Foster Children Are Not Victims Of Their Genes

"...but masters of our fate..."

Jamie Schwandt April 29, 2017

“We are not victims of our genes, but masters of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace, happiness, and love.” – Bruce H. Lipton

Foster children live in a cycle of failure. They typically leave the system with poor life outcomes. The system fails them, just as their biological family failed them. After living around failure, they start to feel as though they are a failure. Those feelings then turn into deeply ingrained beliefs. They believe they are genetically engineered for failure.

We have to stop this. We must show foster children that they are not the victims of their genes. But how? The answer is something no one in foster care is talking about. It is a breakthrough in science called epigenetics.

Cellular biologist and inspiring author Dr. Bruce Lipton shares with us that our beliefs literally change who we are through epigenetics. Epigenetics reveals that we are masters of our genes. The authors at provide a simple explanation of epigenetics–in its simplest sense, it is the science of how genes are turned on and off. Our genes are activated or shut down (turned on or off) depending on different needs and interactions within our environment.

Epigenetics is proof that people can change. We can show children how to “unlearn” who they used to be. Dr. Joe Dispenza explains in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, “When you do not recreate the same mind on a daily basis, you prune away the hardware that is related to the old self.”

Here are five powerful ways we can use the science of epigenetics to help foster children break the cycle of failure.

Epigenetics proves nothing is impossible.
1. Epigenetics proves nothing is impossible.

“We are the programmers of the code. DNA activation is our software upgrade.”

Explaining concepts by way of an analogy or metaphor is a powerful way to learn abstract ideas. The website is a unique way for people across the world to share ideas. Here are a couple of them.

• “If you consider your DNA as the text of an instruction that explains how to make a human body, epigenetics is as if someone’s taken a pack of highlighters and used different colors to markup different parts of the text in different ways.” – Cath Ennis

• “Genetics is like the blue prints. Epigenetics are like post-it notes on those blueprints (usually telling you to ignore that part).” – Justin Ma

Our genes respond to the environment (which acts as a stimulus). The authors at provide the following analogy: Imagine our genes operate like an assembly of gears. The environmental forces (imagine the domain for which a foster child is living) flip the switch. The switch then activates the motor and gears.

This analogy provides us a solution. If we control the stimulus (the environmental factors) we can then change how the motor and gears operate. This means that we can control how we see the world. In this analogy, the switch is the key to the system. Here the switch is your beliefs. Your beliefs control your perception and determine your new potential. This could lead to the following: change in environment = change in belief = change in the future outcome of a child.

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Jamie Schwandt

Dr. Jamie Schwandt (Ed.D.) is an author and former foster child. He is a TV show host, motivational speaker, lean six sigma master black belt, statistics professor, and a major in the U.S. Army. Dr. Schwandt is the author of the books Finding Your Hero (2015) and Succeeding as a Foster Child (2014). He is the host of the inspiring TV show Dreaming Big and is a fitness expert with a unique mindset for positive growth. You can find his published work here, his website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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