Looking after a foster child is not always easy. Sometimes they have come from backgrounds that you could not even imagine yourself. They might have deeply ingrained trust issues and be very wary of others, which can manifest in difficult behavior.
Connecting with your foster child is a really important aspect of being their career. It is up to you to encourage that connection and build trust between you, which should hopefully allow them to engage with you.
This piece will discuss how you can encourage your foster child to feel more comfortable with you and enjoy spending time with you.
Have Quality Time With Them
The most important aspect of building a connection with your foster child and getting to know them is to make time for them. You want them to know that you are wholeheartedly glad that they are there with you, that you have chosen for them to be there, and that they are not a burden. Ask them what hobbies they enjoy doing and what they are interested in, and use that information to create meaningful time together.
The time you spend together cannot just be time in passing either, such as dinner time. While this is important, it is also crucial you create actually allocated time for one on one bonding that is not centered around other must-haves like picking them up from school or eating.
Listening Is Key
There is a good chance that your foster child has not grown up with you, so there will be a lot you do not know about them and their life, apart from what you have been told by professionals. Building up trust will be a key component as to whether they will share anything with you, but also being there to listen properly whenever they want to talk is just as important.
You might find that they do not say things in a direct way, which means you have to be able to listen to comments even in passing. If and when your foster child builds up the trust or confidence to speak to you, then make sure you are 100% present, as not being so can reinforce that they are not worth listening to.
If you are thinking about fostering a child, then head over to thefca.co.uk for more information, and change a child’s life for the better.
Give Praise Freely
Foster kids want to feel safe and loved and know that they are welcome where they are. Criticizing without praise can be a slippery slope to making them feel like they are not doing the right thing. There will be learning curves for everyone, but be sure to give praise freely, no matter what it is for. Make sure they know they are doing a great job in whatever it is they are doing and that you are proud of them. This will help improve their confidence and self-worth, which is vital for their wellbeing.