Emma’s fostering blog
Sam hasn’t been with me very long, often I find in the beginning most children are not used to having boundaries or people just caring, they have been hurt, rejected, and neglected.
I know with Sam I need to be calm, firm but fair in attitude with consistent boundaries, and this will take time in building trust on both sides. Today we are putting together a family contract establishing boundaries and expectations on both sides.
I have found from experience this works well as they invest and feel part of the decision, we both sign it and we get to keep a copy each. When Sam stays within the agreed boundaries, she gets extra treats, of course Sam will mess up at times and this is part of learning then there will be sanctions like loss of internet or i-pad.
I take each day as a new day type attitude so if she messed up today then tomorrow is a new day then perhaps she may try a little harder. It’s very important that we spend time together looking at the positives or negatives and talk about what happened.
I already know she loves praise, treats and all of us rejoicing when she has achieved. We have younger children too and we make sure we spend time with each of them separately and Sam, Hannah and Dan love playing board games, they get very competitive which is great family fun.
Today we went to a fostering event, Hannah and Dan had a great time it’s not always easy finding things they both like. Going today gave them all the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment. It’s nice that they met other children who are also in foster care and from going to these types of events they have made friends.
For me, it’s important for foster carers to have opportunities to meet up its nice getting out and having fun with them but I think it’s also about the supportive community of foster carers; that friendship and support is invaluable, and together we can tackle obstacles, or any problems we have difficulty with.
Dan joined in with the seated volley ball, apparently a favourite of Prince Harry, and then the archery, golf and dodge ball. Hannah had her face painted and then went into the dance classes. Both enjoyed the African drumming workshop but I think they all found it quite amusing when I joined in.
Unfortunately Sam didn’t stop complaining about how boring the day was which was quite funny, because while she was having her hair braided she was smiling away but the minute I caught her eye she would change into sulky and this went on throughout the day.
My thoughts are that I really do love being part of those teen conversations: the intense ones and the banter!
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!