It’s so easy to say you like a recipe, an outfit, or a TV show, so why is it so difficult to tell people you appreciate them? Perhaps you worry that you’re getting too personal or you’re afraid you’ll make the other person uncomfortable.
This can be true if you admire someone you’re not close to (you don’t want to overstep boundaries), just as much as with people you’re very close to. However, telling a foster parent he or she is appreciated can make the person’s entire week.
How do you get started? It’s always best to speak from the heart, but it can be so difficult to put those feelings into words. The simplest approach is, “I really admire all you do as a foster parent.”
That’s to the point, easy, and works in every situation. However, you may want to offer some specific details.
Ideas to get started
Maybe you recently attended a foster care organization’s fundraiser or just found out that a co-worker has become a foster parent. No matter what sparked your interest, you’re now aware of these incredible families and want to show your appreciation.
“I’m so impressed that you’re a foster parent; that must be incredibly rewarding,” is a way to dig a little deeper. If you know the person a little better and have known for a while that he or she fosters children, but you’ve never broached the subject, it’s not too late.
“I’d love to know more about your experience as a foster parent,” can open up dialogue. Many foster parents don’t talk openly about fostering because they’re afraid others might not be interested, but you’ll be amazed by the stories you’ll hear.
They might even inspire you to get more involved.
Appreciation without words
Maybe you’re not comfortable openly praising foster parents, but you still want to let them know you admire what they do. Luckily for you, May is National Foster Care Month, which offers a prime excuse for showing foster parents you noticed and care.
A bouquet of flowers, box of candies, or tickets to a movie are all fine gifts for friends, colleagues, and others in your circle.
Sometimes a favor as seemingly simple as offering to babysit for date night or picking up the kids from school (depending on your relationship with the foster parent), can say more than any token or kind word. Actions really do speak loudest, after all.
What are yours saying, and are you ready to instill a little more appreciation into them?