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© Gail Underwood Parker

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Focus on Fostering: Heroes

In the city next to my town there are many Fourth of July traditions. The local symphony orchestra performs a free outdoor concert. The concert is followed by a fireworks display which is really quite good, although some years the fog rolls in too thickly and we wait for a better night for the fireworks. Generally around 50,000 people gather for both evening events.  A far smaller crowd gathers at midday for a different tradition.  One of our state legislators, who used to do community theater, dresses in period clothes and reads the Declaration of Independence from the front step of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's home. The fifty-six men who signed the Declaration risked hanging for treason had we lost the war for independence from Britain and thus are often hailed as America's first heroes.

Foster children need heroes.  Actually all children need heroes, but most children have less of a problem finding and identifying their heroes.  As foster parents we need to help our children see heroes around us.  We need to help them decide what makes a hero, what qualities, what choices.  The holiday yesterday provides the chance to talk today with them about what a hero is.  Talk about who your heroes are and why.

How about choosing a hero of the week this summer?
Take turns choosing one or do it together as a family.
Or, choose one each week and tell your children about their story.
Be open-minded about your choices... history, sports, legends, humor, anything that gets you talking about heroes.
Here are a few areas to get you started:

Legends: Casey Jones, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Betsy Ross, 
Women: Sybil Luddington, Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton
Crazy, Guinness Record type stunts:
          Joey Chesnut..... this year's winner [5th year in a row]  of Nathan's hot dog eating contest !!

Have some fun with it!

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