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You probably know that exercise can help fight depression, but how do you help your foster child to move more if they’re experiencing clinical depression? It’s a difficult issue for many foster parents. Follow your doctor’s recommendations and consider these suggestions:

Helping Your  Foster Care Child Exercise When They Struggle with Depression

Understand How Depression Affects Your Foster Child’s Energy Levels:

Exercise may be even more effective than you think when it comes to helping people with depression. One widely quoted study by Duke University found that regular exercise was generally comparable to antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorder. Other research suggests that aerobic activities are especially helpful.

However, depression can make it difficult for anyone to start exercising because they may feel tired and unmotivated. Make it easier for your foster child by encouraging them to take small steps. Even a brief daily walk or dance session could pave the way for greater activity.

Help Your Foster Child Deal with Social Anxiety:

Your foster child may also be worried about what others will think of them. Online fitness classes may be more comfortable than going to a fitness center. You can also help provide social support by working out along with them or browsing for apps where they can get fit while playing games with others.

Boost Your Foster Child’s Self Esteem:

Excessive self criticism often comes along with depression. Your love and kindness can help your foster child to feel better about themselves and their body. Talk about exercise as being something nice we do for ourselves rather than a punishment to make us lose weight. Praise and reward your foster child each time they make progress toward their fitness goals.

Contact us at TFI Oklahoma if you want to learn more about the foster care process in our state. We are happy to answer your questions and talk about opportunities to volunteer,  make a donation, or become a foster parent.