“Besides spanking, what are some of the ways you discipline your kinship children?”
We, facilitators asked ourselves, if a new caregiver asked this question of us, how would, we answer. We decided it was important to start with a foundation which outlined family rules and household expectations. These are our ideas answers.
1.Explain your house rules on day one, along with their consequences. Make sure they are simple and directed toward the infraction. Allow them to ask questions and may be suggest changes which will accommodate them, also.
2.Be consistent about the rules and consequences. Refuse to give into face to face opposition. Remain the parent doing your job…preparing them to be responsible for choices they make and for the resulting consequences.
3.Come to know each child as an individual. This will determine the expectations you will have of the child and those you have for yourself.
4.Accept you may need to update parenting skills. Ways to parent a traumatized child. Ways to parent as the traumatized person you are too.
5.Put into practice ways to include the child in the household decision making process. Maybe to include them in the what, it takes to maintain their home and their responsibility in it.
We would say to any new kinship parent, put in place an expectation of behavior and of cooperation in the beginning, they will help you manage any future stress, which comes with parenting a kinship child.