Although many people misunderstand them, negatively stereotype them, underestimate them, and are even a bit afraid of them, I love working with teens. Teens are not just our future – they are our present. I believe that we all have an obligation to prepare a better world for them to inherit and also to adequately prepare them to be world changers.
As we continue to highlight the great work of various agencies, individuals, and publications throughout National Foster Care Month, today I want to send a very special THANK YOU to all the foster parents stepping in to bring positive changes to so many lives. Happy Foster Care Month!! YOU ROCK!! (Oh, and by the way, I do realize that society negatively stereotypes foster parents as well).
I have developed a workshop series to support foster parents (and other parents as well) on your journey.
Yes, Your Teen Needs To Be Packaged For Success™
As I Grow ~ Author Unknown
As I grow, please understand that I am growing up and changing very fast. It must be difficult to keep pace with me, but please try.
As I grow, listen to me and give me brief, clear answers to my questions. Then I will keep sharing my thoughts and feelings.
As I grow, reward me for telling the truth. Then I am not frightened into lying.
As I grow, tell me when you make mistakes and what you learned from them. Then I can accept that I am OK when I blunder.
As I grow, pay attention to me and spend time with me. Then I can believe that I am important.
As I grow, do the things you want me to do. Then I have a good positive role model.
As I grow, trust and respect me. Even though I am smaller than you, I have feelings and needs just like you.
I love music and so does my daughter. Although neither of us is a gifted singer or musician, we have always shared our love of music with each other. Music is a universal language. “Mommy and Me” classes that encourage parents to bond with their young children through singing and dancing have increased in popularity in recent years. Whether it played on the radio on their first date or they selected it to commemorate their first dance at their wedding, all of us know couples who have a special song. One of the most memorable episodes of ‘The Cosby Show” was when Rudy led the family in a musical performance for the Huxtable grandparents’ anniversary. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve heard about rapper Jay-Z’s musical tribute to his daughter Blue Ivy. The song “Glory” may be the most popular celebrity song at the moment but Jay-Z is not the first artist to create a song for their child. Lauryn Hill created the song “Zion” for her first born. Will Smith dedicated the song “Just The Two Of Us” to his son. K-Ci and Jo Jo’s hit “All My Life” was penned for Jo Jo’s daughter. The song that most celebrates my love for my daughter is “For You I Will” by Monica from the Space Jam soundtrack.
Resilient – rebounding; recovering readily from adversity; returning to its original form after being stretched or bent
Do you recall your teen years with favor and joy? For many of us adolescence was a challenging time. Acne, raging hormones, peer pressure, and uncertainty plagued many of us. Although we may have had the body of an adult, our teen brains had not fully developed. Our views were shaped by other teens that were just as unsure of where they fit in the world as we were. We were stuck in an unfamiliar place — no longer children but not yet adults.
Stability and positive discipline help teens thrive. Rules and boundaries offer safety and security. Rules and boundaries also show teens that someone cares about their present and their future. The obstacles in adolescence are often magnified for youth who are a part of the foster care system. Think about it. Who do you trust when you are unsure of how long you will live in the place where you are right now? Who can exhibit patience and understanding to help you overcome abuse, abandonment, or apathy? Who do you believe really “has your back” when you have lived in 3 different places in the last year and a half?