AD | Collaborative post
Integrating a foster child into your family comes with some challenges. A child or teen might be unable to communicate, not trust anyone, or even feel nervous around their new family. This is normal, and the best thing you can do is start creating a bond that helps them feel as though they are part of the family. Here are some tips to help you do so.
Spending time with your foster child(ren) is critical to building a relationship with them. While it is a good idea to spend time together in the morning and evening, it is also good to create some family bonding time beyond this.
This could be on the weekends when you do an activity together or a designated movie night. You should also consider establishing a routine for spending time as a family so you get to connect with them emotionally.
Building trust is one of the most important things you need to do with your foster kids. Trust will not come easily, especially for foster children who have had a difficult past and struggle to trust anyone. That said, it will be very rewarding once your foster child starts trusting you.
There are several ways to build trust, and the ones you use will depend on you and your foster child. One thing to try is opening up by telling them something about yourself. This helps them feel like you trust them, and they are likely to reciprocate. If you are fostering teens, be careful about sharing things they can use against you in moments of strife and stress.
Another way to show them you trust them is to let them do something they want. For example, you could let them play games on a computer or take a walk around the neighbourhood.
Building trust can be very challenging, and you might find yourself frustrated that this is something you find hard to do. In cases like this, it is best to ask for help. Foster care agencies like Fosterplus will connect you with care professionals, educators, and social workers to help you build trust and a connection between you and your foster child.
As a parent, you will need to tell your children to do something from time to time. While this is required and unavoidable, you should also ensure your communication with your foster kids is not one-sided.
Listening is a crucial aspect of effective communication, and your foster child will want to communicate with you. Because it may be hard for them to open up and talk about what might have happened to them, it is up to you to be proactive and engage them in a conversation.
Listen to them and respond appropriately. Once they feel they can confide in you, communication between the two of you will get much easier. They will also learn to lean on you, knowing you are always there to listen to them.
Building a strong bond between you and your foster child or children makes things better for everyone. They learn to trust you and feel comfortable in your home. You also get to be a better parent as you know what they need, when they need it, and how to provide it.