Most foster care children get more than their share of disappointment in life. Now, COVID-19 is adding to the load. As a foster parent, you can help them develop coping skills and transform unfortunate events into learning opportunities to deal with disappointment.
Graduations, birthday parties, play dates, and school events have all been disrupted by the pandemic. For foster care children, it has also had an impact on court dates and family visits.
It’s natural to want to keep children from feeling let down. However, as a foster parent, you can help them more by guiding and supporting them, so they’ll learn how to deal with setbacks now and as an adult:
Give your foster child a chance to talk about their feelings. Sympathize with their losses. Avoid saying anything that might sound like you’re trivializing the situation. Help them to discover self-soothing methods that work for them like singing songs for little ones and physical exercise for older kids
Feeling like events are beyond our control can be a major source of stress. Encourage your foster child to engage in activities they excel at that will boost their self-esteem. Work together to create substitutes for the things they miss. Throw virtual birthday parties and play games online. Helping others is another great way to help your foster children feel better about themselves. Write thank you letters or look for charities where you can volunteer as a family online.
Be a powerful role model. Show your foster child that there are still many things to look forward to in life. Let them know that you believe in them. They’ll grow stronger and more resilient knowing that you have confidence in their ability to overcome challenges and deal with disappointment.
Contact us at TFI Family Services to learn more about how we can meet the needs of vulnerable families and children in Texas. We are a leading child welfare agency providing foster care training and other services.