Fostering is as rewarding as it is challenging. Welcoming a new child or teenager into your home is likely going to be an overwhelming experience for them. As a result, they might appear quiet, aggressive, or anxious when they first arrive, and it may take time to warm up to you.
Yet, don’t despair, as there are many steps you can take to improve your bond and their feelings of security. Read these parenting tips that can help when fostering.
Set Time Aside for Bonding
Foster children may have endured many negative experiences, such as trauma or bereavement. Yet, your time and compassion could help them move on from their past and focus on a brighter future.
Performing typical parent and child activities could make them quickly feel comfortable with your family. Set time aside for quality bonding with a foster child or teen. For example, watch a movie together, book dinner at a restaurant, or enjoy a picnic in a local park. The more fun memories you create together, the happier and more secure they’ll feel during their time in your home.
Connect with Other Foster Parents
Similar to how parents turn to each other for advice and support, there are many fostering communities designed to bring foster parents together. It will provide foster parents with an opportunity to learn from people’s experiences and lean on each other for support.
Plus, foster children and teens can connect with others to have some fun and relax. Talk to your current or potential foster agency about the communities and events they provide. For example, thefca.co.uk hosts many activities and events for foster families in Hull, such as fun picnics and even an annual Big Sing Off competition.
Listen to Your Foster Child or Teen
Children and teens want to be listened to when talking, and foster children are no exception. While you might have perfected your communication skills to help care for teens or children from various backgrounds, don’t underestimate the power of listening.
Encourage a child or teenager to confide in you about their emotions or worries. It might not be easy to hear about their past experiences or negative feelings, but you must listen to their stories or fears to respond thoughtfully. It will make them feel loved and supported, and you can ensure they receive the help needed to move on from their past experiences.
A child’s experiences can determine their confidence and self-worth. As foster children may have endured trauma in their lives, it is essential to find ways to improve their self-esteem. Praise is one of the most powerful ways to do so, which is why you should reward them for the smallest achievements. Praise will slowly but surely increase their confidence and help them gain more control of their behavior.
Like parenthood, caring for a foster child or teen can feel challenging at times. Yet, your love, support, and effort could transform a young person’s self-worth and provide them with a brighter future.