Sometimes, just getting to know your new foster child can be a bit daunting and you might not know where to start.
They’re sharing your home with you, and they want to feel accepted and welcomed, and you can do that by doing things with them to strengthen your bond. Here are a few easy ways you might do that.
Decorate Their Room with Them
A child’s home is their sanctuary, and this is even more true with foster children. When you first bring your child home from foster care services, they might feel very isolated and unsure.
Doing some redecorating in their space, even if it might seem a bit superficial sends quite a powerful message.
Foster children want to feel that their stay with you isn’t temporary and giving them their own space that they have a hand in creating can make them feel safer and more a part of the home.
A good way to do this is to let them choose a paint colour for the walls or bedding and pillows so that their choices mean something.
You can also add a family photo with them included so they feel welcome and part of the family. Just don’t rush it and let them warm up at their own pace.
Reading at Bedtime
When it’s time to go to bed, have an age-appropriate book ready to read and enjoy some time reading with them. If they’re younger, read to them, or if they’re a bit older, share the reading by taking turns.
It doesn’t matter how old the child is, reading is a great way of spending quality time together without distractions – and it’s a good way for them to learn some extra vocabulary while they get some meaningful one-on-one time with you at the end of the day.
It’ll make them feel safe and cared for.
Involve Them in Cooking Dinner
Food is the great universal language, and that’s true here too. If they’re a bit older this is probably more suitable but get them involved in the preparation of meals.
Give them small jobs to do like stirring a pot or grating cheese and slowly increase the complexity of what they’re doing.
They’ll be learning an important life lesson on how to prepare food. If they’re a bit younger, they can still get involved with dinnertime tasks like setting the table.
Going Out for Activities
Find out what interests your foster child has and do some with them. If they’re football fans, take them to a game to watch their favorite team, or if they enjoy swimming, spend a day at the leisure center with them.
Don’t be scared to do these activities with only your foster child if you have children of your own – or even individually if you foster more than one child.
There are many different activities you might do with your foster child to bond with them and get to know them better in the early days, and these are just a couple of examples. The key is to make them feel heard, involved, and important to you.