Celebrating Christmas with Foster Children
Christmas can be a challenging time for foster families. It’s known for being a time of festive fun and cheer, but the festive period can be a very emotional time for foster children. They may reflect on memories and experiences from the past. Though whatever the obstacles faced, Christmas can bring foster families together which is why we have put together a few pointers to consider during your festive celebrations with your foster family.
Communication is key
The most important thing you can do is communicate with your family. Talk to your foster child beforehand to gain an understanding of what Christmas means to them, their traditions and their past experiences. If they have never experienced a Christmas like your own, it’s important for them to understand what is going to happen. Children can be overwhelmed with friends and families visiting constantly, it’s likely they will become stressed, isolated and uninterested in any of the celebrations. To help alleviate these feelings, discuss any planned events or gatherings prior, giving your child a chance to settle their nerves beforehand.
Preparing for the big day
The littlest details matter. Foster children will be weary of Christmas for various reasons. It may return bad memories, or they may be missing their parents and family. It’s important to introduce them to the family traditions over the festive season. But, depending on their experience make sure you include one of their own family traditions during the season. Think about the young people who have been exposed to alcohol and drugs misuse. Alcohol could flare up anxieties and make children nervous, so consider your alcohol consumption in the presence of children and young people.
The festive season is a busy season, changes to children’s routine can be unnerving. In order to remain organised, arrange a Christmas calendar to help the young people to prepare. Talk through any worries and coping strategies for circumstances where you know they will struggle. It’s always important to ask what they would like to do and who they would like to see. Any changes to foster children’s routine can result in tantrums, attention seeking and disruptive behaviour. Patience is crucial to ensure you and your foster child can enjoy Christmas.
At Nurture Fostering, our foster parents can access round-the-clock help and support all year round. No one should feel lonely or confused at any time of the year. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent then please call us on 020 8690 9012 8am – 6pm weekdays or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org