Being in foster care can be very challenging for children, as being separated from their birth parents can be a stressful and scary time for them. They might have had some difficult or even traumatic experiences when living with their biological families, making it hard for them to trust others. While being a foster parent is an incredibly rewarding and honorable thing to do, getting your foster children to settle in their new home and build a relationship with you can be difficult at times. If you are new to fostering, here are a few tips on how you can make your foster child feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Prepare Their Bedroom
You don’t necessarily have to redecorate the room that will be their bedroom, but it is important to make some effort to try and create a space that they will be comfortable in. Try to find out what authors they like, and buy some books to put on a shelf in their room. Make sure that they have a desk to do their homework on and that you have fresh, comfortable bedsheets for them to sleep in. You could even hang up posters or other artwork that they like to give their room a more personal touch. You can find out more about how to prepare your foster child’s bedroom at thefca.co.uk.
Engage in Conversation
Your foster child or children might not be very talkative when they first arrive. It’s important to be patient with them, as they will still be adjusting to their new home and you. While it’s good to give them space, you do need to make sure that you are engaging in conversation with them so that they don’t feel ignored or as though you don’t care. Simple questions such as asking them how their day was, what movies they like if they would like to choose something to watch that evening, or perhaps asking their opinion on something are all good ways to keep them involved and make them feel seen.
Talk to the Members of Your Household
Another way to help your foster child settle into their new home easier is by making sure everyone else in your household is making an effort, too. If you have a partner, get on the same page as each other when it comes to how you’re going to handle disciplining bad behavior, or how to structure the routine in your home. If other kids are living with you, explain to them how important it is that they are kind and welcoming to their foster siblings, encouraging them to bond with each other.
Do Things Together as a Family
Eating your meals together, having movie nights, or playing games are all great activities you can do as a family in your home. Even if your foster child is quiet in the early stages of them living with you, bringing together the family unit and involving them in this is key to making them feel welcome and like they belong there. Days out at the weekends or school holidays together are also great ways to bond.
If you want to make sure that your foster child feels as welcome as possible in their new home, consider the tips above and see how they can make this transition easier for all of you.