When a newborn enters the family, it can often seem easier for the mother to quickly develop a deeper bond than the father. Thankfully, there are many books and resources that teach fathers how to bond with their infant daughters. If you’re going to be fostering adolescent children, however, this is a very different prospect. Adolescents have already developed a personality and some likes and dislikes. Forming a deeper connection with your foster daughter that’s a bit older needs a gentle approach and a lot of patience. Here are a few ways that dads can bond with their foster daughters.
Just Be Available
One of the most important roles a father can have when it comes to their kids is to be reliable and available to their daughter when they’re needed. When you take on the responsibility of becoming a foster parent with an agency like Fostering People, you need to be prepared for this. Being available just simply means being present and being approachable for a chat or for a quick lift to a friend or the local shopping mall.
Learn as Much as You Can
Men and women, for the most part, think and process things differently. Learning and understanding a bit more about how your daughter might think and interpret things around her is critical. Not only will you better understand how she’s likely to react to things, but you’ll also be in a better position to give her the right advice and communicate in a more meaningful way. It’s all about learning as much as you can about your foster daughter, and about raising girls in general.
Respect Is Earned and Demonstrated
When you become a foster dad, you’re going to be taking on the most important job of your life. You’re going to become the male role model in your foster daughter’s life, and that means she’ll look to you for cues on how she expects the men in her life to behave. The most important thing for you here is to demonstrate how women should be treated by showing your partner patience, respect, love and care.
Be a Good Listener and Provide Advice
As a father, you’re going to be relied on to provide advice and guidance to your daughter when she needs it. Understanding this and understanding when to provide that advice and when to just listen is important. Men tend to want to fix things and find solutions to things, but often that’s not what your daughter will need from you. Often all she wants is to feel loved, heard and understood. If she wants advice, she’ll likely directly ask for it, so be ready to dispense it.
Bonding with your foster daughter as a foster dad can be challenging, but it is also one of the most rewarding things in the world. Being a strong provider and nurturer, as well as being a positive male role model in her life is incredibly important. Above all, patience and understanding will be your two most important skills.