Foster parents contribute to society by offering their services. Though they may normally find the act intrinsically rewarding, the benefits may not be as evident when the foster child is misbehaving. Children who have been subjected to traumatic events often act out after being placed in foster care. The adults caring for them must create a plan to deal with these behavioral problems.
By having a plan, foster parents take a consistent approach to behavioral issues. Children are aware of the consequences of their actions and should keep from repeating unfavorable behavior. Above all else, foster parents should never ignore bad behavior because this will not make the problem go away. In fact, a biological parent ignoring it may be what caused the child to keep repeating the behavior.
Identifying the problem should be the first step in the plan. Rather than saying the child is simply misbehaving, foster parents should get to the root of the behavior. This allows them to develop a suitable approach to handling it. For example, if a child has stolen money from a foster parent, the adults should explain why stealing is wrong and explain the implications.
When discussing why a certain behavior is inappropriate, it is important to give examples of what can happen. When children are aware of the harmful results of their actions, they may be less likely to repeat the behavior. If consequences of the behavior were not stated when the child came into the foster care of the adults, they should be explained now.
Consequences should match the severity of the behavioral issue and the age of the child. Restitution, loss of television privileges, and issuing an apology letter are some sample consequences for stealing. After handing down the consequences, foster parents should end the conversation positively with praise, encouraging the child.