Emma’s Fostering Blog
I guess for any person that has grandchildren when you see them you want to focus all your time and energy on them, and I know our Grandchildren say it’s the most special relationship because they have nanny and granddad to themselves who spoil them.
Your own children have grown up and moved out but you still have children at home so sometimes this can seem like a balancing act trying to have this special time. In the early years of Fostering we only fostered teenagers and all of them were boys. We had information on their backgrounds and some of the information was a concern so there were safeguarding issues to consider when around younger children. We had to put boundaries in place as the grandchildren were all so young and very trusting, they could be at risk, but equally we had to keep our foster boys safe. This is what my daughter in law wrote me for my blog when I asked her how our four grandchildren feel about sharing us with Foster children.
“The kids overall opinion of their grandparents being Foster carers is very positive as they look forward to seeing the Foster children just as much as they enjoy seeing any other family member. When talking about family the kids always include the Foster children, although the younger ones can’t remember life without the Foster children.
However, it hasn’t always been easy for the older grandchildren because in the early days when their Grandparents first started fostering it was all a bit strange. As their grandparents were foster carers our children had to learn boundaries. – In the early days as my children were all younger- there was one important rule, which kept everyone safe and this was to not be left alone with a foster child unsupervised. Sometimes they felt awkward, especially if the child they were looking after asked them to come and play upstairs or in another room.
They felt by saying ‘no’, the Foster child might feel rejected. They had to learn to be assertive and let them know they did want to play and include them but they had to stay in sight of the adults. After time each visit became less and less strange and as they grew up together they formed special bonds. The younger Grandchildren don’t really understand what fostering is, they just know it as… Nanny and Grandad look after children who need a home.
The older Grandchildren obviously understand a lot more, they can remember life without the Foster children but if given the choice, wouldn’t have had it any other way”.
My thoughts are our own adult children don’t always think as we do, their family life is very different to ours. Often we might be looking after children that we may not know very well or built trust with them and so this will impact on your family.