Christmas is a wonderful time for families. It’s filled with magic, excitement, and meaningful traditions. It’s something that most families look forward to every year. But for foster children and carers, it can be challenging. New foster children might still be settling into a family and could struggle to get involved in the festivities. Some foster children might miss their birth families, or even have bad memories of the holidays. As a foster parent, you’ll want to make any child in your care feel special and included at this time of the year. Here’s a look at some helpful ways to do that.
At any age, decorating is one of the most exciting and magical parts of the build-up to the holidays. Spend time with yourfoster child decorating the tree, and even give them some decorations so that they can decorate their bedroom for the holidays. This will help them to feel included and excited.
Enjoy Crafts and Baking at Home
Budgeting for Christmas can be difficult. But, fortunately, one of the best ways to make your foster child feel special is to avoid large Christmas events, which can be expensive for you, and overwhelming for a child, and instead enjoy fun activities at home. Things like crafts and festive baking are fun and exciting, but they’ll also help your foster child to feel safe and secure and give you a great time to chat and bond without any pressure. However, remember that you will receive fostering pay which can be used for days out if you wish.
Introduce Your Traditions
You might be tempted to ignore all of your family’s traditionsif you are worried about making a foster child feel left out or excluded. But this can be awkward, especially if you have your own children who are used to doing certain things. Instead, speak to your foster child about your family’straditions so that they know what to expect. Then, include them in everything.
Talk to them About Christmas Plans
Christmas day itself can be very overwhelming, especially if you have lots of people visiting and lots of plans. Don’t just spring things on a foster child. Instead, when you talk about traditions, also talk about what you do on Christmas day and the surrounding days, giving them as much information and detail as possible so that they know what to expect. Give them time to ask questions and take your time to reassure them.
Let Them Share Memories and Traditions
Your foster child, whether they’ve spent all previous Christmases with their birth family, or they’ve spent time with different families, will have some happy memories, and maybe even some traditions of their own. Let them share these with you and carry on any that they’d like to.
You might want to spend some of the holidays with your friends and family but try not to invite them to your home. Instead, visit them, or see them in other locations, so that you can leave with your foster child if they become overwhelmed or upset.
One of the best ways to make any foster child feel special over the Christmas holidays is to communicate with them. Listen to their stories and memories, tell them about yours, and be as open with them as you can.