Foster families are another form of blended families. As a foster family the role of parenting is slightly different than it is in a biological family. Your role as a foster parent is one of nurturing and caring, love and respect, patience, and being supportive of the biological parent, very similar to blending two families from previous marriages. Being a good foster family takes everyone’s involvement, not just one of the family members. Getting children on board to help become a blended family with foster children requires the same steps that blending two families require.
Most foster children have never known real family love. In fact, most of them have a misconception of true family love. The kind of love that binds people together. Blending these children into a family unit can be challenging but rewarding.
Foster children have long lacked a secure environment which is why most of them are in foster care to begin with. Their sense of loyalty to their parents is often out of proportion and unrealistic. Foster children will take time to learn that a new foster family doesn’t function this way. Helping them to feel secure is just like blending a family of “yours, mine and ours” together.
A good blended family will never berate a child’s biological family. Every effort should be made to encourage the child to maintain a healthy relationship with their biological parent.
Just as in a typical blended family, foster children can be angry, quiet, withdrawn or very animated. They can be all of these moods in a short time frame. Learning to be patient and work with them on acceptable behaviors is important to the overall quality of a good blended family. Teens are especially vulnerable to this type of behavior.
Working with children to teach them how to take care of themselves and their belongings is all part of functioning as a family unit. Just as a blended family child will often need extra help in the beginning, so will the foster child. Sometimes you can pair them up with another child in the family and have them work together and build a friendship while they are learning. This will help to promote a bond that will go far in blending the family unit together.
Many blended families have a small sit down meeting weekly to go over chores, progress and what needs to be done for the following week. This is a good time for all of the children to share their concerns and ask questions. Being open and understanding and willing to help the child learn these skills will go far in helping the blended family be a good strong family unit.
Becoming a good blended family takes a bit more effort than being a biological family. Foster children come with many needs and often require more attention due to their past experiences. A willingness to go the extra mile and make a better life for these children is what it takes to be a good blended family.
If you’re living in the Spokane area and want help for your blended family, you can refer to these articles for some local counseling centers and more information on blended families:
Spokane Families can live happily ever after
Spokane Families can help kids in blended families deal with a divorce or remarriage
Children’s first parenting seminars required in The State of Washington
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If you’re part of an organization in Spokane, Washington that helps blended families, or you’re part of a blended family and would like to share something with Spokane Blended Families examiner please contact the author at Countrymom_inland@yahoo.com and share your story. We are happy to edit out any personal details and share your story with our readers.