When you bring a foster child into your home, you hope to bring love and laughter into their lives. Depending on where your foster child was before they reach your home, they can come with their own set of hangups and baggage. However, bonding with your foster child is both rewarding and beneficial for you and the child. If you are considering our foster to adopt program, reach out to our team to learn more. We can help you with the ins and outs of how to become a foster parent in Pennsylvania and what fostering a child will mean for you and your family. If you are preparing your home for foster care, consider these activities to build a stronger bond between you and your foster child.
You might not a be a person who craves routines, but building steady routines is extremely important for foster children of any age. Having a morning and evening routine is particularly helpful in acclimating a child to your home. The predictability of a routine can provide comfort for a child who has had a lot of upheaval in their life.
You can build flexibility into your routine, and reward systems such as an extended 15 minutes before bedtime for good behavior. The goal is to create a structure, though, that your foster child can depend on remaining the same. Not only will this routine provide comfort, it allows your child to know what to expect and what is expected of them each day. Build in bonding time to this schedule. For example, make reading together a part of your bedtime ritual. For older kids, create a consistent time in the evening for catching up and hearing about their day.
Respect Space & Privacy
Although you will want to spend a lot of time bonding with your foster child, part of your bond will actually be built through privacy and space. This may sound counterintuitive, but by respecting your foster child’s need for alone time, you will build a deeper level of trust. This is particularly true for older children who may need some alone time in order to process everything and settle into their new space. By providing your foster child with some alone time, you can help them feel more secure in your home.
Take An Interest In Their Interests
As humans, we enjoy when those around us take an active interest in the things we care about. If your foster child loves spending time outdoors playing sports, take time to enjoy these activities with them. Even if you have never had a deep desire to visit a museum about World War II, take the time to do so if it is something meaningful for your foster child. Not only will this provide you with time to bond over activities they enjoy, it will teach your foster child about the importance of trying out new things and taking other people’s interests into account. While you will want to place most of your focus on their interests, feel free to also share your own interests with them. You might be surprised at how meaningful it can be for a foster child when you take the time to explain your hobbies or share your passions.
Try New Things Together
While spending time doing familiar activities is a great idea for bonding, it is also important to try new things with your foster child. Trying new activities not only enhances your foster child’s life, it also allows you to bond on a deeper level as you explore new hobbies. Trying new things can be thrilling, and also a little intimidating. Facing these uncertainties together can build strong bonds. For example, if neither of you have ever rollerbladed, you could try to learn the activity together. As you stumble and learn together, you can build memories and instill valuable lessons about patience and being willing to try new activities.
Slow Down & Enjoy Nature
Sometimes busy schedules and a million activities can actually get in the way of bonding time. Slowing down and spending time on a leisurely stroll, sitting in a park, or looking at the stars can provide a peaceful space for your foster child to feel comfortable and calm with you. These quieter moments might not seem that important in the moment, but can become a treasured time for both you and your foster child after busy days and hectic schedules.
If you are interested in our foster to adopt program in Pennsylvania, contact our team. So many children simply need a safe and inviting home in our state. If you are welcoming a foster child into your home, remember to take the time to build bonds with them as you invest in their happiness and well-being.