Trials of Normalcy

a_m_rutledge's picture

Normalcy is a struggle of all children. I am a step father to three of my children, a biological father to three of my children and a foster father to three of my children. The best way I think you can provide any child with normalcy is by treating them with respect regardless of age. Talking and listening with each child improves the possibility of normalcy also.

Normalcy

Tamprat's picture

Regardless of the child's situation of being in a foster home, they should be allowed to have as normal of a childhood experience as possible. Their ability to develop mentally and socially is crucial to their well being and success after they have aged out of the system.

what the kiddo calls you

jerrydk's picture

it always really bothers me that some foster parents like to brag about how they treat "all their children" the same, then one of the foster kids comes up and asks for something with "Mr. Smith can I". I understand teaching of respect and all that but why are we separating the kids before they get started. I get why mom and dad don't always work but a nickname or "pet" name could help them feel more like part of the family and less like a number

what the kiddo calls you

jerrydk's picture

it always really bothers me that some foster parents like to brag about how they treat "all their children" the same, then one of the foster kids comes up and asks for something with "Mr. Smith can I". I understand teaching of respect and all that but why are we separating the kids before they get started. I get why mom and dad don't always work but a nickname or "pet" name could help them feel more like part of the family and less like a number

Normalcy

grojo's picture

make the transition more smoother and they feel accepted and loved

Normalcy

mforte4's picture

It makes them feel loved

Normalcy

mforte4's picture

Currently I do not have a foster child, I have had the experience to watch a few children. Being able to take the children to the waterpark, the library and the YMCA were the normal family things that I do.

Normalcy

SeanL's picture

From all that the children endure before leaving a place that they knew their whole life to coming into a place where it's unfamiliar it has to be heartbreaking. They need normalcy and the activities and the tv would be the icing on the cake to have to where they may not of had at their home. They shouldn't be treated any different. I understand the liability issue but maybe a form can be signed stating they are responsible or something to where they can feel normal and not treated differently than everyone else.

Normalcy

sfin74's picture

Gives them a chance to focus on their future instead of focusing on the past and what's perceived to wrong with them. They can learn and experience milestones to help to fit it and strive in society.

Routine and Normalcy

scohorn's picture

My kiddo is so happy now that we have put her in soccer, taken her on vacations, etc. She feels like she is a normal kid getting to do the things her friends get to do. It really contributes to her maturing and growing. Her happiness has really escalated.

Normalcy

thereserockwell's picture

A child in foster care has had the "normal" life taken away from them. That must be very hard for them. To help them with their healing, a foster parent wants to give the child a "normal" life back. A foster parent should treat the child like they would treat their own child. Allow the child to visit friends, go on field trips , participate in sports or art or music lessons. A young teen will need to learn how to drive a car. They should be able to earn and budget money. They should also know how to shop for food and fix meals. Normalcy will assist them in the transition to adulthood.

Normalcy

thereserockwell's picture

A child in foster care has had the "normal" life taken away from them. That must be very hard for them. To help them with their healing, a foster parent wants to give the child a "normal" life back. A foster parent should treat the child like they would treat their own child. Allow the child to visit friends, go on field trips , participate in sports or art or music lessons. A young teen will need to learn how to drive a car. They should be able to earn and budget money. They should also know how to shop for food and fix meals. Normalcy will assist them in the transition to adulthood.

Normalcy

epowell's picture

I believe that normalcy is very important when dealing with youth because it help give them a sense of being. Nothing worst a kid feeling like they were added instead of born in. Basically treat youth just like one of your own

Normalcy

epowell's picture

I believe that normalcy is very important when dealing with youth because it help give them a sense of being. Nothing worst a kid feeling like they were added instead of born in. Basically treat youth just like one of your own

What about younger kids?

Baileykay's picture

This mostly discussed teens and older children but my placements are toddlers. Being the same as the other kids, having a set schedule, and getting to attend events are very important to them.

Normalcy

rhart's picture

I think establishing normalcy with a child in foster care, especially a teen, builds trust, self-esteem and independence while also providing a safety net for failure. All of which are essential to positive outcomes and relationships as they transition into adulthood.

Normalcy

rhart's picture

I think establishing normalcy with a child in foster care, especially a teen, builds trust, self-esteem and independence while also providing a safety net for failure. All of which are essential to positive outcomes and relationships as they transition into adulthood.

Normalcy

derekcbart's picture

This has some great suggestions and I'm glad to see that our home is already using many of the suggestions.

You are one of the fam!

drea1014's picture

My foster kids are my kids. They go on every vacation, do every sport and activity that we do. We want them to know what it is like to have a loving, supportive home so someday they can provide the same for their children.

Normalcy for elementary kids

maryblack08's picture

I know that providing opportunities for these kids to participate in activities, such as birthday parties and such, is part of our responsibility as foster parents. If that means that I go to the birthday party too or if I have to go on the field trip too, that is what you do. Be for them, just as much as you are there for your own children.

Normalcy

alexgarvin's picture

My foster children are really young so the idea of normalcy is most relevant when it comes to who my children are allowed to be with during the day. We have a great supportive network of friends and family around us and if they have not been background checked we have to make sure we make sure they are not left alone, even if we trust them with our own kids. I can understand how things that hold back school age and teenage kids can make them feel very abnormal. Anything that can help that, will help this experience been at least somewhat redeeming.

Normalcy

Jonnking's picture

This all makes so much sense and gives foster parents insight into the thoughts, feelings and mental processes of some foster children.

In what way could providing normalcy benefit a young person

PatPlez123's picture

I feel one of the ways to provide a sense of normalcy to your foster child, is to let them have as much opportunity to do basic things that normal kids (or your kids) get to do. Provide them with the love and attention they need as you would for your own child.

Normalcy

Chafinclan's picture

Normalcy is the foundation in which a person learns to function in society.

Normalcy

Croman981's picture

After watching this video I find that is very important for especially teens to have normalcy. They want freedom and they want to be treated the same as your own children and not as another statistic. I understand that routines give them the stability they need to function but you have to allow them to learn from making those mistakes that normal children would. This is how we all learn. I appreciate the feedback that watching this video has given me. If we can help these great kids have more of a normal life then they will help themselves to have a great future as adults. They will never forget how they were treated growing up so make it special and normal for them.

Normalcy

mcondon's picture

Providing normalcy in a foster child's life will help them get thru the toughest time in their lives....being in foster care.

Normalcy for younger children

ksfemengr's picture

Younger children are not as able to communicate their needs. I believe they benefit from the normalcy of an everyday routine, and being treated the same as your own children.

Normalcy

1voswalt's picture

Children/youth in foster care struggle with feeling as they belong. Anything you can do to help them feel valued enough to desire a normal life for them helps them to adjust to the situations they face. It builds trust and bonds with foster families. These children need those bonds.

Importance of Normalcy

1moswalt's picture

It helps create a link with you. It helps them feel like part of the family and promote stability. There is nothing normal about foster care, but doing what you can to make them feel like life can be normal at times helps them to cope with the situations they face.

Normalcy

patriciaj's picture

What is normal? Just love them and treat them like your own.

Three Worlds Collide

grncarex2's picture

In foster care, I think normalcy is caught between three worlds. There is the normal of my own household with my family. There is what would be considered the "good" normal that the foster child recalls and still desires from their life. These two worlds merge under the guidelines, rules, regulations, allowances of the world of DHHR / foster care. Trying to find that balance is difficult, but is obtainable with open communication and a lot of give and . . . well, a lot of give. Ask the child what is considered normal to him/her, explain what is normal in your world, and find a happy medium with the caseworker. If there is a breakdown anywhere along the way, remind yourself why you're a foster parent, why you're a caseworker, and go with what brings the greatest norm to the child as possible. Hopefully, somewhere in the mix will come the understanding of sitting boundaries was not to restrict, but to protect them; and, they will understand it was done out of love; someone cared enough to want to ensure their safety and still maintain their normal world as much as possible.

positive reinforcement

dandibell's picture

allowing children in care a chance at normalcy and the ability to be involved in activities other children their age are involved with gives thes ekids a chance for positive peer interaction.

Normalcy

gretchennoah's picture

Always show foster children they are equal to your children. I always tell the older kids in my care that I'm going to love them... but at first... it will be cleverly disguised as friendship. Pretty soon... they see the love. You love your kids. You love your foster kids. The heart expands if you let it! :)

Normalcy

marknoah's picture

Every child wants and thrives on normalcy. Parents need to treat foster children as their own and love them!

Normalacy

mhowardjr35's picture

I think promoting normalcy will allow the child to form appropriate bonds. This determines their future relationships.

Normalcy

Miriammyers's picture

I think normalcy can help the child establish lifelong bonds that they will need as they get older. Being able to participate in extracurricular activities helps the child establish friendships in a positive environment. The adults that help with the extracurricular activities also can be additional positive role models. As they reach adulthood, go to college, get jobs, etc... They will be better able to make positive, responsibility decisions.

Normalcy

bethanc12's picture

I believe providing normalcy for children in care will help them feel empowered. Empowering these children is crucial for their self-esteem and overall sense of worth.

Normalcy

msshayshae19's picture

The day my teenage foster child walked into my home I was sure nervous. I have heard of so many scary stories about the teens, and had avoided the age for a long time. After arriving, we went out for lunch, and I decided to have a conversation about her goals, and things she wanted to do while under my care. She informed me that her previous home restricted her from doing a lot of things, and as a result she would run away. I decided to create a normalcy plan with her that allowed her to hang out with friends like normal children, speak to her with respect, introduce her to things that would motivate her, and allow her to make mistakes, and be her mentor. Today makes three months and we are both happy. She informed me the other night.. " I prayed to God for someone who loved me and treated me like family, instead of a stranger...and he sent me that."

When my foster daughter came

Desiree9157's picture

When my foster daughter came to live with me, I was so excited and I think she was too. My main goal was to make her feel and know this was her home and a safe place that she could call her own. I knew this was something that she struggled with in previous foster placements and her routine was to run away after 6mos.. So for me, I just wanted to make sure that I kept an open mind and didn't want to overwhelm her with so much at one time. In my household we go on a lot of family trips & outings together, we eat together, we laugh together and do things with together as a family and she would express how happy she was doing those things with us and I believe that she found a sense of normalcy being with us. for me.. She would tell me that for the first time she actually feels like she belongs and has a mother and a family that she can call her own, and that meant the WORLD to me.

I think it is very important

msshayshae19's picture

I think it is very important to make the child feel as though they are wanted and their new home is safe. I like the way you entered the relationship open minded.

Happiness is key

AlbaughM's picture

Providing normalcy can benefit a young person and their over all experience in foster care because that is what people need. We all need a stable home, meaningful relationships, and to nourish our souls. Nourishing of ones soul is not just through religion, but also through things that make one happy. This could be music, art, sports, meditation, reading, alone time, or time with friends. It's whatever makes you happy. Happiness is a large part of normalcy. If someone isn't happy, they are not going to feel normal. Bringing happiness into a young persons life can help them with the feeling of normalcy. Helping youth find what makes them happy is the first step, helping them foster and nourish that happiness is the goal.

Normalacy

TheJLedQ35's picture

Wow - great articles and video giving a foster child perspective. It all comes down to learning what the child considers to be normal and trying to find this for them inside your home. A lot of listening and then implementation to see the child thrive.
This is harder for younger children who are not communicating as I have experienced thus far but eventually you can tell the younger ones benefit for the normalcy of an everyday routine.

Normalacy

TheJLedQ35's picture

Wow - great articles and video giving a foster child perspective. It all comes down to learning what the child considers to be normal and trying to find this for them inside your home. A lot of listening and then implementation to see the child thrive.
This is harder for younger children who are not communicating as I have experienced thus far but eventually you can tell the younger ones benefit for the normalcy of an everyday routine.

Normalacy

TheJLedQ35's picture

Wow - great articles and video giving a foster child perspective. It all comes down to learning what the child considers to be normal and trying to find this for them inside your home. A lot of listening and then implementation to see the child thrive.
This is harder for younger children who are not communicating as I have experienced thus far but eventually you can tell the younger ones benefit for the normalcy of an everyday routine.

Normalacy

TheJLedQ35's picture

Wow - great articles and video giving a foster child perspective. It all comes down to learning what the child considers to be normal and trying to find this for them inside your home. A lot of listening and then implementation to see the child thrive.
This is harder for younger children who are not communicating as I have experienced thus far but eventually you can tell the younger ones benefit for the normalcy of an everyday routine.

Normalcy

rocksheen219's picture

This seems to be so important in the quest for the youth to have a sense of stability, acceptance, and belonging. It seems that by not allowing them to participate equally as others their age do, that it only hinders their social growth and makes them feel even more outcasted.

Good Emphasis for foster parents to think and strive with foster

albertjeffrey27's picture

Great insight as to knowing what foster children from the past have experienced and suggest for foster parents. Allows me as a foster parent to make better changes and strive to support my foster children to a more stable and feeling of being part of the family versus treating them as a client as instructed by the state and or licensing agency.

Normalcy

spedteacher828's picture

I agree that the best interest for the children is to live as normal as the other children in the house. It makes the children feel like the bad guys when they can't do anything. It's even harder with the older children when they weren't able to have their pictures in the school yearbook. How hard is that? We need to give these children as normal a life as possible, unless they are issues where they need more restriction.

Normalcy

dcgallardo3's picture

Normalcy is key to each child's development. It is interesting that the adult definition and child definition of normalcy can differ; yet, the key, common concept is being able to participate in activities that any other child his/her age would be able to participate in without all the "red tape" involved.

Normalcy

keslarzmom's picture

I think the single biggest thing these kids need to feel normalcy is to be treated like family. Treat them like you do your own kids. Same rules, expectations, consequences, etc. They need to be a part of a functional family to see how it works. I had a kid once tell me that "Staying with you is the only way I would have ever known what a real family is and acts like." It was eye opening for sure.

Pages