How To Make The Children Placed With You Feel At Home
If you are one of the households that are lucky enough to be touched by the presence of one of these children, you will want to know exactly what you can do to make them feel more at home. Keep reading to learn how to do just that for children placed with you.
Give Them Space
When a child first comes into your home, they will need their space. To make sure they are comfortable, give them privacy and time to adjust. Allowing them to have their time alone is an important aspect of letting them process their new environment.
You should never ignore them or let them do whatever they want, but they will need time on their own. They have been through a lot and allowing them time to process their emotions will be vital to their growth.
Again, these children placed with you have been through traumatizing experiences. It can be easy to overwhelm them with too much going on. Be sure that when they come into your home, you have created an environment that calms rather than overwhelms.
You should try not to overwhelm them with too much information in the beginning either. Avoiding anxiety-inducing situations will allow for them to settle in as easy as possible.
Let Them Understand Rules
After they have settled in, you should communicate set rules that they are to follow just as any child would. Understanding the dynamics of the household will let them find their place and know exactly what you expect out of their behavior.
Both being too strict and being too much of a pushover can lead to negative effects. It is your job to find a balance between the two. As they become more aware of how to behave in your home, you might ease off of the strict rules and schedules.
However, to better form a routine you will need to let them know how things operate.
Let Them In
As they get more comfortable, they will be open to receiving more information about you and your family. Be sure to include them in your life. This is not a hotel for them to stay in. They should be getting something out of their time with you.
Let them know more about who you are as a person. The same goes for all family members. As they learn more about you, they will become more comfortable. Introduce them to extended family members and friends. Tell them stories from when you were younger.
The key is to let them be a part of your life and family.
Learn About Them
Without upsetting them, ask about them. Find out more about what they enjoy doing, as well as their hobbies, skills, ideas, goals, and more. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to take care of them and understand how best to respond to them.
If they feel that you are invested in them as a person, they will feel that much more comfortable and at home.
Words of encouragement and appreciation can go a long way in building your relationship. They need support during this time just as kids who are not in foster care do. Knowing that someone believes in them and is rooting for their success will give them the confidence to succeed.
Take Them Out
Outside of the home, you can take them to parks, malls, movie theaters, or anywhere that you would take a child of your own. Getting them out and about can help grow your relationship and make them feel like they are receiving the same treatment as kids who are not in foster care.
This will allow them to interact with other kids more often and give them an opportunity to learn about things happening in the real world.
Spend Time with Them
As mentioned previously, you can take children placed with you out and about. You can also spend time at home and have a game night or watch a movie. Lots of families see amazing outcomes from establishing a set time for dinner together every night.
Regardless of what your family does, spending quality time with the child placed with you is a necessity when making them feel at home and showing your care.
For some children, this may be a huge adjustment from what they are used to. It may take some time for them to feel like they understand the family dynamic, rules, and other aspects of their new environment.
It’s important to stay patient with them and be understanding.
Listen to Them
Some children in foster care may feel like they have no control over their life. It’s important to listen to what they say. If they feel comfortable, they will tell you how they are feeling. Listen to what they are saying to you and try to be as understanding as you can.
When these children feel heard, it can do so much good for their attitude, growth, comfort, and decision-making.
Fostering a child is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to them. Having a nurturing and safe environment is exactly what they need to grow as people. Implementing these tips and tricks into your life will help children placed with you feel more at home and give them the best experience possible.
If you would like to learn more about our organization, please find our about section. If you are not currently participating in fostering a child but are interested, you can learn more about our programs.