Why or Why NOT be a Houseparent

It has been a while since I have blogged and for that I apologize.  However, now that I don’t have to spend hours dealing with hackers and spammers on the forum anymore I should have more time to blog.  However that is not the point of this entry, why you would become a houseparent is.

If you are thinking of becoming a houseparent there really is only one reason to do it – Because you want to help children.  If you do it for any other reason you are doing the children a disservice.  The children and young adults that are in residential care have issues.  They may have been abused (physically, sexually or emotional).  They may have been neglected and had to struggle just to survive.  They may have emotional issues, or substance abuse issues, etc. 

Because they have issues, they need caring adults that will care for them and THEIR needs. Adults that can help them work through their issues and become responsible adults.

The list of reasons to NOT be a houseparent is a lot longer.

  1. Do NOT be a houseparent if you are looking to fulfill a need to have a family.  Though we care for the children in a family environment, and at some facilities they may even call you Mom or Dad, you are not a family.  The vast majority of the children in care have families and when forced to choose will always choose their birth families and you will just be the houseparents.
  2. Do NOT be a houseparent if you are looking to fulfill a need to be loved. There will be children that will love you, but most will be ambivalent  and some may even downright dislike you.
  3. Do NOT be a houseparent if you are looking to fulfill  a need to nurture.  Children in care need to be nurtured, but if you do it to fill your need to nurture you will often times sabotage their independence so that you can continue to meet your need.
  4. Do NOT be a houseparent if you are looking to fulfill a need to control.  Children in care need rules and boundaries.  They need to be taught self control.  They don’t need somebody that has an unfulfilled need to dominate.  Many of the emotional issues they have to deal with are the result of dominate/controlling caregivers that have abused them physically or emotionally.  The children don’t need the people charged with protecting them from that doing the very same thing.
  5. Do NOT be a houseparent if you are just looking for a job.  There are much easier ways to make a living that don’t involve devoting your life 24/7, day after day to children that most often would prefer to be anywhere else but with you, birth families that may try to sabotage everything you are doing, co-workers that might fall into many of these 5 categories, court and social systems that can often times be anything but fair or working in the best interest of the child.

I am sure there are many others that could be added to this list, and I now open it up to your comments.  All comments will be queued in moderation and must be approved by the administrator.

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