Helping Your Foster Child Develop Good Judgment
A number of adults suffer making the right decision when faced with difficult choices in life, and many end up making self-destructive choices, repeatedly demonstrating poor judgment. While other people seemingly make big decisions relatively easily – and make the right choices more often than not.
The thing is, no one is born with good or bad judgment, or the ability to make wise decisions. Good judgment and decision-making skills develop from experience and reflection throughout our lives.
As a foster parent, you will look after children and teenagers with varying levels of judgement and decision-making skills. One of your many goals is to give your foster child experience in making decisions and make sure they have the opportunity to reflect on them and learn from them.
So, how can you help your foster child develop better judgment?
Practice makes perfect
Give your foster child practice making choices from the moment you get them. Let them know that you respect them enough to make decisions about their life. Emphasise what they have the right to make decisions about certain things and what areas you as the guardian retain the right to exert control over.
Reflect with your Foster Child
Many people fail to develop a good sense judgment because their experience isn’t complemented by reflection. Help your foster child to make decisions consciously and to think through the potential repercussions of different choices before they make them.
Offer them the opportunity to reflect on how her decisions worked out, and if they would have done things differently. This is particularly useful after conflicts or disagreements that may have escalated.
Be a Role model
Share how and why you make decisions in your life with your foster child. Even really simple day-to-day things like getting an early night before important events, or cutting out bad foods to keep healthy or lose weight. These kinds of simple, good practises will guide your foster child and encourage them to make positive decisions.
Expect your foster child to make some bad decisions.
We are all still learning as about life – we never stop learning and growing as people. When your foster child makes a bad decision or takes a negative step, don’t tell them off or discipline them. Use it as an opportunity for reflection and the development of better judgment in the future.
Help them to consider their choices afterwards. Talk about how things could have been different if they had made different choices. Be positive and supportive, and avoid condescending remarks such as “I told you so!”.