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2 Easy Steps for Talking with Your Foster Teen from a Foster Teen

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Blog by Zee

Conversation Gone Wrong

A long time ago in my past my birth parents were not sure how to handle my behavior. They tried several things to change my behavior such as spanking, grounding me, taking away my phone, etc. My parents got tired of these different ways of disciplining me so they tried a different way.

“Zee get over here,” they demanded.

I came prepared for them to scream at me and so I got ready to scream myself. The verbal fighting went back and forth. Of course this did nothing but make matters worse. Eventually, I voiced some profanity and my father yelled, “Get out of my house!”

So, I got out and did not come back for three hours and at night. When I returned home my dad stated, “You know what I meant when I said, ‘Get out of my house.’ You know I meant just go outside.”

However, let’s pause here. As a teen, I really did not know what he meant and took what he said literally. I had hoped that when they spoke to me that they would have a conversation with me nicely and not aggressively. That’s not always the answer.


Tips for Foster & Adoptive Parents

Let’s talk about helping you, caregivers, with talking with your adoptive or foster teens. Since to know a teen it is a good idea to ask a teen. Now let’s get into the motion of knowing.

Two easy steps for communicating with your teen:

  1. Talk to your teen on their level
    Try saying things in a way in which they think of things.
    For example: In the above story instead of my parents demanding “Zee get over here,” they could have said something such as, “I know you don’t want to talk about this. I don’t even want to talk about this, but do you think we could?”
  2. Talk to them bluntly or truthfully
    Now that you have your teen’s attention take that chance to be blunt with them. Tell them exactly what you are wanting to talk about and be truthful.
    For example: In the above story I felt my parents merely yelled at me without telling me the issues. I would suggest taking a nicer tone and just telling your teen the issue so you can work together on it.

Engaging your teen with love and truthfulness is important as you never know how much time you will have with them. Since I’m in foster care, I have lost my birth parents for a little while. These relationships are important.


It’s Your Turn:

What questions or comments do you have about this subject?


Zee is a teenage girl like other kids living in the foster care system.
When she is not surviving high school, playing MineCraft, or
writing blogs, she is striving to work toward her future 
of helping to further the development of computer technology.

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On My Way – A Foster-Adoptee’s Song

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On My Way

Some never ever get this far
Some never ever see their star
But I’m on my way.
I never thought I’d ever get this far
I never thought I’d see my star
But I’m on my way
On my way to freedom!

Never knew this was my place
Never knew I was here to stay
But I’m on my way.
Some never ever find their place
Some never ever are there to stay
But they’re on their way
On their way to freedom!

Never ever give up hope
Always find some love to hold
You’re on your way.
You’ll find a family of love
You’ll always find one to hug
You’re on your way
On your way to freedom!

Now just give them a chance
Maybe you’ll find that you’ve been blessed
You’ve found your way.
Now go and live your life
Go and use this advice
Now go your way
You way to freedom!

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A True Friend – Song/Poem by a Young Adoptee

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A True Friend

by Jasmine Fink

When you need a helping hand,
When you feel all alone.

You need a friend to help you along.

When you need someone to talk to,
To get you past your fears.

You need a true friend.

A true friend helps you,
When no one else will.

They respect you and your space,
And will always respect your decisions.

A true, true friend. A true friend.

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