Going into foster care is the hardest thing for kids. They have to abandon what they know and are used to and are thrust into a new family with new rules and traditions. It will take time for them to adjust, and they might at the beginning show resistance, but as a foster parent, you must be patient and shower them with love.
Strengthen your bond with your foster kid by making them feel they are part of the family. You can start by involving them in your conversations, assuring them of your love, and doing fun activities with them. But, before everything, you must consider the age of your foster kid.
What is the Age of Your Foster Child?
Adoption is excellent as it helps kids and adults find loving homes. However, it is not always easy for the child. It will be seamless for an infant, and they’ll never find out they were adopted unless the parents disclose it. However, adult adoption in Georgia is not easy for the child. This is because they leave what they are used to and are thrust into a new environment.
7 Fun Activities that Will Strengthen Your Bond with Your Foster Child
You never know what landed them to foster care; it might be irresponsible parents or the loss of their parents. So show your foster children love and make them feel like part of the family by doing these fun activities with them.
Children, irrespective of age, love playing cook; thus, cooking together will help create a stronger bond with your foster child. You can try making something that takes time, like chapatis or bread. Guide them, and they’ll be proud of themselves when they eat what they have made.
When you are cooking, engage in fun and light conversations. You’ll be surprised to find them opening up and telling you their hobbies, favorite meals, and even their fears.
When you go to most homes, you find they have a picture wall for their family, kids, and achievements. So when you adopt a child, whether a child or an adult, ensure that they are included in the picture wall. You must also recognize their achievements and place their prizes with your other kids’ prizes.
You can make a tradition of taking pictures maybe once a month or every Sunday after church. Playing dress-up will have you having fun and goofing with your foster child.
And when you are talking to your foster child, use words like “my child” and “our home.” This will make them feel recognized as part of the family.
Learn Their Love Language
Like every other person, your foster child has their love language. Because of their new environment, please give them words of affirmation, as they are most vulnerable, especially in their first days. You can leave them small love notes, stick them on their bedroom door, or lunch boxes.
It can be a small message, such as “you are loved” or “have a nice day.” These notes have a magical way of bringing a smile to your lips, and they will show them that you care.
Give them gifts; it doesn’t have to be expensive; it’s the thought that counts. If they love painting, you can buy them a canvas, paintbrushes, and colors.
The key is learning their love language and creating fun activities based on their interests. It will show that you are invested and want to be there for them; as such, they won’t be guarded against you and will open up little by little.
Family days are vital as you get to set apart one day to spend with your child doing fun outdoor activities. You can engage in fun activities, such as going to the museums, festivals in your town, picnics, and swimming.
If your family day coincides with a weekend, you can take a camping trip or go hiking. Family day outings are the best ways to bring your foster child out of their shell and create a strong bond.
Movie Night Culture
Movie nights are something many families don’t practice, and it is a very healthy routine as it helps you know your child’s taste. It’s also a great way to goof around with your foster child. It will give you topics to discuss with your child, and sometimes you can choose educational movies.
You can opt to watch at home or go out to the movies; all in all, remain consistent. And they will always have something to look forward to. This is the one night where your foster child is allowed to stay up late. And we all know how they love that, especially when there is a good movie and snacks.
Have meals together daily. There is a possibility you all have busy schedules, and the only time you have together without being rushed for time is during dinner and weekends. Take this time to have meals together and talk about your day.
Sometimes, it can be boring to talk about school work during dinner, so to make your dinner chats fun, why don’t improvise and ask all your children impromptu questions. For instance,
- What are you grateful for today?
- What makes you happy?
- Ask their favorite food
- What animal do they like and why?
- Favorite book and why?
- Favorite family tradition?
These questions will create room for more profound and sometimes fun conversations that will help you know and bond with your foster child.
Listen When They Talk
Don’t just ask questions; listen when they talk. As parents, we are preoccupied with our issues, so we don’t notice what our children are going through.
So, please give them your undivided attention during your dinner chats and any other time your foster child comes to talk to you. Set aside your phone, maintain eye contact, and nod when necessary. Listen, internalize, don’t judge, and put yourself in their shoes.
This will make your foster child feel heard, know that you are their safe space, and whenever they have a problem, they will come to you for help and advice. As a mother, having your child come to you at all times, happy, sad, or troubled, is the reward for motherhood
Being a foster parent is not easy, but it’s the most rewarding knowing that you can be a haven for your foster child. It would be best to practice patience, especially in the first days. To strengthen your bond with your foster child, you must shower them with love and do fun activities together as a family.