Fostering children can be a wonderful experience for both the fosterer and the child. However, it can also be a little tricky at first, especially if a child has difficulties trusting, opening up, or feeling safe. This can often be the case, and it can feel like you are doomed to fail from the start, but that is not true.
Connecting with your foster child is an integral part of your care, and if they are willing to create that connection with you, it can benefit your relationship.
This piece is going to look at how you can better connect with your foster child, and what steps could be useful in taking this journey together.
1) Take it Slow
Creating a connection with your foster child is like creating a connection with any child – except for when it isn’t. You will find that children will respond in their own way no matter what their circumstances are, but it can be much more difficult for children who are in a situation they might not have asked for to want to build those connections.
Taking it slow and not pressuring your foster child should always be the first step when wanting to connect with them. Learn their boundaries and respect them, as this shows you are serious about wanting what is best for them and wanting to be there for them.
2) Spend Quality Time Together
Spending quality time with your foster child is one of the best ways to begin and maintain a connection with them. Let them know they are cared for and wanted just by making proper time for them to get to know them and to form a bond.
There are many different activities you can do together that do not have to be “in your face”, such as watching movies together, listening to music, or even reading a book. Picking something that you both like to do and sharing those interests can start to build up something special.
3) Listen to Them
Today, it is so easy not to slow down and create a space to listen to children properly, but it is crucial to their well-being to do so. Foster children will most likely have a lot of questions and concerns and may take time to adjust to this new period in their life. Lending an empathetic and encouraging ear will let them know you are there to help in any way you can, and you care about what that looks like for them. If they feel like they can confide in you, you can better support them and their needs. If you are ready to provide this for a foster child, then head over to thefca.co.uk for more information.
4) Don’t Forget to Praise
Praising children when they do something ‘right’ is an important aspect of self-esteem and confidence building. They are trying to find their place in the world, and it will be up to you as their primary caregiver to let them know they are doing a good job whenever you can.