The festive season can be an amazing time for foster families, but it may also have unique stresses to navigate as well. While this is completely normal, it is there to be planned for. The advice below talks about how foster carers can handle the big topic of major holidays like Christmas in their home so everyone feels safe and comfortable.
Talk About It
The biggest tools you have as a foster carer are your voice and your ears. What you say and how you listen are two of the most important things in your home. Start the conversation about the holidays as early as you want to, and let foster children know how you usually celebrate this time of year. Encourage them to talk about their traditions and work together to see how you can combine the two. Then, they have a way in to ask questions and put their minds at rest.
Embrace Local Traditions And Days Out
Whether you are fostering in Milton Keynes or on the other side of the country, there are hundreds of local celebrations to get involved in. So, you do not have to travel too far from home to find something fun to do with your foster children and they might just enjoy seeing a bit more of where they live. This could help them feel in control and give them a confidence boost as well.
Use It As A Learning Experience
A big part of being a great foster carer is opening your mind to new people and different cultures. You are likely to meet many children from diverse backgrounds to yours, and this is an amazing thing for everyone. You get to know someone new, and what the holidays mean to them and this can be the ultimate learning experience for you and the children that already live in your home! It can be a mutually fun educational journey for everyone.
Watch Out: Big Feelings About
It would be hard to get through the holidays without a few meltdowns here and there, and that is just the adults. The kids, too, will feel the pull of excitement in the air and it definitely influences how they handle themselves. This time of year is engaging and overstimulating, especially for young people with additional needs like heightened anxiety. It will be your job to watch out for big triggers and help them navigate major mood swings as they come and go. This means staying calm in the face of tension and figuring out how to help someone on the go.
Have Some Fun
Most of all, have some fun. There is a lot of it about during the holiday season, and kids can gain so much from fun day trips, seasonal experiences, and family time out and about. Go for a walk in the frosty woods, or take a trip to see some lights. You never know what will make a difference.
The Christmas holidays can be tough for foster care, but they do not have to be impossible. As long as young people feel heard and respected, and are supported to celebrate how they usually do, things will work out okay.