How to overcome the challenges that come with temporary guardianship


Relebogile Mabotja talks to parenting coach and founder of Nurture with Nozi, Nozipho Mbatha to find out more.

Becoming the temporary guardian of a family member after an unexpected event has befallen them is a very stressful task to perform, especially because it often comes on such short notice.

Guardianship, despite all its challenges, offers us a way to reach out to a loved one in need who may have nowhere to go. So here are some tips from parenting coach and Nurture with Nozi founder Nozipho Mbatha to help you through the process.

  • Being thrown into the deep end unexpectedly can be nerve-wracking, but it’s important to remember that when the responsibility for guardianship falls on you, it’s not the child who is to blame. More often than not, they didn’t ask to be placed in a situation just as much as you didn’t provide for guardianship. So be patient with them.

  • Another thing to keep in mind is that children’s behavior is not related to rebellion, but is a means of communication. When the person joins the household, it is imperative that communication becomes the anchor of this new relational dynamic.

  • Not only must you communicate exactly what is happening and what goals you are committing to in relation to this new guardianship, but there must always be a multi-faceted communication channel that gives the child as valid a voice as any what other. other.

It is never an easy task at first, so whenever possible, Mbatha encourages new guardians to seek professional help from social workers and psychologists, especially before a problem even has a chance to arise. occur.

On that note, if you don’t have the ability to handle sudden conservatorship, that should also be communicated to the parties involved without blaming or scapegoating anyone. Even if you have the financial capacity to care for a child, it doesn’t always mean that you have the emotional capacity to meet the child’s needs.

It’s okay to say no.

Agree to say no out loud and don’t be afraid of how it will be received by others because ultimately the person who will suffer is the child who will be in a place where they will not feel not welcome. It may not be verbalized, but it shows in your behavior.

Nozipho Mbatha, parenting coach and founder of Nurture with Nozi

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