It is no secret that teenagers demand a different set of parenting skills. Well, the same is true when you foster a teen. When a carer steps up and opens their home to a teen or has a long-term placement with a child who is coming into this age group, there are some considerations to be made. This guide explores the topic below.
There Is a Ton of Support
Fostering teenagers is an amazing and unique experience. During your time as a carer, you will have a ton of support from your agency and learn from helpful training too. There will be lots to navigate, but with an informed and experienced team like fosteringpeople.co.uk by your side, you will never be alone. Having support is necessary regardless of whether you foster teens or infants, but it is nice to know that you will have backup and input wherever it is needed.
There Are Some Really Fun Times Ahead
Though there is a set amount of stigma attached to looking after teenagers, there is actually a lot of joy to be found in the process. While yes, mood swings and defiant utterances may well be a part of the package, teenagers are open books when it comes to helping them engage with fun activities and sharing special moments together. This bond that you put the time and energy into now will shape how they form relationships when they reach an age of independence and step into the adult world. It is here that you can show them the exciting passions in life and create a space that they really love. This feeling is irreplaceable.
Teenagers Need Positive Role Models
Teenagers need honesty, boundaries, and positive role models to keep them heading in the right direction. Of course, there will always be conflict but what relationship is exempt from this really? The truth is, that a positive role model can make all the difference in a person’s trajectory. They will not only be learning from your actions but watching you in the quiet moments too. It is through you that they will develop their capacity to grow and get to know their own identity too.
Safe Spaces Are Important
Teenagers, out of all the age groups, are more prone to getting things wrong and pushing boundaries in a more intense way. It will be your primary focus to ensure that they have somewhere safe to come back to if such a thing comes to pass. How you handle their actions dictates how their brain wires and what they learn to expect from relationships. This is where trust is built, and resilience too, and these two things are the foundation for positive well-being as time moves forward. So, by giving them a safe space to learn and get things wrong from time to time, you are ultimately supporting their journey.
When fostering teenagers, you will have to think on your feet and be consistently present. It is a collaborative effort, and it will mean you are working hard to create safe spaces and positive interactions above all else.