Emma’s Fostering Blog. Last Christmas worries.
Bobby is an inquisitive and chatty 6 years old, and until now everything has been ok. It’s Saturday afternoon and we are out shopping.
The Santa grotto is up and as we walked past I mentioned we could visit Santa soon if he would like to. I felt Bobby squeeze my hand tight and then again as we were looking at the Christmas decorations. Later that day Bobby was making a picture for the annual Christmas card competition at School, he drew a snowman and I suggested putting Santa on it too, he became agitated, then tearful. As families are battling all sorts of issues my first thought was that something might have happened at home around Christmas time, or perhaps it was anxiety as his timetable and routines have changed at School.
Eventually Bobby told me that he doesn’t like Santa, because he can’t bring him the present he wants the most, to go home! This overwhelming sadness he feels, my heart sank, after a cuddle and some reassurance, I had to tell him that he couldn’t go home this Christmas. I wanted to reduce his stress of loss by reassuring him that it was ok and I understood his feelings. We spoke about having some special time with his parents next week, a Christmas celebration with presents, decorations and food, and this helped, for now.
It’s almost Christmas but its Charlie’s 16th birthday; he is very excited as he is going out with his friends. I am a great believer in educating Charlie at his level of understanding about the many topics that may affect him. I am aware that children do experiment, so I want Charlie to be sensible when he is out, by knowing the effects of alcohol and the importance of safe drinking.
Casually over dinner tonight as a family we will discuss issues around drinking, drinks could be spiked with drugs, risks around unprotected sex and keeping himself safe by having a plan in case something goes wrong. We have always been open and honest with Charlie since he was 11 so he won’t be embarrassed, he will probably tell me, he knows, so don’t worry, but I do. I am really careful with any alcohol in the home for special occasions and this is locked away. Christmas is fast approaching, the triggers around alcohol, peer pressure, and in some families the stresses of Christmas and the fact that more alcohol is around might have lead to tempers boiling over and our children might been at the end of that.
My thoughts are I can’t grant Bobby his Christmas wish, it reminds me, that even though I don’t have all the answers, kindness matters and so does truth. It’s important to start discussions early, their level of understanding about topics that will affect them, the earlier you can talk about this together the better prepared they are.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!