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Parenting Difficult Behaviors as a Resource Parent

Holiday presents

Between temper tantrums, sibling rivalry, and academic issues, parenting can be one tough gig. It can be even tougher when there is uncertainty amongst power dynamics when foster children come into the mix. You might be fully comfortable with sending your biological child to their room for a time out and a stern talking to, but with foster children, where should the line be drawn? In this blog article, we’ll talk about little tips and tricks to keep in mind as a resource parent that can help you tackle behavioral issues and difficult situations.

When dealing with temper tantrums, it’s easy for the resource parent to feel like their child is in control of the situation because of their unpredictable and volatile behavior. Keep in mind that you as a parent are actually in control of the situation because you choose how you respond; that choice affects the child’s behavior. For example, if you choose to yell at your child, they begin to feel that the person who is supposed to care for them is out of control just like they are, which leads them to feel unsafe and unable to calm down. Respond to their outbursts with calmness, and utilize quiet tones or even silence. Your child will realize that you are in control and they are safe, and it will be much easier to calm them down.

Sibling rivalries are difficult to manage on their own, and another level of difficulty is added when it’s a rivalry between your biological child and your foster child. Remember first and foremost that you chose to be a resource parent and bring this child into your home, and that they are as deserving of love and fairness as your biological children. Secondly, it’s important to remember that all kids fight. It is not the foster child or the biological child who is always wrong. Jealousy is a large part of sibling fights. Even when a new baby comes into traditional families, older siblings experience jealousy because of the parental quality time that the baby takes away from them, and all the attention that the new sibling gets. The same goes for when a foster child enters the home. Try to set aside a few moments each week to spend one-on-one time with each child in your house. Each child having their own equal amount of quality time with you will help reduce feelings of jealousy and sibling rivalry.

There are so many different factors that can affect a foster child’s academic performance — such as prenatal drug exposure, lack of early childhood education, frequent school changes, and lack of academic support at home. Many school systems are not equipped to support the specific needs of foster children which may be why your child is struggling academically. The most important thing to do is to find the underlying cause of the academic difficulties. Was your foster child exposed to substances in utero? What was their school like before they came to you? Have they ever been diagnosed with a learning disability? Some of these questions can be answered after an open discussion with your foster child, but some questions may need to be saved for their caseworker. Finding the cause of academic issues in school will be a huge help when discussing the next steps and potential solutions with teachers and other school staff.

Every parent has to deal with tough situations and less-than-pleasant behaviors, but it seems just a bit tougher as a resource parent! Remember to take a deep breath and lead with kindness, as difficult as it is now, your child will remember your kindness and appreciate it later.

Kamali'i Foster Family Agency
Corporate Office:
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Riverside County Office
31772 Casino Drive, Suite B
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Voice (951) 674-9400
San Diego County Recruitment and Training Center:
Office Hours: By Appt. Only
145 Vallecitos de Oro, Suite 210
San Marcos, CA 92069
Voice (760) 761-4300