Episode 10

(Part 2) Developing a fostering mindset

We pick up where we left off last month on developing a mindset that will best serve you in your marriage and when you’re fostering.

  • Understanding how we think is vitally important because our behavior, decisions, reactions and emotions all come from it

Now let’s get back into some key mindset and character traits that have served us well. 

1. Kindness (or jocund :))

Definition - the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

What holds us back?

  • Defensiveness
  • Feeling out of control / anger / impatience
  • Victim mentality
  • Selfishness
  • Anticipating being attacked or actually being attacked
  • Self-protection 
  • Having to be right
  • Shutting down
  • Assuming how they’re going to respond and having a pre-emptive strike
  • Feeling justified on responding unkindly because of your child’s  / or bio-parents behavior

What it looks like in practice

  • Bio parent lashing out- how do you choose to respond? 
  • Foster kid lashing out - instead of going with initial desired response - responding with kindness
  • Self-management of poor thinking/feelings/responses to kindness
  • Remembering that you can’t control someone’s actions but you can control your own

2. Selflessness

Definition - concern more with the needs and wishes of others than with one's own.

What holds us back?

  • Selfishness
  • Self-protection = self-focus = selfishness

What it looks like in practice

  • Focusing on others’ needs over your own
  • Sacrificing and doing what’s hard for the benefit of others
  • Putting yourself in harm’s way

Benefits of this kind of mindset:

  • Spiritual growth and growing closer to God
  • Obedience to God and blessings that come from obedience
  • Developing resilience
  • What James in the bible says about counting suffering as joy
  • Less selfish as a person and a better servant to others
  • Seeing your bio-children learn and grow in these ways
  • Seeing your foster kids begin to heal or feel loved and safe
  • Joy in living out your faith and overcoming and getting through hard things especially when they work out well
  • Being proud of yourself (not prideful from a place of insecurity and boasting) and being proud of your spouse and kids

What does it look like when you or your spouse is struggling with one or more of these? How do you work together to be on the same page?

  • Reference episode 4 on parenting from the same page

Your best decisions come from your best thinking and the more you practice, the more blessings that you and your family will experience.

If you enjoyed this series on diving into mindset development, a compliment is the two-part series on understanding personality styles - episodes 5 and 6. 

If you enjoy this podcast, rate and review it wherever you listen. It helps other fostering marriages find it. 

And follow us on Facebook at Fostering Marriage. 

About the Podcast

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Fostering Marriage
Keep your marriage strong when fostering kids

About your hosts

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Joel Fortner

Joel has been married to MaryBeth since 2010 and began the fostering journey in 2019. They have a heart to serve married couples who've chosen the fostering journey. He and MaryBeth have 2 biological kids and 2 foster kids (and 2 dogs) and make their home in middle Tennessee, where Joel serves as a leader and coach with Chris LoCurto and team.
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MaryBeth Fortner