Integrating a foster or adoptive child into your home can come with a unique set of challenges. While there is no one size fits all rule when it comes to integrating a new member of your family into the home, there are several different activities you can engage with to help you to start building bonds and get a child feeling more comfortable and safer with your family.
1. Redecorate Their Space
One of the most common struggles that children can face when they are entering a new home and family is feeling as if they do not belong. Just think about the prospect of entering an unfamiliar home to live with people you don’t know. To combat this issue, one great bond-building activity you can do to break the ice with your foster or adoptive child is to redecorate their bedroom. Taking the time to rearrange the room so that it suits them, redecorating with their possessions, or even painting the walls a new color can help them feel that this room is truly theirs, rather than someone where they are staying temporarily.
2. Have Family Dinners
Having family dinners can be a very important routine to set, especially when you are setting in a new foster or adoptive child into the home. Sitting down with every member of the family and eating dinner at the same time each day can provide a sense of routine and stability that can help a foster child more easily settle into their new home.
3. Share Their Interests
When it comes to creating bonds with your child, not all the activities need to come from you. Taking the time to ask your foster or adoptive child what they are interested in and then following up with relevant activity can you build strong bonds. Taking the time to foster shared interests will also help a foster or adoptive child feel more heard and appreciated in their new home.
4. Get Out and About
Getting out and about with your foster or adoptive child can also be a great way to build strong bonds and come up with fun activities you can share. There are many options that you can take if you are looking to get you out and about with your foster or adoptive child. For example, if you are fostering in London, you could take the child to see the city’s sites like the London Eye or Madame Tussauds. Alternatively, you could ask the child what they like or would want to experience and plan the activities accordingly.
5. At-Home Activities
There is a wide range of bonding activities that you can do at the home after school or on a rainy afternoon. For example, you could bake with your foster or adoptive child, or you could have movie night or play board games. When you are engaging with these activities, it is recommended that you allow the child to take the lead, so you could encourage them to suggest what they would like to do.