Christmas is an exciting time of year for many people. However, fostering at Christmas can be difficult for some kids. This is especially true for those who may have gone through trauma or had a terrible upbringing. Seasonal holidays frequently cause children and young people to dwell on memories or previous experiences, which can cause conflicting emotions.
Although all of our foster parents desire the finest and most wonderful day for the kids they are caring for, things might occasionally turn out rather differently. It’s a delicate balancing act to be sensitive to children’s needs and emotions while embra emotions while embracing the festivities.
Changes in Behavior
Reflecting on warm memories with their birth family and how they are unable to see them right now can lead to behavioral changes. These changes are not unusual, and many foster parents talk about these challenges around Christmas. That sense of loss and other mixed sentiments might be communicated by acts of violence, hostility, or an unwillingness to participate.
Foster parents often struggle to know what can be done to help a young person if they are new to the foster home. Wherever possible, discuss with your social worker how you might prepare your child in advance for the holidays.
Routine at Christmas Time
Children and young people of all ages find comfort and familiarity in routine and structure. Knowing what will happen next and what will happen each day gives one a sense of security. A young child may experience overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress due to an inevitable disruption in routine during this time.
Minimize routine changes wherever you can. We recognize that it can be challenging to stick to a regular routine during this time of year, but discussing changes or upcoming events with kids beforehand can really help reduce externalized behaviors.
Various Religions at Christmas
How to celebrate Christmas when the child they are caring for might not observe the holiday is a topic foster parents frequently discuss with us.
In order to establish a solution that would work for your fostering household, it is important that you talk about this in advance with your social worker. Asking young people to share their traditions and festivals can be a very wonderful way to strengthen relationships. It is crucial that children and young people feel included while you stay sensitive to their feelings.
Additional Considerations for Fostering at Christmas
- Find out what the children you look after believe and feel about Santa. Ask whether they have other customs regarding how gifts are left.
- Don’t force Christmas on children and adolescents. It’s vital that they feel included on this special day, but it’s okay if they don’t feel like celebrating or aren’t very enthusiastic.
- Before Christmas, discuss with your extended family how this year’s Christmas might be a little different in your home. It can be easier for everyone if you inform family members ahead of time about any adjustments or concessions you’ve made to ensure your child feels secure and involved.
Have any questions or concerns about fostering at Christmas? Our team at Kids First in Fort Worth, TX are available to speak with you if you. Looking to begin fostering in the coming year? We’d be delighted to hear from you.