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What You Need to Know About Fostering a Teenage Mother and Child
Being a foster parent is one of the biggest and most responsible things you can do for society.
It is difficult to imagine living without their parents; they are the backbone of children and provide them with all their requirements and necessities.
But there are some unfortunate children out there who are unable to live with their parents due to several legal reasons.
Foster care is all about providing assistance to those children who cannot be supported by their parents and do not have any other legal guardian.
A foster family takes care of the child’s education, food, shelter, emotional and physical health. They have to make sure that a child is happy and healthy and do not face any difficulty while he/she is living there.
A foster parent already has so many responsibilities; these duties and responsibilities double up when you foster a teenage girl who is also a mother to a baby.
A teenage mom is already going through a lot of difficulties; balancing her studies, her personal emotions and on top of that, a baby!
For someone who can hardly manage her difficult life being a teenager, having a baby that too without the support of her parents, can be extremely tough to imagine.
You cannot erase of the problems of your foster child; what you can do is, be a good foster parent and give your support emotionally in order to heal them and assure them that somebody’s got their back.
These are the following tips which can help you to be a good foster parent in the scenario of mother-baby placement:
Ease their load
A teenage mom manages her baby, her studies, her parents, and her personal life, all at once, which can be very frustrating, tiring, and exhausting at times.
As a responsible foster parent, it is your moral duty to help her balance things in her life by reducing her workload.
Make sure that her education is not compromised in all the chaos; help her out by taking care of her baby so that she can focus on her school and future studies.
Do not judge her
Experiencing mixed feelings about her parents, concern about her child, and guilt over her wrong decisions, she already feels messed up in her head; she could do without your judgment.
According to the article Mother-Baby Placements: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, teenage mothers who are in foster care require a foster parent who will be supportive and not cast judgment.
Everybody makes mistakes, your job as a foster parent is to provide her with love and affection so that she learns from her mistakes and make wise decisions in the future.
Being a mother is a very delicate part of life; it requires extreme care and precautions for mother as well as the baby. A mother usually tends to ignore her own health while taking care of her baby’s.
Teenage mothers are likely to get depressed due to lack of self-care.
So as a foster parent, you should take care of her needs and requirements; like making sure she is getting enough sleep, she completes her school work and gets good grades, and proper medical attention, if required.
Teach her to be a good parent
While she is still a child, she should learn how to be a good mother because a time will come soon when she is on her own.
And when that time comes, it is important that she knows the skills of being a good parent. She should learn the art of being responsible for her child, her studies, and her career.
Protect her innocence
While she is the mother of a child, she is an immature child herself. She still misses her parents, worries about her grades has crushes and school problems; basically normal teenage life.
With increasing responsibilities of a baby along with worrying about her parents, it is important to safeguard her remaining bit of childhood. Encourage her to do all those things that a normal teenager does, in the limits, of course.
Teach her to be strong and independent
For whatever reasons she is unable to live with her parents, it is important for her to learn how to live independently and be strong for her future.
She should not make any more mistakes in her life and should try to create such a life for her where she is fiercely independent; mentally and financially.
Urge her to focus on her career so that she can create a better and more beautiful life for her children.