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The start of a new year is a good time for foster parents to reflect on our parenting skills. It is quite a challenge to parent children with special needs and it can often be the little things that are the most successful.

New Year's Resolutions for Foster Parents - Kids First, Inc. - Dallas and Fort Worth, TX

Get ready for a great year of foster parenting in 2021!

Our New Year resolutions should be realistic and so here are some ideas for this year.

Worry less.

It should be a priority to keep kids safe, but don’t let your worries, whether large or small, control your life. Provide the children with safe ways to explore their surroundings.

Try saying “Yes” more.

Say “yes” to spending individual time with each child. as well as setting aside quality time for doing things together.

Say “No” more often.

How often do we as parents hear our children saying they want, or they need, and “everyone else has it or does it”? Be understanding of the child’s needs before you say ‘no” and give a reason to help the child understand why your answer is “no”. To encourage the child try to find an alternative or compromise.

Talk less and listen more.

Really make a point of listening to what your child is saying and ask questions such as What do you think? What would you do? What are you feeling? Let’s talk about it.

Explain more and negotiate less.

Kids should be allowed to know the reason for our decisions and expectations, but this doesn’t make them equal partners at the negotiating table. Remember we are the parents.

Read more.

Reading with your child is a good way to spend quality time together. It will also encourage them to grow as readers. Make sure you have books, magazines and newspapers available for the children.

Write more.

Make it a habit to write notes of encouragement, appreciation and love.

Expect a little more.

Expect more from your children in the New Year, such as manners, good behavior, responsibility and kindness. We get the minimum when we place limits and restrictions, but we may find ourselves pleasantly surprised when we expand our expectations.

Expect a little less.

Children need lots of slow to grow so be okay with less activities. Set up a more balanced and realistic daily schedule and give the children more time to learn to relax.

Some days as a parent will be easier than others. It takes a lot of time and effort to parent a child with special needs. Always remember that you are doing something important that will impact the child’s life. You may not see an immediate transformation, but with love, compassion and nurturing, the seed you have planted can produce wonderful results when least expected.


Thank you, parents, wherever you are. We really appreciate you. If you’re in the Dallas or Fort Worth area, and you’d like to find out about being a foster parent, Kids First is here to help you! Contact us today.