Do you ever struggle with the right words to say? Someone tells you what they are up to, and this is not an invitation for you to tell them all the reasons you aren’t doing the same thing. Try this on for size: “Wow. That’s cool.”
For example, someone tells you that they are going to buy a new truck. Instead of telling them why you think that a bad idea, financially and environmentally, why don’t you just say: “Wow. That’s cool.”
The reason I am talking about this today, is because as a foster parent, I hear something that drives me, and other foster parents, crazy. It goes a little something like this:
Me: “Oh yeah, I am a foster parent.”
Others: “Wow. I could never do that. I would get too attached.”
Me: Swallowing my feelings of confusion/annoyance/hurt.
So today, we are all – and I am included in this, going to learn to respond with: “Wow. That’s cool.”
Advice for future foster parents and all humans:
If you have said this to a foster parent before – do not feel bad or ashamed! I have personally heard this over 100 times. From family members, to friends, to waitresses, to people at the park. Sometimes we don’t mean what we say, and sometimes people hear something that our words did not intend. But I am telling everyone – we still need to stop saying this.
If you are about to become a foster parent – gird your loins. You Will Hear This. A lot. So prepare yourself now, and decide how you will respond. I used to feel so bad when people would say this to me. But I’m 4 years in, and used to the comment. I can now shake it off because Taylor told me to do so. I hope you will be able to do the same.
In today’s episode, I mention:
- Michael J Fox’s book: Always Looking Up: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. He says that it’s “not all about protection, but perspective.” And he talks about the beauty of Risk and Opportunity. I look at fostering like a great opportunity that certainly involves risk. And strangely enough, some of the risks involve not liking, or connecting with the child that comes into your home. We need to stop worrying about how to protect ourselves so much and shift our perspective on how we can help others, even if it’s hard. This doesn’t look like fostering or adopting for everyone. It’s not what Michael talks about in his book at all. But what is something you might need to change your perspective on? There will probably be some risk, and some need to part with some of your time and/or resources, but the opportunities that await you, and the person you are going to help, are great.
- I also randomly mention a marketing book I am reading by Donald Miller called Building a StoryBrand. The gist of this book is that successful companies need to position themselves as a Guide to help a Hero (their customers) through their story. This is the basis of all great movies and books you have ever encountered. When I first started to foster, I made myself the hero of that period of my life. It didn’t go well. I now realize that when I position myself as the guide, helping these little heroes through their stories, everyone wins. This is true in business, movies, and everyday life, whether you foster or not.
- I also mentioned my friend Hanna, who is a plant-based nutritionist, who makes Cashew Queso. I don’t think she delivers, but you can still check her out on Facebook.
- I also want to take this opportunity to make peace with my listeners who are Cat People, Vegans, Exercise Freaks. I love you all equally and I admire you for all that you do. Sorry if I offended you in this episode, or at any other point in our relationship. I too am learning to respond with: “Wow. That’s cool.”
Today’s (Good) Word of the Day:
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,” Galatians 6:4
Let’s remember that the choices that others make are not a reflection on who we are, or the choices we make. Let’s be confident in what we are doing, and how we are living, that we can simply celebrate what others are doing. Empowered people empower people!
Thanks for tuning in and see you again next Saturday!
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