Planning Christmas with Foster Children
As the John Lewis Advert airs for the first time and Christmas decorations start to go up in the streets, it starts to feel a lot like Christmas! As the festive season approaches, we get excited about what is traditionally a time for family celebration – but Christmas with foster children can be a difficult time.
The festive period can bring this it a complicated mix of feelings in looked-after children, so to help you handle some of the trickier situations that might arise over the holidays, here are some points to consider over your Yuletide celebrations if you’re spending your Christmas with foster children.
Prepare your home
Many foster children will be nervous about Christmas for a number of reasons. They may have bad memories of this time of year, or they may have never celebrated it at all. They may also simply be missing their parents and family at this time.
It’s important to introduce your foster child to your family traditions over this period, whatever they may be. But it’s also important to note that they may want to include one of their own family traditions in the proceedings. Some foster children may be nervous about adults drinking alcohol, so consider whether it may be appropriate to keep alcohol consumption for when they have gone to bed.
Prepare them for social gatherings
If Christmas or New Year parties and gatherings are part of your Christmas celebrations, be sure to prepare your foster children for the social occasions beforehand. Making them aware of any plans and discussing who will visit when will help reduce any stress or worries they may have.
Remeber that if you are holding celebrations or you’re invited to them, then you should try and invite your foster child along too. However, it’s important to recognise that it may be overwhelming for your foster child. It can be very stressful meeting new people, so talk to them in advance about whether or not they would like to go.
Changes to your foster child’s schedule and big social events can be unnerving – coupled with potential feelings such as missing their families, guilt and stress – kids of all ages may be more likely to have tantrums, misbehave or display disruptive behaviour. You’ll need to be extra patient with them to ensure you enjoy can all enjoy Christmas.