Why should I encourage/praise my child?

  • There is a difference between praising your children and encouraging your children.
    • Encouraging a child means telling them they can, never that they cannot.
    • Praising them for what they do well is important as well.
      • That means something saying I see a great report card here, even if the child has brought a grade up to a “C.” Many parents demand a child get A’s on their report card, and say their kid is not great unless their child gets the best grades. However, the effort is really what’s important, and that’s what needs to be praised,
      • Some children learn easy in some subjects, and have a harder time in others. Let your child do what they enjoy, and ask them to do their best in other things they may not be as interested in. Getting a “C” in a subject, such as history or math they may not like, may just be a good thing. Praise the effort, and encourage the best they can do in everything, then sit back and watch success.

Why should I respond openly to my children?

With children, the best answer is one that gives them a choice; between what they want and the right thing to do. It may be eating a cookie at the wrong time just before dinner, or having the last piece of pie. Responding openly to them, is giving them the power to make that choice, but giving them the power to make better choices given time. The more a parent is open to listening, giving a choice to their child, and not setting limits, the more success a parent will have in communication with a child as they grow. A child will be much more open to telling you they feel like having sex, smoking, drinking, etc. if they know you will not judge them, and will give them time to make the right choice.

I am caring for a relative’s child, how do I enroll them in school?

  • Can become a temporary guardian if parents and child are in agreement
    • Form is available on DCFS website
  • As an alternative, you may also be able to make an agreement with the school through the use of a notarized letter authorizing school enrollment
    • Some authorities may not accept this
    • Should consult with an attorney prior to using this option
  • Can also consult with the school to see what is needed in order to enroll the child

What are my options if I am the grandparent of the child I am caring for?

  • You may be eligible for benefits through the Department of Aging

Is there financial assistance if I am caring for a relative’s child?

  • If you obtain temporary guardianship or guardianship, you can apply for public benefits such as health insurance, food stamps, and daycare subsidies
  • May also be able to obtain child support from the parents
    • Should consult with an attorney if you would like to do this