Thank A Teacher, Foster Parent, Day Care Worker, Homeschool Parent, Anyone who supports your "village" - It Matters.
12 Days of Gratitude: Someone Who Supports Your Child(ren)
My original Day 4 prompt was to extend gratitude to someone who supports my children, but I'm a "it takes a village" kind of gal. Plus, it's Teacher Appreciation Day, and May is Foster Care Awareness Month. So, this all got me thinking of the importance of saying thank you to individuals I know that support other children (not just mine) as educators, foster parents, day workers, or as educators in a homeschool setting.
I have quite a few friends who are foster parents or who have adopted children through the foster care system, and I am constantly amazed by their dedication and love. They would tell you themselves that it is not always easy, but they would also tell you that it is worth it. Their lives are richer. Their lives are blessed. They've inspired me to expand my definition of family, and they deserve a big thank you -- or a coffee shop gift card or some fancy dark chocolate! They also deserve respect. I know it can bother them when they are out with their children and receive curious stares or even abrupt questions about whether or not the kids are theirs. This can make both the parent and/or care giver and the children uncomfortable. Whatever the reality is for those you see who may not fit into your definition of "family," it's important to always be respectful and kind. Even an innocent question can be damaging for a child already going through lots of transitions and challenges.
So, if you know a foster parent -- thank them today! Send them a care package this month! If you are a foster parent, allow me right now to say -- thank you! And, if you're interested in learning more about being a foster parent, or in promoting foster care awareness, you can visit childwelfare.gov for more information.
And, of course, since today is Teacher Appreciation Day, take a moment to stop and Thank A Teacher! It can be as simple as just saying it or you can give them a simple gift -- here's 40+ ideas. Also, don't forget that parents who homeschool are teachers. If you know a parent who homeschools, I'm sure they would love to be surprised with an Amazon gift card, some flowers or a gift card for their favorite coffee shop. Expanding our view of who teachers are and taking the time today -- or this week -- to say thank you is important. Gratitude matters.