While all kids placed in foster care suffer to some greater or lesser degree the pain of separation from their parents, it seems to strike teens the hardest. These young people are already going through hormonal changes within their bodies that often wreak havoc on their emotions. This is without the compounded effects of being taken from their homes for reasons they probably have yet to understand.

Many will think it their fault because of acting out at times due to these biological changes and maybe not doing well in school or a thousand other things they feel caused the issues leading to this separation. While this is not the case, it will take some amount of healing before they realise this. Here is some of what you can do to help the healing begin.

Love & Acceptance Can Begin The Healing Process

The very first thing you can do is meet them exactly where they are with love and acceptance. Especially in the very beginning, don’t expect more from them than they are ready to give or do. In fact, our role as foster carers is all about love and acceptance – a prerequisite for all that we do.

Actually, the motto for one fostering agency in the UK says it all. Displayed prominently on the website of Fosterplus it reads, “more than fostering,” right below their brand. It is their firm believe that this is exactly what your love and acceptance can do for these emotionally wounded kids. It can help calm the internal storm they are weathering day after day.

Help Them Realise They Are NOT To Blame

You can also slowly begin to help them realise they are not to blame for the actions of anyone else, especially not adults. We choose what we say and do and sometimes adults have their own issues that keep them from doing the things they should or being the people they know they can be. While kids don’t have the history or foundation to understand these things that we do as adults, we can slowly help them understand that they are not to blame. It is our love and acceptance that will perhaps get them to open up and share these feelings, and that is a pivotal turning point in the healing process. From there it’s a matter of helping them to love and accept themselves right where they are today.

Guide Them With Positive Affirmations

At the moment, many of these teens have a negative view of their life and the part they believe they’ve played in their separation from parents. One thing that may help them let go of the blame would be a series of positive affirmations for teens they can repeat to themselves daily. Start simply with things like “I am not to blame for the actions of others.” You can move on from there with affirmations that speak to that inner child within. “I am loved and not the cause of my parents’ pain.”.

Go with things along those lines and watch how quickly they finally begin to believe in themselves. They truly are loved and are not the cause of what others choose to do. Once that is truly entrenched in their psyche, you will see the seeds of healing take root. It’s an amazing experience to be there to watch as these kids blossom before our very eyes, knowing that in some small way, we may have been the catalyst for growth.

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