Getting Your Foster Child To Open Up
To most parents, their teenagers are a closed book, and at times it seems impossible to get them to open up and talk to you. When you foster a child this can be massively magnified!
Foster children can often have issues with trusting people, especially adults, and so find it even harder to open up to you.
Talking to your foster child in their teenage years, and knowing about their lives is one of the best ways to protect them from danger. Spying on them or snooping around isn’t the best way to get that information either because it can break the trust even further if your foster child finds out.
Here are a few tips to help your teen open up:
Start being open straight away
As soon as you meet your foster child, you should talk with them openly about yourself. Tell them about you, your life, and confide in them. They will appreciate that you trust them, and so, in turn, will find it easier to open up to you.
Listen, don’t judge
Be open to what they say and don’t judge or belittle them. Once you get your foster child talking, don’t be surprised if they say some things you don’t like. Just be open to what they’re telling you instead of being judgy. You’re obviously allowed to tell them you don’t approve of something, but you can do so without attacking them. If you go at things with this approach, they will, in turn, feel comfortable talking to you about serious things. This way, they’ll be more likely to come to you if and when they have a problem.
Find common ground
Find common ground with your foster child. Look for things that you and your teen are both interested in and chat about it – it’s easier to talk about something that you both have in common. That way, you can ask your child about a pop stars new album rather than the classic “how was school?”.
Remember that it is normal for a teenager to not want to tell you about every detail of their lives – you can remember being 15, right? In order to get your foster child to open up, you first need to respect their boundaries and understand they may not want to tell you everything.