How to Make Sure Your Foster Kids Feel Welcome – It can be a challenge bringing in new kids into your household, welcoming them with the same opportunities your family has while also embracing their own backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles. There are some awesome tricks you can do to ensure your foster kids feel welcome into your family from day one! Learn more about these tips right here on Newsymom!
For some, the idea of blending their family seems like an insurmountable task. How can you make sure each child feels connected to you, welcome with open arms, while also maintaining your own boundaries AND respecting their background, culture, and experiences?
In short, it is tough, but not impossible! There are key things you can do each day to ensure your foster child feels welcome, respected, and included. Here they are:
Tip #1: Give all your children the same opportunities!
To avoid favoritism, giving your children all the same opportunities is super important.
What does that look like? For instance, you could give each child the opportunity to sign up for their favorite after school activity, whether that’s basketball, football, theater, or another club! This gives each child the opportunity to pursue their unique interests, while being available to each kid.
Tip #2: Encourage your children to push themselves out of their comfort zone.
While it’s important to be respectful of your children’s boundaries and spaces, don’t be afraid to challenge your kids to explore outside of their comfort zone! Does your foster child celebrate something that your family doesn’t? Learn about it! Does your family do activities that your foster child isn’t used to? Encourage them to participate!
Tip #3: Set boundaries and respect the boundaries your children set!
As a parent, we’re so used to placing boundaries and providing consequences when our children don’t follow as instructed. We have to remember to match that same energy with our kids and their boundaries! Just because we’re parents doesn’t mean we get to do what we want, when we want. We should encourage our children’s boundaries. So, if your daughter tells you not to read her diary, you better not!
Tip #4: Allow all your kids to put their “personal stamp” at home.
Especially with foster children, it can be so hard for them to feel like they belong. Give them the tools, creativity, and space to put their own mark at home!
What does that look like? You could have your kids put their personal mark in their rooms, decking it out with the things that make them happy! Allow them to choose their curtains, sheets, paint colors, decor, and lighting that will help them feel comfortable and at home. Encourage them to hang posters and display pictures (have some frames handy). A child’s bedroom is their safe space, and likely the only place they have control.
Tip #5: Give them 1-on-1 time, each and every day.
Even if your children don’t want it, be consistent in devoting time each day to speak with you, one-on-one (even if it’s just ten minutes). This teaches each child that you love them equally while also teaching them to respect their sibling’s time and wait their turn. Separate from family time, this is the time needed to bond with your child and give them the space to communicate things without prying ears!
Foster parenthood isn’t easy, but it’s so worth it! If you’re not a foster parent yet, but are interested, our friends at COAD4Kids – New Philadelphia are here to help you start your journey! Contact them via email at email@example.com or call (740) 856-7330 to get started.