Guess What? You ARE Good Enough
When something doesn't quite turn our how we anticipated we can be left feeling disappointed, not just with the situation but with ourselves as well. Lots of "Should"'s begin to enter our thought processes and we blame ourselves for what we see as failure to meet our expectations.
"I should have been able to hand the situation better."
"I should have been better prepared."
"I should have been able to handle whatever was thrown at me."
When it comes to fostering, carers may not be the only ones who are feeling this way. Often children already in the family can be feeling that things not working out as they had expected is their own fault and a dangerous cycle of self-blame can be entered in to. Also, biological children are prone to keeping negative thoughts and problems to themselves as they perceive that their parents have enough to deal with and don't wish to add to their burdens.
What can you do to help?
To help yourself check to make sure your expectations are realistic. We all want to be the best we can be but there are so many elements that are out of our control that this is not always possible. Accepting that no-one is perfect and that trying your best, even if things didn't turn out as hoped, is enough.
When helping others it is important to teach them how to manage their expectations too. Young people have so much to learn and so much life to live that they need to be reminded of this in a supportive and encouraging way. One way to help them manage this is to introduce the word yet in to their vocabulary when they are talking about meeting their expectations. Changing a statement from "I can't do it." to "I can't do it yet." can be very empowering for young people and gives them permission to make mistakes, to not achieve their goals or not meet expectations as they are still learning and growing.