Things To Teach Your Elementary-Aged Foster Kid

Elementary-aged foster child (children ages 5 to 10) tend to miss out on a few key childhood lessons that other kids are privileged enough to be taught. When changing schools, specific teachings may be missed out on. And it's important, as a foster parent, to make sure your child receives a proper at-home education as well as a good schooling experience. There are a few wonderful little things you can take the time to teach your child while they're with you, that will benefit them for the rest of their life.

How to save money: If your child is old enough to count- they are old enough to begin saving money. There are a variety of techniques to use, but showing your child how to save for financial goals can give them a financial-intelligence that will last a lifetime. The easiest way is to give your child an allowance that goes into a penny bank. The penny bank can be dedicated to anything from a pool to a new bike to a big fancy toy. Have your child pick out something to work for. And show them how saving, rather than spending- can pay off big time in the long run.

How to properly treat animals: When a child comes from an abusive background, it's hard to reverse the damage that has already been done. But by giving them a chance to be compassionate to animals- you allow them to create positive interaction experiences (not just with the humans in their lives- but with other beings as well). These experiences can help heal children. But teaching your child how to properly treat animals can also give them a variety of other opportunities. It can teach your child kindness, responsibility, unconditional love, and how to gain trust through your actions.

How to swim: This one is one that is so often overlooked! But when a child is moved from home to home, swimming lessons typically aren't the first thing most foster parents are worried about. But if you have your child with you during the summer (or you have access to a community pool or YMCA center) teaching them to swim could not only save their life- but also give them a great amount of confidence by teaching them a new skill!

Stranger danger: Obviously foster kids have a different sense of 'strangers' than most kids do. They're put into strangers houses and told that they're 'safe'. So teaching a young child that some strangers are bad can be difficult. But you should still make an effort to teach your kids the basics. Don't go with anyone you don't know. If they try to take you forcefully, scream and shout. Always come to me if an adult you don't know is asking you to leave.

Fire safety: Every foster child should know what to do in the case of a fire. When many kids are moved from home to home, a basic 'escape plan' is a necessity for them to learn. Teach them how they can get out of windows and doors. Teach them how to check for smoke outside their bedroom, walk on their hands and knees, and how to 'stop, drop, and roll' if they're caught on fire.

How to say "No": All kids need to learn that it's okay to say "no"- and that sometimes "no" is an appropriate thing to say. Teach your kids how they should tell adults no, if they are doing something that makes them uncomfortable. This topic is a difficult one for children who have been sexually abused in the past, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make an effort to reach out to the child and teach them that that behavior is not okay. If your child has had negative experiences in the past, ask a therapist or social worker for help and ideas on teaching your child when saying "no" is a good thing.

If your child stays with you into their teen years, or you also have teen foster children in your home visit my list for Things To Teach Your Teenage Foster Child.

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