Friday, March 14, 2014

Parenting Humble Pie

With his foster brother, Manuel
As foster parents, my husband and I were required to attend ongoing training sessions to better equip us to deal with different situations. One lecture was entitled, "The Three Different Types of Children."
As the instructor discussed the first category--the "easygoing child," I glanced down at our six-year-old foster daughter, who was quietly coloring beside me. I realized that although she had multiple issues stemming from her dysfunctional family, most of the time her behavior could be classified as "easygoing."
Next came the "slow learner," which I felt sure the six-month-old in my lap would be labeled someday. He had been born two months premature. When he came to us he was four months old, on a heart monitor, and only weighed eight pounds. Even after two months of care and regular feeding, in size and development he was more like a typical two-month-old.
Finally the instructor said, "And the third type is known as the difficult child."
At that moment our own four-year-old son chose to throw a very loud tantrum. My embarrassed husband carried him, kicking and screaming, out of the room.
"And that," said the instructor without missing a beat, "is a very fine example of a difficult child."
With his foster sister, Mandi
P.S. In hindsight, I'm thankful our son was so strong-willed. It was a huge challenge when he was small, but it has made him the strong and capable man he is today.


  1. I didn't know y'all were foster parents. I'm not surprised. i know you were such a blessing to those children when they needed you the most.

    I guess my kids would be labeled multi-talented. During any one day each one of them could exhibit all those traits. :)

  2. I wish we could have done more for those children, and for more of them. There is too much bureaucratic nonsense for the foster care system to be truly effective. I wasn't permitted to homeschool Mandi, and she might have thrived better if she had.