Fostering a child can be a daunting process and feeling nervous about the changes that a foster child could bring to your life is not something to be ashamed of. Therefore, if you are about to introduce a foster child to your home, here are some top tips that can help you to bond with your new family member while they are staying with you.
Enjoy Shared Activities
Although it might sound obvious, one of the top ways that you can bond with your foster child is to spend as much time with them as possible. One way to manufacture time together and ensure that you are on the same page is to enjoy shared activities, whether this is a joint hobby like arts and crafts or even a day trip somewhere. These activities will allow you to learn more about each other in a fun way and can make sure that your foster child begins to feel settled and comfortable in your home and with you.
Listen to Them
Sometimes, it can be easy to get swept up in adult life and to forget that your foster child has their own individual life, filled with joys and concerns. So, to bond with your foster child, you need to make sure that you are available to listen to them when they feel ready to start a conversation with you. You should encourage them to talk about themselves and their day and ensure that you are actively interested and listening to what they have to say. To be a good listener, you should ask questions, maintain eye contact, and try to limit distractions and interruptions.
Give Them Time
It can take a while for your foster child to feel comfortable within your home, though, and you should not pressure them to spend time with you or to perform activities that they do not feel ready for. Instead, you should give them the time and the space that they need to settle in and to start to trust you. By doing this, you will be able to gradually create a natural bond with them that is led completely by them. If you believe that you are ready to bond with and foster a child, you should look at opportunities for fostering in Coventry and beyond.
Value Their Opinion
Often, it is easy to make all of the decisions without asking for input from your foster children. However, whether these are life-changing decisions or simply deciding what they want for dinner, you should always try to value their opinion and to listen to their responses to your questions. This will then help them to feel as if they have a say, can boost their confidence, and can help them to feel safe with you.
Eat at the Dinner Table
Rather than everyone eating individually, either at separate times or in separate rooms, you should try to cook a sit-down dinner every night. This will then allow you to have at least a small amount of time with your foster child every day, regardless of how busy your lives are. This can be a great way to get conversations going naturally, and to find out more about their interests.
Guide created by Natera