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When to walk away

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

When to walk away

Sunday 20th February

We have been to visit Lauren’s godparents for the weekend.  It is so lovely visiting old friends who we have known for years.  We knew them before we all had children, and we have remained friends even though we don’t live in the same area any more.  We have moved a few times and they have moved a few times, but we have always kept in touch.

What is lovely is that our children have memories together. We reminisced of the different houses that we have lived in, parties we have been to together, shared holidays and so on.  It is great that whilst we as adults are all good friends – the children have a genuine friendships too, and importantly their children have accepted and love Alice too.

Alice can be quite bossy and self-centred (particularly in play). Usually when we are in company she has a knack for getting just what she wants.  She has all sorts of tactics to ensure she gets her own way – from pleading, turning on the tears and having tantrums.  A number of times over the weekend, Alice would get into a strop about something or other.  She would insist of things going her way.  Our friends seemed to have instinctively picked up from Annie and Lauren how to act with her.  It is lovely to see them getting on, not indulging her, helping her to join in appropriately.  And when she is being difficult, they gently correct her, or when things get difficult they know when to walk away!

It reminds us that just as much as adults need good friends, ones that can both encourage and lovingly challenge us, so children can provide this for one another.  We could genuinely relax with our friends, as we could trust both our friends and their children with Alice.  We enjoyed 24 hours away and it felt like a week away!  One day we hope the children will in turn watch their children play together, swapping stories of how they grew up together.  It is one of the most precious gifts we can give to foster children – real, genuine, caring and supportive friendships that every person needs.

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