Helping a child that isn’t in the best situation can be so rewarding. How you can best help your foster child adjust, depends on their age. Although challenging for both the child coming into care and the foster parent, there are some things that can make the transition a little easier.
Provide the Essentials
After meeting your foster child, ask them a few questions to get to know what they like or consult with your foster care agency. Have a bag or basket of essentials ready for when they arrive to your home. Find out their size and have a change of clothing, toiletries and maybe their favourite snack. The essentials that you provide will depend on the age of the child. It’s a new home with new people around, they may be too shy to ask for something directly or not want to ask for anything at all.
But not too much – just keep the lines open. Chances are, they aren’t going to pour their hearts out to you and you’ll probably be met with short responses for a while until you become less of a stranger. It’s important to let them know that you’re there when they are ready to talk. Ask them how they are doing occasionally. Your voice should be soothing and comforting to them and hopefully they will be open to talking more as time goes on. It’s best not to communicate about birth parents though, unless they bring it up.
Take Care of Yourself
Take into consideration how big of an adjustment this will be to you as well, having added someone into your home. Fostering a child is hard work and can be very trying. If you’re burnt out, tired or frustrated it’s going to affect the way that you parent. Establish your routine and stick to it! Attend a yoga class or go for a walk. Meet with other parents that you trust for advice or simply for a cup of coffee. These things help you maintain a clear head to be the best role model for your foster child. You need a support system as well! If you aren’t feeling like your best self, you may have a hard time helping someone else navigate through this experience.
At Satori Foster, we provide you with the resources you need to help you and your foster child adjust. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram for more tips. For more information about fostering contact Satori today!