Five tips for foster carers over the festive season
It’s important to acknowledge that Christmas hasn’t always been the happiest time for some children, so we’ve put together a few hints and tips for foster carers to show children and young people how fun it can be.
Prepare and plan
Christmas for every family involves a lot of planning. Whilst planning festive activities, it’s essential to explain what you have planned for Christmas so children and young people in your care know exactly what to expect and won’t be surprised about anything. It can be the simplest things such as explaining the house decorations, what’s for Christmas dinner and who’s coming round. Ensuring they are aware of all the plans during the Christmas period is vital to making them feel involved and at ease.
Creating an inviting environment
A warm and inviting environment is a key part to fostering over the Christmas period. Encouraging children and young people to take part in decorating the home enables them to understand why it plays such a big part in creating a warm and welcoming environment. The importance of it is to show that changing the home environment can be a fun and positive activity to do together.
Preparing the food with everyone in mind
As always, eating copious amounts of food is something a lot of families are familiar with during the Christmas period. Whilst this will still normally happen, it’s important to remember that not all children may like traditional festive food. So, when deciding what to eat over the festive period, involve your children and young people in this process.Find out what they like and what they don’t like. They may be open to trying new things which they haven’t tried before so it’s best to always ask them. Again it’s all part of ensuring your children and young people are experiencing the planning, fun and enjoyment that Christmas brings.
Understand what Christmas has been like for them
What may naturally seem like an entertaining time of year for a lot of people, may be a worrying and uncertain time for some children and young people. Understanding their previous experiences and traditions are important, it allows them to share their experience of Christmas with you making them feel safe and comfortable.
Preparing for guests
With Christmas being a time where extended family members and friends come to visit, it’s important to plan for when they do. Take the time to explain to the children who, when and why will be coming so they’re aware of people that will be visiting during the Christmas period. It allows them time to get comfortable with the idea of new people visiting their regular home environment.
Christmas should be a time of celebration for children and young people. With a little thought and preparation you can make sure it’s full of festive cheer.