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It can be tough when you’re starting with a foster child. They may have been abused or neglected as children and trust no one other than mom or dad. They might run away or act out during the day, leaving you feeling like you’re barely making any progress in helping them and winning their trust. However, the difference will become apparent quickly if you take the time to learn about your foster child and express your love for them through genuine praise and affection. TFI Family Services will help you understand how to love your foster child better.

Foster Child: How To Love Them Better

4 Ways to Show Love To Your Foster Child

1. Compliments

This is one of the best ways to show your foster child love. Everyone wants to feel like they’re liked and appreciated, but especially kids. So make it a point to offer a compliment every day. This could be something as simple as telling them how proud of them you are for following directions, or how pretty they look in their new dress. They will probably take it in and think about you saying that for a while after you say it. Even simple compliments will help your child realize that you believe they’re wonderful.

2. Praise Their Accomplishments

Every child wants to be successful in life, and foster children are no exception. This can be especially important for children in your care, as they may not have been able to succeed academically or elsewhere in their lives before their placement with you. This makes them even more hungry for praise, as they know how badly they want it and how little they’ve received up until now.

3. Be Patient

Children in foster care have a lot to deal with. They have often moved around from home to home and have to ‘leave’ their toys, pets, and friends behind each time. This can play with their emotions. Children need to feel safe and stable, but foster care kids don’t usually get this. The move is too much for them sometimes, leaving them without the ability and time to trust you on day one. To help foster children feel more secure and to build trust in you, you need to be patient and reassuring.  Give them time to adjust. Don’t rush into things. Make sure they feel safe and happy first, then you can start interacting with them.

4. Buy Them Meaningful Gifts

Children in foster care have never been given enough by the system to get excited about receiving something. They’ve never known what ‘happiness’ is until you give them a gift. As a parent, you need to make sure that the gifts you give your child are meaningful and memorable. Of course, it needs to be something that your child will love and enjoy. But it also needs to be something you know they will treasure. Kids in foster care are used to having their hearts broken over and over, so any gift you give them that is of high quality and has meaning behind it will mean the world to them. It proves that you care about them, know what they like, and make them feel special.

Being a foster parent isn’t always easy. Just when you think you’re making progress and building trust, the child runs away or acts out and reminds you that it will take time. You should remember that your child needs love just as much as any other kid. Foster children need to be loved, appreciated and praised for everything they do. Contact us to learn how to better care for your foster child.