Here are a few ideas to help you bond with your foster children. Because not all children respond the same, only do the activities that work for you and your child.
1. Hanging Pictures Around the House
Hang pictures of your new child throughout the house with the other family photos soon after they arrive. You can even have the child help you in deciding which images to use. Encourage your child in creating a special sign or picture to hang on their bedroom door. This should help the youngster to gain trust in you and learn that talking about their family is okay.
2. Shared Reading
Reading books with your child, regardless of age, is a terrific way to bond with them. Reading together gives the child the one-on-one attention they crave while also providing educational benefits. Allow the older child to read to you.
3. Eye Contact
It can be hard to remember to make eye contact with your children all of the time, but it is vital for attachment and bonding. Making eye contact allows you to and tell him how much he is loved and wanted as you look into his eyes.
Also, make eye contact when you are praising them, not only when you are correcting them. You want the child to associate eye contact with good things.
Give your child a hug when you’re in front of the mirror if they’ll let you. A terrific image for children to experience and remember, is watching you in the mirror as you hug them.
4. Spend Quality Time Together
There is a program in foster care training called CARE (Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement) that is intended to improve bonding with your children. The main objective is to spend 5 minutes of uninterrupted time each day with your child. Choose a few age-appropriate activities for the special play time and then let the child choose which one they wish to do. Most children enjoy receiving positive attention and will look forward to spending time with you on a daily basis.
5. Preparing Meals Together
Cooking together is another fantastic way to bond while also teaching your children valuable life skills. This activity is best suited for older children, but small kids as young as two years old can assist in the kitchen with proper supervision. Meal planning and preparation can be enjoyable, boost communication, give your child confidence, and prove that their opinions and assistance are valued.
6. Eating Meals Together
Use the time everyone is at the table to get to know each other better, talk about your day, and ensure everyone has a chance to speak. You could go around the table and have each individual tell one positive and one negative incident that happened that day, or at least something they are grateful for.
7. Kid’s Date Night
It is important to have “dates” with your children in order to strengthen your bond with them. Each youngster should have a separate date night with each adult at some point. They will feel more important, appreciated, and cherished if they have your undivided attention.
Sometimes we simply need a little extra help bonding with our children. There are many excellent therapists that specialize in foster care and traumatized children. If you are having difficulty bonding with your child, don’t be hesitant to seek help. You can ask your Kids First case worker to help you find a therapist near you.
At Kids First, we want you to and your foster children to succeed. We are here to help. If you aren’t a foster parent yet, contact us to find out how you can change the life of a child.