You’re not just fostering kids when you become a foster parent. You’re also trying to foster a home for foster kids. Here are four ways to foster a home for foster kids.
1. Sloooooooooooow down.
We are jumping right in and number one on the list is to slow it on down. If you do that, most of the other things will fall into place rather easily. Life moves so quickly and most of the time these kids just need someone to sit with them; just sit. Play games, play video games, play with baby dolls, color, talk, paint nails, play basketball. Enjoy them, and take the time to slow down and get to know them. It may mean the world to them because you may just be the first adult who has ever done so. Taking the time to slow down with them is showing them that they are important enough.
I am not one who loves a good routine myself, however, I am learning that children tend to crave it. I have an adopted son who has Sensory Processing Disorder and a routine is his most FAVORITE thing in the entire world. He NEEDS to know what is happening next and if it’s the same thing every day, then his behavior is off-the-charts fantastic. If the routine is off, we start to see the not so fun behaviors of foster kids and things get a little wild.
Foster children have, more than likely, come from some fairly chaotic circumstances. Routines can set in stone that they are safe, loved, and well cared for. Every day after school we come home and do this activity, then we eat dinner, then it’s bath time, then it’s bedtime, and so on. It creates stability for their little hearts and minds.
3. Have a few rules–not too many, but a few.
Ones that are automatic, all the time, never-changing rules. They must be easy enough to obey but not too high of expectations for children from hard places. We don’t hurt others, we do have fun, we do say kind words, we do serve each other as just a few examples. Keep them short and simple to remember.
It’s been said to cure all things. I am not quite naïve enough to think that is true because I know that some children come from horrific places. However, I am hopeful enough to believe it could be true and what is the harm in trying. Fostering a home full of love will only help in the healing of the babies and children that enter your home and heart. A home full of peace, joy, comfort, safety, acceptance, a listening ear, a tender heart, patience when it’s hard, and a smile when it’s even harder.