Anyone who has been a parent knows that it comes with an endless amount of stress, emotions, trials, and errors. While raising a child is one of the most humbling and tremendous experiences in the world, it also requires a mentally strong parent ready for the road of challenges that lies ahead. This shouldn’t scare away those that want to become parents, but it should provide motivation to prepare for the tougher moments.
However, taking in a child in crisis is a very special form of parenting that requires unique preparation and a steadfast mindset. Let’s discuss some things to mentally exercise and be prepared for as parenthood approaches.
Patience is a trait all parents need, but especially those who are taking in a child in crisis. You have to remember that children from these situations have never been in a home like yours, and it will not always be a smooth transition. Little things, like simple household rules and routines, might not work out exactly how you thought they would at first. It doesn’t mean the child is bad, it’s just a foreign environment. Many of these children grew up in horrendous situations which could lead to acting out or expressing emotional distress, but this is perfectly normal. Being patient and applying love is the strongest weapon against an army of pain.
Patience is important for showing a loving and understanding home, but communication is the key for progress. When a child in crisis acts in a way that we may not understand or is inappropriate, we need to discuss why they did that and what was wrong about it. It does not need to be a yelling match, but a parent respecting their child, understanding their past, and attempting to move forward. In this situation, we want to be both the teacher and student. Communication isn’t only important during conflict; it needs to be applied 24/7. Communicate love, forgiveness, joy, and everything else. Check in on them and make it clear that they can always talk to you. Many children are great at hiding their loneliness, but having someone who listens is always a blessing.
Balance is important in many aspects of our lives, and especially with children in crisis. Balance strictness with forgiveness, fun with life lessons, education with play time. You will face constant questions and resistance to your decisions, but make a plan and stick with it. You are there to bring a normal childhood to someone who has probably not experienced that before, and balance is a major part of it.
Talk with Alabama Free Will Baptist Children’s Home
We have been sheltering children for 70 years, and we have taken in over 1,000 children! It is our mission to provide a family environment for every child that walks through our doors. Learn more about our home and values on our website, and always feel free to contact us for various ways you can help us help these children.