Dear Foster Parents: A Message from Your Teen

Posted on August 14, 2019 by

Dear Foster Parents, I thought it would help if I told you a few things about me.

Please remember everything is new to me here. I may not want to keep asking you questions. So, try to remember to show me how things work in your family. Explain the daily routine to me. Show me where you keep the clean towels and what I should do with my dirty clothes. Let me know about things you do as a family that I’ll be a part of.  It helps me to feel more comfortable when I know in advance that Friday night is pizza night or that once a week I’ll help cook dinner with one of you.

Whenever possible give me a choice about things that affect me. Things have been out-of-control in my life for so long. It feels good to have some say in what happens to me. Even simple choices, like when I do my homework or what kind of toothpaste and shampoo I prefer, matter to me.

Don’t forget, I think about my family every day even if I don’t talk about them very much. I wonder if they’re OK and if they’re missing me. It helps me to know that you think about them too. If I know that, I’ll be much more likely to share my feelings about missing them. And, in time, I may share some of the harder stuff. Like how I’m angry at them or how I wonder if they’re angry at me for living with you. But my ability to do so will depend on you showing me that it’s all right to talk about them.

I’m always watching what’s going on around me. Even if I seem tuned out. I see the ways you’re trying to help me. Even when it seems like I don’t care. Remember, I may be afraid to become part of your family because I’ve lost other families I’ve lived with, so, your regular, quiet attempts to include me in your family are important. Keep trying. And I will too.

Written by Diane Kindler 

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