knows how to ride a bike they will always know how to ride a bike. You can’t teach a child how to NOT lie once they’ve learned how. You can only teach them to tell the truth instead. Focus on the behavior you want your child to learn rather than the one you want them to “unlearn”.
I encourage you to listen to this video in its entirety.