Photolisting: If you have your own blog or website, consider adding our Photo Listing Widget to help raise awareness of foster children nationwide.
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Don't see any children from your state? Please contact your local officials to let them know you would like to see children from your state.
Blogging: Interested in Blogging? This is the perfect month to share your story. We're currently looking for guest bloggers for the following categories: Adoptive Parenting and Sibling Adoption.
Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs to have. It isn't the type of job that you only have to worry about during business hours, Monday through Friday. It isn't the type of job that you can retire from or that you can use your vacation time to escape from for a few days. No matter what you do and no matter where you go, you will always be a parent. Hopefully you find comfort in that thought.
One of the hardest tasks you'll have as a parent is to raise responsible children. These days, it seems that many children--and of all ages--may not be getting the at-home support that fosters responsibility, values, and everyday morals. Remember, this doesn't mean you have to be religious to instill values and morals. It means teaching your children public responsibility and behavior and what's morally acceptable and what isn't. And that can mean something different to everyone. However, there are some things that every child should understand--for instance, not destroying other people's property or stealing, to name just a few examples.
So, you know it's important to raise responsible children. The question, and perhaps the confusion, is knowing where to start. It's not as hard as it may seem:
Foundation of Honesty - Raising responsible children really begins with teaching honesty and its importance in everyday life. And it can start very young. You'll notice when your children discover how to lie or stretch the truth, and they will be younger than you would've hoped. It can begin by lying about if he hit his sister or even if she needs to take a break from playing to use the potty. Then it will move past denying events to creating alternate events and endings, which is when it becomes full-blown. Again, parenting is a lifelong battle, and honesty is no different. Teaching honesty and having your children truly understand its importance won't happen overnight. It won't happen in a week. It won't even happen in a year. They will learn through trial and error. Be patient. It will happen eventually, and when it does, you'll be glad you stuck to your guns.
A Dash of Hard Work - This concept seems to escape many people in the more modern generations. However, your grandparents knew the value of hard work, and you do, too. Hard work used to be something worth experiencing. Now, it's avoided with disgust. But hard work does have the ability to enhance positive character and a more understanding attitude. Your idea of hard work is different from the next parent, but it could include doing chores after school each day, helping the elderly neighbor with yard work, or working hard to better understand a difficult subject in school.
Persistence is Key - Life isn't easy. Neither is reaching goals and making dreams come true. Persistence is key, which is a valuable lesson for everyone to learn and understand. Failing doesn't make someone a failure; giving up does. If you can teach your children to be persistent, the concept of hard work will come easier for them. They really go hand in hand.
Examples of Good Behavior - The best way to raise responsible children is to be a positive example to them. Children are intuitive and watchful. They understand what's going on around them more than some parents give them credit for. If you practice everything you've tried to instill in them, they can see it in action and see the benefits. Couple that with actually practicing the principles you've set forth, and you have children who have all the necessary tools to become responsible now and in the future.
There isn't an immediate fix for encouraging your children to be responsible. It will take a lifetime of hard work, dedication, and perseverance--both on your part and your children's. If we can all accept our responsibility as parents to raise responsible children, the rising generations will be stronger and better for it. And it all starts in the home.
Okay, I admit it, Iím on a travel theme. Something about being in a car for 5 days with 5 kids and no hubby makes one think a lot about what works and what doesnít. In case you are planning any road trips of your own, here are my top tips:[more]
As far as I know ó or maybe inasmuch as itís obvious ó Dear Hubby and I are the only ones on either side of our family (in this generation) to form our family through adoption. [more]
Adopting a sibling set is great for those being adopted, but sometimes that's not always an option. If you've adopted one child out of a sibling set, do your best to help them maintain those important relationships. Counseling and support groups may also be a good idea.
"I am the mother of a 2-year-old boy named Anthony and a first-mother to an 8-month-old boy named Niilo. I made the decision to give Niilo up for adoption to his birth father's aunt when I was 2 months pregnant. The best quote I heard was that the hardest decisions you make as a parent are often the best ones. The depression and grief settled in immediately. I often would hide indoors to avoid questions about the pregnancy that with my first child I was more than happy to answer. I remember the adoption paperwork being the knife in my heart. It was real now.
"The adopting mother arrived from Alaska and that day I went into labor. I had him via c-section. The adopting mother was so supportive and held my hand through it all. I heard him cry for the first time and my heart melted into a puddle. Then I saw his beautiful face and my heart broke. He looked just like his father. The nurses and doctors were amazing and took such good care of me. The nurse who assisted in the OR was an adopted child, and she understood my pain and told me I was courageous in my decision. My son left 11 days later to Alaska. I got to spend some time with him and hold him before he left. That was the hardest goodbye I have ever endured. I don't regret my decision; instead, I try to embrace it. He's made so many people happy and for that I am thankful. I receive pictures and updates all the time. It still hurts so bad. I feel a bit of jealousy when someone has a baby. I have a horrendous feeling of guilt that I can't shake. I do try. I still have a wonderful son to care for and he keeps me from losing my sanity. I would love to connect with other first-mothers and not feel so alone. That is MY journey as a first-mother." - Sarah
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