This is a collaborative post.
Foster care isn’t always easy but taking a child who needs a home and providing them with a loving, stable family environment can be incredibly rewarding, for both you and them.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, one of the most important things to remember is that often, foster kids don’t come from the best backgrounds. They might have been through some tough times in their short lives, from instability to downright neglect and abuse.
Simply showing love and support to your foster child might be all it takes to make a huge difference to their lives, and help them heal from their past experiences, whatever they may be. Let’s look at some of the best ways to help your foster child feel loved and valued.
Foster Parenting: How to Show a Child They Are Loved
Make Them Feel at Home
When you apply for fostering in Essex, one of the main requirements is that you have a suitable home, with a suitable space for a foster child to call their own. And there’s good reason for this. Even if it’s just the box bedroom, a comfortable, private, and safe space that your foster child can call their own makes a huge difference.
Children in care are often dealing with a lot of upheaval in their lives and might not have felt at home for a while. Decorating their room in their favourite colours, for example, and adding items that reflect who they are as an individual, will show your foster child that you value them for who they are.
Take an Interest in Them
Foster children need to know that they are important, and that they matter. Listen to your foster child and take an interest in who they are, their experiences, interests, skills, and dreams. Make it easy for them to take part in the hobbies that they enjoy and find appropriate ways for them to express themselves.
Allow them to explore new things and celebrate even the little wins that they might have, such as learning a new skill or doing something they’ve never been able to do before.
Give Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a strategy that any child can thrive with. It’s a great way to show your foster child when you appreciate something, whether they’ve behaved impeccably at the dinner table, or helped you out around the home without being asked.
Make sure that you let your foster child know you’ve noticed when they’ve done something well, and don’t skimp on rewards for good behaviour. Kids in foster care may have suffered a knock to their self-esteem, so focus on helping them build it back up.
Show Them They’re Loved and Valued
Every child is unique. What matters the most is that you know what’s important to your foster child and do it often.
Many children in foster care are desperate to feel loved and valued. As a foster parent, you have an amazing opportunity to provide this and change a child’s life.