As a foster child moving into a new home and a new family can be a very daunting experience. The closest thing I could think of personally is when I started my first day at high school. The new surroundings, new teachers, classrooms and so forth and how the whole day was daunting. For a child moving into a new home is a far more daunting experience.
Here are a few tips we believe that would make welcoming your foster child easier. some fun ways of doing normal day to day things which can make your foster child feel at ease from the get-go.
From the first day a question you should always ask yourself how much can I help them? Maybe wearing name tags on the first day? Or labelling the bathroom door so they know where the bathroom is. Do they have a particular routine? Dinner, a certain bedtime, are they scared in the dark.
A good way of introducing your family can be done in a story format to make it more engaging. You can introduce your child and a hobby they have etc. just be creative and make it fun. If you have any pets you can also introduce them in the same way.
You could also play a game, all you will need is a small beanbag or a softball and forming a circle. You could start the game off by throwing a beanbag or ball at someone in the circle and asking a question at the same time – such as “What’s your name?”, “What’s your favourite colour?” and so on. The person who catches the beanbag/ball must answer the question and then throw it on and ask their own question.
As for dinner, it is particularly good if you were to have or make a calendar to let the child know the time dinner will be served and what’s on the menu. If the child cant read it is always good to have some drawings so you can communicate whats for dinner. This also helps to find out their preferences and what they like to eat.
Where will I sit?
There can be a few ways of doing this, one particular way is to ask the foster child where they would like to sit. You could also play games that kids like to play like ‘ip dip do’ or ‘eeny meeny miny mo’ and whoever remains they get to choose where they sit.
If you have a family photograph album it is always good to sit down as a family and show it to the foster child. You could also ask the child for their permission and see if they would let you put their picture in the family album.
Where’s the toilet?
You could get some glow in the dark arrows and place them on the floor from their bedroom leading to the toilet. This particularly useful for younger children who are concerned with going to the toilet at night.
it is essential to have a good bedtime routine for the child ready, you should also explain what would happen if they need you at night time. You might need to be alert the first few nights where the child is more likely not to sleep well due to the new surroundings.
if you missed out on our previous blog you can read it here.