How to Model Emotional Intelligence for Children

How to Model Emotional Intelligence for Children

How to Model Emotional Intelligence for ChildrenEvery parent or caregiver wants their child to grow up healthy, happy, and successful. And in trying to bring that all-important goal to fruition, we tend to focus heavily on education, equipping kids with the knowledge and skills they need to build a secure, stable, and prosperous life. But raising healthy and successful children is about far more than cultivating their intelligence quotient (IQ). It’s also about nurturing their emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). And that comes both from what you teach your children and what you model for them.The Importance of Emotional IntelligenceChildren aren’t born with a natural ability to understand their emotions, let alone the knowledge to process and express them. In fact, emotional intelligence refers to a set of specialized skills that many of us enter adulthood never having completely mastered. Emotional intelligence involves self-awareness, emotional regulation, self-expression, active listening, empathy, and

How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Mental Health Struggles

How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Mental Health StrugglesThere is nothing better you can do with your life than to open your home and your heart to a child in need. But doing so is both a profound gift and a profound responsibility. No matter what your child’s experience, whether it is the death of a biological parent or a court-mandated removal from the birth home, your foster child will inevitably have experienced trauma. And that means that there will be an adjustment period not only for the child but for the entire family, particularly if your foster child is one of the nearly 80% of children in the foster care system to experience significant mental health struggles. A History of TraumaIn the majority of cases, children often enter the foster care system because they have experienced significant and prolonged abuse or neglect. They may have experienced parental addiction and housing

How to Identify Signs of Trauma in Children

    A Family For Every Child Image Source: UnsplashHow to Identify Signs of Trauma in ChildrenIt’s estimated that nearly 35 million children in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event in their lives. Children involved in adoption or the foster care system may make up a large percentage of that, as many of them come from traumatic circumstances. Some of those children might be struggling with symptoms of trauma without even realizing it. That’s why it’s so important to understand what those signs and symptoms are. The more you can recognize some of the physical and emotional “tells” of trauma, the sooner you can ensure a child receives the help and support they need. If you’re a parent or caretaker, you can be better equipped to take care of children, especially foster children, if you pay attention to the possible signs of trauma. With that in mind, let’s cover

How to Make Your House More Welcoming To Foster Kids

Image Source: UnsplashHow to Make Your House More Welcoming to Foster KidsThere are currently over 400,000 kids in foster care, all looking for loving homes. As a foster parent, you’re doing something wonderful to provide a stable and caring environment for those kids as they wait to get adopted. So, if you’re looking into the foster care process, take pride in knowing you’re providing something truly special to children who need it most. Unfortunately, many kids in the foster care system have come from unstable environments. Some of them may have experienced traumatic events and have issues with separation anxiety, anger, or depression. Others have been in the system for years without finding a forever family. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to go above and beyond for your foster kids when you bring them into your home. Little changes can make a big difference.So, how can you make your house more welcoming to

National Foster Care Month

National Foster Care Month Happy National Foster Care Month!  This May is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate, honor and support everyone involved in helping find safe homes and forever families for foster youth around the world! Sometimes this means connecting foster kids with family members, and sometimes it means finding a new family for them. Children enter foster care for a variety of reasons, many of which are related to parents being unable to provide or take care of them due to challenges such as drug abuse, incarceration, death or illness.Thankfully, these kids still have a bright future ahead of them! A Family for Every Child is just one of many organizations and agencies that are working to find loving and supportive families for these children. National Foster Care Month is the perfect time to spread awareness and think about how to volunteer yourself! Be sure to take the time

How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Trauma Responses

Image Source: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/photos/people-woman-mother-child-kid-2566854/)How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Trauma ResponsesWhen you decide to open your home to a foster child, you are choosing to open your heart to a child who needs it most. The simple fact is that when children are taken into the foster care system, it is always already a traumatic event. Being separated from your parents, perhaps even from your siblings, and moving into a new home will almost inevitably trigger feelings of fear and loss. Children may suffer from guilt and shame in leaving their loved ones behind. They may even blame themselves for being removed from the home.However, the decision to place a child into foster care is never one to be taken lightly, and it typically follows a painful history of abuse and neglect. Being a foster parent, then, means more than simply loving a child. It also means learning to recognize the

Supporting Our Communities: How to assist foster kids during the pandemic

  Over the course of this year, COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Virtually no corner of the world will be left untouched by this experience. Yet, its impact varies dramatically, even in our own country. The coronavirus has highlighted many inequalities across the U.S., as disenfranchised communities struggle to deal with the consequences of the virus both physically and economically. Among these hard hit groups are our children currently in the foster care system.  The coronavirus has drastically slowed down the process of transitioning children out of foster care and into forever families. A shutdown of government offices and facilities along with the modification of certain aspects of the foster/adoption process such as homestudies, family visits, and traveling across state has caused huge delays and left many children waiting in limbo. Although not everyone is in a position to foster or adopt at this time, there are still

Myths About Adopting Teenagers in Foster Care

Creating a supportive environment for children can help them handle the stresses of growing up and provide tools for maintaining mental health.   The benefits of a loving and supportive family are clearly established. Yet, misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding the adoption of older children and teenagers in foster care mean that they often face more challenges during the adoption process compared to younger children. Ensuring that these false impressions are addressed is essential to ensuring that barriers to adoption, especially of older children and teenagers, are reduced. Here are five common misconceptions about adopting older children.Adoption is Too Expensive Adoption from foster care tends to be less expensive than adopting via a private agency. Although it is state-dependent, the small costs involved are often reimbursable and support is also available to help ease the financial burden involved with adoption. In cases of adoption where the child is over five (including teenagers),

Tips for Easing Child Anxiety

Creating a supportive environment for children can help them handle the stresses of growing up and provide tools for maintaining mental health.   Is your child withdrawn and glum on most days? Have you noticed a drastic fall in their grades? Have they lost interest in activities that they loved in the past? Do they get increasingly cranky and aggressive? Are the mood swings hampering their everyday routine? There is a chance that your child is suffering from mental health issues. Anxiety and depression in kids are widespread these days.  Children are often malleable, gullible, and innocent of the ways of the world. Peers, teachers, and families are some significant influences in a kid’s life. It is, therefore, imperative for parents to create a healthy and holistic environment for their children. You will want to protect your young one from all the pain and suffering of the world, but that is

Taking Your First Family Trip with Your Foster Child

Planning a family trip with a foster child requires planning, but it can be a great bonding and trust building opportunity.   If a foster child has just joined your family, you may be excited about taking your very first family vacation together. As found by researchers at Penn State, all children – including teens – benefit from spending time with their parents; doing so has “important implications for adolescents’ psychological and social adjustment.” Because daily life is usually busy, a vacation is an ideal way to give children this much-needed time, but also to get to know them – their interests, passions, and unique personality traits. How can you ensure that your first vacation together has all the ingredients you need to achieve this aim?Organization is Key In order to travel with family peacefully and efficiently, organization is vital. If flying, ensure your children’s documents (passports, etc.) are up-to-date (if