Foster carers are often concerned about how to establish a bond with their foster children. These children have had a difficult start to life and may display some challenging behaviors. But with the right approach, you can build a bond that lasts a lifetime.
It might take you a little more time compared to bond with your own kid. But the key is to be patient. Try to comprehend the fact that it might be 100 times more difficult for the kid himself to adjust to new surroundings. Given below are some tips on how you can bond with your foster kid.
How To Develop A Never-Ending Bond With A Foster Child?
If you are wondering about ways to connect with a foster child on a personal level, you are not alone! It is normal for you and the kid to hesitate at first- don’t panic at all! We have jotted down some of the most effective tips to connect with a foster kid.
1. It Takes Time And Effort
Note that you will have to put in the time and effort to spark a connection and build it into something solid. Be patient and do the work. The first step is to make a special time for you and your foster child to share activities together.
Set up a weekly schedule of things to do, like game night and baking. Stick to this. Your foster child will start to look forward to these times and gradually open up to you.
Ask the child questions about their preferences and ideas. Once you establish two-way communication and your foster child responds naturally, half the battle is won. Show that you care about the answers.
For example, if your foster child indicates that they love the beach, plan a trip for the family. If the child confides in you, keep this confidential and respect their privacy. Respond appropriately to demonstrate that you are truly listening and interested in the answers.
3. Physical Contact
Everybody needs appropriate physical contact to survive and thrive. Hugs and holding hands convey affection and support, so use these frequently. If your foster child has a history of abuse, discuss the right ways to show your love with guidance. Consult your child’s social worker allocated to you by your fostering agency, such as thefca.co.uk.
Don’t force it; just be natural. Start small with a hand on their shoulder and see how they respond. This, too, takes time, but it will increase your bond immeasurably.
4. Be Generous With Praise
Your foster child needs to know when they are doing things rights. Be generous with your praise. This will boost confidence and self-esteem. It will also encourage more positive behaviors. Praising, however, doesn’t mean encouraging the challenging behavior of the kid.
But there might be a reward for any positive behavior they show. This will help them learn how to have control over their behavior when their foster parents are not around. Even their smallest accomplishments are subjects to reward.
5. Cook Or Bake Together
As an activity where you can stand next to instead of facing each other, cooking and baking together is a non-threatening way to spend time together. Learning to follow a recipe will teach self-discipline. Lastly, the child will feel a sense of accomplishment with the result.
As the child becomes absorbed in the activity, they are bound to relax and start to have fun with you. Try to do more activities that encourage a relaxed environment where the child does not feel pressured to respond in stilted ways.
6. Read A Series Together
Reading together will become a treasured activity. It has the excitement of waiting to see what happens next in the story as well as the calmness of sitting closely and sharing the practice. Depending on the child’s age and ability, you can take turns reading while the other one listens.
This has the added advantage of improving literacy skills. The effort you put into this will reward you and your foster child with a special bond.
What Activities You Can Share Together?
Did you know that, besides cooking and reading, there are a lot of activities you both can share? If not, we have brought some interesting things that you and your foster kid can try doing together.
A Shared Hobby
One of the most effective ways to develop communication is to have a shared hobby. You might try doing something new each week or once a month, provided this activity entertains you both. Just because it is something to do together, it has to be boring.
If your kid likes drawing or painting, sit back together and paint something. Or you can spice things even better by taking him/her outside. Make sure to bring out the most productivity in your kid by choosing an activity of their choice.
From throwing balls around the garden or solving a puzzle together, games are effective in bringing out the best version of a kid. Incorporate its benefit in developing an ever-lasting relationship with your foster child.
With this, you are not only making your relationship stronger but also creating memories for them. Your kid is most likely to cherish these memories when they have a reminiscence of their childhood. It can be the most precious gift for a foster kid.
Exercising is a healthy habit. Keep your foster child healthy and happy by exercising with them. If they develop healthy habits since childhood, they are very likely to grow as a happy child.
You can either try yoga with them, running, or attending Zumba classes. Don’t be too hard on them; enjoy exercising and treat it as a part of making your bond stronger.
Wrapping It Up
So, these are the ways in which you can take care of your foster child and connect with them. Out of all the points mentioned above, we still stress on being patient and giving as much time to the kid as needed.
Remember, it might be a little difficult to adapt themselves to new surrounding overall. Save this article for later and welcome your foster kid with open arms.