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Fostering a child is one of the greatest things you can ever do but it can come with its own set of unique challenges. It can be very hard for many foster parents to bond and create emotional connections with their foster children. It’s worth noting that most foster children have been through a lot and it will take them time to become familiar with you and your family! So, while patience and time is key, there are some other things you can do to help connect. Check out our top five ways to connect with your foster kids below!
Listen To Them
Like adults, children need to be heard, and it is sometimes all too easy to brush off the concerns that they may have. The most important tip for building a relationship with a child, even if they are not a foster child, is to listen to them. This doesn’t simply mean asking them questions around the dinner table about their day at school, but you will need to allocate quality bonding time, such as going out for day trips or chatting while watching a film. If you aren’t sure that this is enough for them, feel free to contact . For more tips going forward with your foster child.
Physical contact can be very difficult for children in a especially if they came from a home where they were physically abused. So, it’s important to measure this and react correctly. A may not be willing to accept physical contact straight away, but you can still form bonds with them, by handing them toys, books, and other objects each day, and when they feel comfortable taking these from you, you can then move on to gradual and quick touch in areas like the shoulder and arms.
Praise goes a long way with children as no child likes being told off, and when you have a foster child who’s doing well at home, at school, or in any aspect of their life, offer them praise. This will help build their self-esteem and let them know that you have their best interests at heart and you are looking out for them.
Share a Hobby!
Sharing one of your hobbies is a great way to connect with a foster child. It can also offer you the opportunity to learn more about them. Do they like more laidback activities like reading? Or are they a child who may need to be attending weekend sports events like football or basketball? This will once again help them know that you are taking their needs seriously and that you want the best for them.
Trust is the most expensive thing in the world. It takes years to earn and seconds to lose. And it is inevitable that when you have a foster child, you will make an error somewhere along the way. To build their trust, always apologize to them when you have done something wrong, and offer them the space to air any concerns they may have.