As promised here is the 2nd part of how to survive the holidays with your foster children. As a quick refresher of what we covered in our first part, it’s beneficial to 1. Understand Their Beliefs and Integrate them with Yours. This helps them know that you care about them and that you aren’t just trying to force your ideas on them. 2. Handle gifts appropriately: Treat them like your own children, Remember you are Giving them gifts, and if they believe in Santa help them know he will find them.
Here are just a few more ways to help you and your foster children survive the holidays.
When you have things planned, even if you don’t end up doing all of them, it helps everyone not feel so BORED. Have the kids help come up with things that they want to do and then make sure to do at least a few of the things that they come up with. I know how crazy the holidays can be, so if you plan some things out and put them on the calendar ahead of time, you’ll already know to schedule around those things. If these things the kids want to do are important to them, make them important to you.
Here’s a list of things that you could do:
- Make Cookies
- Make a craft, maybe even something that they could give to their family for a Christmas present
- Watch a Holiday Movie
- Go Christmas Shopping
- Go Sledding
- Build a Snowman
- Go to a Play or Community event (The Nutcracker, or Community Orchestra)
- Go meet Santa
- Invite friends over for a Christmas Party
It’s important to have good lines of communication open with the family about when they are expecting to have a holiday visit. Talk to them, talk to the caseworker, and talk to anyone who may need to be involved in the planning of the visit so that it can run as smoothly as possible. Make sure to talk to the kids about expectations of behavior on the visit. Here would be a great time to use Role-plays to practice things that may come up during the visit. Also, talk to the parents about what you expect of the kids on the visit and if they are up for it, teach them some “tricks” that you use to help manage the behaviors that happen while the kids are at your house.
Lots of children in foster care have to deal with being away from family and friends. This can be extremely tough on them. If you start to notice your foster children being more sad than normal, or spending less time with people than normal, make sure to talk to them about it. A couple of things you can do to help them get through this especially difficult time could be to
Have them share fun memories from their past Christmas’
Have them write in a journal to get their feelings out
Show you pictures of their family or draw fun things that they have done
We hope this really can help you not only make it through the holiday season with your foster children, but truly Enjoy it!