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How to Make Your House More Welcoming to Foster Kids
There are currently over 400,000 kids in foster care, all looking for loving homes. As a foster parent, you’re doing something wonderful to provide a stable and caring environment for those kids as they wait to get adopted. So, if you’re looking into the foster care process, take pride in knowing you’re providing something truly special to children who need it most.
Unfortunately, many kids in the foster care system have come from unstable environments. Some of them may have experienced traumatic events and have issues with separation anxiety, anger, or depression. Others have been in the system for years without finding a forever family.
Therefore, it’s incredibly important to go above and beyond for your foster kids when you bring them into your home. Little changes can make a big difference.
So, how can you make your house more welcoming to foster kids as you take on this new chapter?
Give Them Their Own Space
You will always want your foster children to feel like they’re a part of the family. That means including them in everything you do together. But, it’s also important that they have their own comfortable space – a place of their own. They might not be used to it, but it can provide an incredible sense of security.
Set up a bedroom for your foster child that gives them enough privacy while still allowing you to check in on them. A comfortable bedroom that feels safe and secure can give your foster child a sense of peace. It can even allow them to sleep better at night if they typically struggle with the effects of trauma and have a hard time feeling comfortable. Poor sleep and depression can be cyclical, with one fueling the other. If your foster child is struggling within that cycle, better sleep habits can help. That starts with an environment that fosters peace, comfort, and safety.
If you’re having a hard time putting together bedroom ideas, don’t be afraid to look online for inspiration. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Allow for flexibility
- Combine function and fashion
- Don’t get too specific with a topic
- Ask your foster child about their favorite artists, movies, etc., and get posters framed
The design of the room you put together is less important than the room itself. As long as it’s comfortable and feels like a positive environment, the bedroom itself can help your foster child start to learn how the power of positivity can change their life.
Share Your Personality
It’s important for your foster child or teen to feel connected to you. That doesn’t always happen right away. Some foster kids won’t even speak to their foster parents for weeks. When you let your personality shine, you’re automatically creating a more welcoming environment that doesn’t feel so stiff.
One way that you can overcome this common feeling of distance is by sharing something personal about yourself. Are you a closet Star Wars collector? Show them your stash. Do you know how to play the guitar? Bust out a song for them. Show off your personality through interior design with a mismatched living room made of different colors and patterns.
When you’re willing to open up and be vulnerable, they’re more likely to do the same. They might start to tell you more about their favorite things, their interests and hobbies, and even what they like to eat. Once you’ve broken the ice with them, you can incorporate their likes and wants with your everyday activities, like cooking together or getting them involved in family game night.
Bringing a foster child into your home is an exciting experience, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By making a few changes around the house, you can create a wonderful safe haven for a foster child of any age.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to child development, health and wellness, mindfulness, and productivity. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn