As a foster carer, you may worry about the memories your foster children will have of their childhoods. It’s natural to be concerned about how their difficult experiences will shape their recollections. However, you have the power to create positive memories that can outweigh the negative ones. By focusing on happy times together, avoiding conflict, and providing comfort through routines, you can help ensure your foster children remember feeling secure, loved, and valued.
Provide Stability and Routines
It might seem simple enough, but foster children thrive on routine and stability. Both give them a sense of comfort and put them at ease so they can start enjoying the time they spend with the family. It also allows them to open up and experience the positives in their new environment instead of always being in survival mode. Once they do, they will enjoy their childhood more and create positive memories from their experiences.
Arguments and conflicts stick with people, especially children, even if they are not involved. For foster children, both can seem like a continuation of the situations they have left behind, creating unpleasant memories.
While minor disagreements between adults are unavoidable, foster carers should do their best to shield children in care from them since they can be devastating. Use various tools to communicate with your partner instead of arguing in front of the children or find a private space away from them to deal with whatever conflict exists.
Crucially, do not pretend you have resolved everything when you have not. Children are very good at picking up cues and will know something is not right even if they do not know what that is. This will heighten their sense levels, especially if they have experienced a similar situation.
Give Them Their Personal Space
A primary requirement for fostering in Edinburgh is having a spare bedroom for the child in care. Once they arrive in your home, your foster child will likely spend a lot of time alone adjusting to the situation. You should give them their space, occasionally checking that they are fine.
Also, it is OK for them not to want to engage in conversations and different activities at first. Just ensure they know you are there for them so they can start experiencing the sense of security that puts their mind at ease.
Participate in Each Other’s Interests
The quality time you spend with a foster child will be a source of many positive memories. You can do this by participating in their interests and letting them do the same with yours. Start by learning their interests and hobbies and encourage them to start engaging in them.
Introduce them to things you love doing, like cooking or gardening, so they can join in, learn something, and feel included in something you like.
There is a direct correlation between childhood memories and the adults we become. Carers should find ways to create positive ones, and the good news is that doing so does not take much. Provide a safe and loving home, avoid situations that might be triggers for them, allow them to feel secure in the home, and include them in various activities so they feel loved and wanted.