Author: Kayla North (page 1 of 5)

National FC Month (Tip #5)

May is National Foster Care Month and we thought we’d share 10 ways in 10 days you can support kids in care without becoming a foster parent.

Tip #5. Become a prayer warrior for a foster family

Commit to praying for a foster family on a regular basis. While confidentiality may require the family to be vague with requests, find out important dates that are coming up or specific situation that may need prayer. Fostering can be hard on everyone. Kids are adjusting to a new home with uncertainty of what the future will hold. Biological and adopted kids already in the home may have difficulty accepting the new child or sharing their home and family. Foster parents may find a strain on their marriage as they learn to parent a child from a hard place who often has so many needs. Call, text, or email regularly to see how you can pray.

National FC Month (Tip #4)

May is National Foster Care Month and we thought we’d share 10 ways in 10 days you can support kids in care without becoming a foster parent.

Tip #4. Provide a meal

When someone has a baby, family and friends gather together to provide meals for the family as the new mom recovers and the family adjusts to the new addition. While a foster mom may not be physically recovering from childbirth, this is very much the same situation. When new placements arrive the kids may not sleep through the night (even if they are not newborns), they may not like the food they are being offered, or the new school they have to attend. Yes these kids may not be babies, but their needs are great and it certainly takes some adjustment time. Meals would be a huge blessing.

National FC Month (Tip #3)

May is National Foster Care Month and we thought we’d share 10 ways in 10 days you can support kids in care without becoming a foster parent.

Tip #3. Donate gently used items

Too often placements come with little or no worldly possessions so this is always a need for families. If you have an extra room in your home you could go one step further and dedicate space to store donated items for families to come and shop from or even find volunteers to deliver items to a family with a new placement.

National FC Month (Tip #2)

May is National Foster Care Month and we thought we’d share 10 ways in 10 days you can support kids in care without becoming a foster parent.

Tip #2. Become a respite provider or approved babysitter

This requires background checks and fingerprinting and training, so it is often hard to find people who are willing to go through all of this. If you know a foster family, ask them how to become a babysitter/respite provider for them. If you don’t know anyone who fosters, contact a local foster care agency or foster care ministry and find out if there is a family you could support in this way.

National FC Month (Tip #1)

May is National Foster Care Month and we thought we’d share 10 ways in 10 days you can support kids in care without becoming a foster parent.

Tip Number 1: Become a CASA volunteer

CASA volunteers can make a huge difference in the outcome for kids in foster care. They are sometimes the only voice that speaks for the children in court.

#GivingTuesday is TODAY!

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving back. There are two ways that you can give today; your time and your treasure. Please email us at tapestry@irvingbible.org if you would like to bless adoptive and foster families by volunteering your time. We have many opportunities for you to volunteer from support groups to our annual conference.

The other way to give today is with your treasure. You can donate online or you can mail a check to:

Irving Bible Church
Attention: Tapestry
2435 Kinwest Parkway
Irving, Texas 75063

Your giving will allow us to continue to be a place of loving, supportive, and authentic community where we encourage and equip families along their adoption and foster care journey.

So would you consider making a gift to Tapestry today on Giving Tuesday?

giving_tuesday_logostacked1

Tapestry is a ministry of Irving Bible Church. All contributions to Tapestry are tax-deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Family Nurture Groups

We strive to connect with our kids as we teach them new skills.  Before we can take away a survival skill, we need to replace it with a new one. One of the things we often suggest to families is for them to do family nurture group in their home. Here’s how you can get started:

Family Rules: Stick Together, No Hurts, Have Fun

Things to help you stay regulated: chewing gum, sucking on a sucker, playing with a fidget, holding a weighted object, magic mustache, chair/floor push-ups

Format for Nurture Groups

1. Review Rules

2. Family Check-in – Ask a question and let everyone take turns answering. (pick one or make one up)

– Best part of the day/worst part of the day (do both)
– If I could be any animal I would be?
– Silliest thing I have ever done…
– When I grow up I want to be (parents answer from when you were a kid or dream job)

3. Nurture – take turns giving and receiving nurture. Each person asks another person if he/she can do one of the following for them:

– Put a band-aid on a hurt (emotional hurt could be symbolized by band-aid on the heart)
– Back/foot massage
– Lotion on hands
– Weather report

4. Fun With Teaching

– wrong way/right way- either using puppets or acting out show the “wrong way” and the “right way” to do something. For example, what is the wrong way to respond when mom/dad asks you to clean your room? What is the right way? What is the wrong way/right way to act when told you can’t do something you want to do? Pick some things that you see your family doing/saying often and use this part to practice doing them right/wrong in a silly exaggerated way!
– Feelings- take turns talking about feelings by tossing or rolling a ball and sharing something that makes you sad, disappointed, frustrated..etc to teach naming feelings

5. Feeding – Take turns feeding each other (candy, pretzels, anything small and yummy)

6. Closure – Close by reviewing the rules and then praying and reading a scripture together

The “Yes” Jar

Would you love to have a simple parenting tool you can start implementing right away that will help you build trust with your kids? There is one simple word that can make a huge difference… “YES!”

An easy way to begin giving our kids more yes’s is to make a Yes Jar. Here’s what you need:

 

  • Stickers

  • Temporary tattoos

  • Healthy snacks such as granola bars, nuts, fruit leather, beef jerky

  • Fun treats such as cookies, suckers, gum

  • Coupons for connecting activities such as playing a game with mom/dad, a back rub, etc

  • Popsicle sticks with the names of fridge items like cheese sticks,fruit, veggie

  • Whatever else you are willing to say yes to ANYTIME your kids ask

How does it work?

Start out by gathering your supplies. Toys from the dollar store or leftovers from a birthday party goodie bag, as well as the always convenient amazon, are a great place to start. When you get snacks it is important to find a balance between fun and healthy.  It’s great to use organic suckers and naturally sweetened gum, but bubble gum and cookies can be a fun treat too. Once you fill your jar, tell your kids about it and be willing to say yes anytime they ask

Have fun saying yes and building trust in a new way!

FAQ

Q: If I do this with my kids they will drive me crazy asking nonstop! Would it still work if I put limits on when they can ask and how many times?

A: We would discourage putting too many limits on it and therefore making it a battle ground. Some limits you might put on it are a bedtime or limiting the size and number of things in the jar.

Q: I have a lot of kids. That sounds expensive to keep a jar full of things all the time!  How do you do this without spending a fortune?

A: It all depends on how much and what you put in your jar.  We only fill up our jar once a day when the kids go to bed, and then when it is empty it is empty.  When you first start using the yes jar, your kids will ask you for something A LOT!  They want to see if you will really say yes EVERY time they ask.  So, at first it may cost a little more to fill it up, but as they begin to trust that you will really say yes you will see the asking slow down.

Q: My kids are not very good eaters, so we don’t snack a lot between meals. What if my kids ask for something to eat just before a meal?

A: This can be tricky because many of our kids have food “issue” and we struggle to get them to eat or they want to eat constantly.  The snacks in the ‘yes’ jar are put there by you, so choose wisely.  Mostly nutritious foods will ensure that even if they ask just before dinner, you are okay saying yes because it is healthy.

Q: If I say yes too much, my kids will expect me to say yes all the time, and sometimes I need to say no.  Why is it important for me to say yes?

A: It seems counter-intuitive, but by saying yes more often we can actually help our kids accept our no more easily. Taking the time to examine why we say no so often can help us connect with our kids. Watch this video where Amy Monroe talks about building trust by saying yes.

This post also appears on Empowered to Connect

A Day of Saying Yes!

One of the tools we teach in Empowered to Connect is having parents embrace the privilege of saying “Yes” to their children. Day one of our 2016 spring break was a day of saying yes at our house.

Saying "Yes"

Connection Jars

Connection Jar

Finding ways to connect with your kids can be hard. Connection jars can give you a quick and easy way to add connecting activities to your everyday routine. Set a certain time each day and allow each of your kids to pick an activity from the jar. Spending just 5 minutes each day connecting with your kids can make the world of difference in your relationship.

Materials

  • A quart size jar, a small pot, or anything big enough to hold large size popsicle/craft sticks.
  • 10-20 craft sticks
  • Sharpie marker (ultra fine tip)
  • 100 ways to nurture and connect handout
  • your imagination
  • optional: 3 different colors of washi tape, markers, or paint

Instructions

  • Find 10-20 connecting activities that you can do with your child.  Try to pick a variety of activities that you and your child can both enjoy. Use the 100 ways to nurture and connect as a starting point.
  • Optional: sort the activities into 3 groups based on amount of time to complete
  • Write activities on the craft sticks.  
  • Optional: Use the washi tape, markers, or paint to differentiate between the groups (ie: green = 5-10 min, blue=15-20 min, orange=20 min +)
  • Put the sticks into the jar and allow your kids to pick activities to do with you.
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