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This is as much a special time of year as it can be painful and difficult. This is especially true for your foster children. Your foster children may have had traumatic experiences during their lives--whether that is abuse, neglect, or being taken away from their biological parents. Whatever the exact case of your child being placed in your foster home, it's important to create, cultivate, and maintain the magic of the holiday season. After all, don't all children deserve to be children, even if just for a few months each year?
Many, if not most, foster children have experienced many tribulations in the few years they've been alive. Because of these experiences, they can lose hope, faith, and even childlike curiosity and happiness. And not a single child should have to live without these things. So, as a foster parent, make it a goal to bring the magic back into the holidays so your foster children can experience the joy of being children again.
Holiday Decorations - Sometimes the easiest way to find the magic of the holiday season is to look at impressive holiday decorations. Decorate your own home and take your foster children to see other homes or buildings that are decorated with beautiful lights. Let your entire household in on the fun and have them decorate the family Christmas tree, if that's the holiday you celebrate, or let them decorate their very own. Not only will it increase the holiday magic, but it will create great bonding moments for everyone involved.
Music - Music has the ability to inspire and uplift. Holiday music is no exception. Have it playing in you home, during dinner, throughout playtime, and maybe even when you're driving in your car. It will even work to calm everyone so you can also have a peaceful and loving holiday experience.
Storytelling - What's a holiday season without family story time? Tell stories about past holidays in your family or stick to traditional stories about Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. It doesn't matter which holiday you celebrate, you and your foster children can attain a feeling of magic when listening to these beautiful stories. Even consider taking turns telling stories, or even a part of a story and then pass it on to the next person.
Family Time - The holiday season is really about showing your love and spending time with your family, and that obviously includes your beautiful foster children. Everyone is busy, but it's important that you make some time to spend with your foster children. Show them you love them and that they are a part of your family and household. Spending family time doesn't have to be expensive. You could go to the local park, take a hayride down a beautifully-decorated street, or visit a local music or dance concert in honor of the holiday season.
Make the most of this time of year. Because of the transient nature of foster homes and foster children, it's important to create memories while you can. You can't guarantee the holiday experiences your foster children will have in the future, but you can provide them with a wonderful holiday experience this year. Make that your goal. Help them to find the true magic of the upcoming holiday season.
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4 years ago, Karen and Esther came to live with the Smiths, some friends of mine. Karen was 2 and Esther was 7. Esther had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and Karen had behavioral issues. The girls had two older brothers, both with bi-polar disorder, who had been placed with another foster family nearby. [more]
Most people who come in regular contact with our family know we are foster parents. We belong to a church with a very large congregation and although we don’t necessarily know most of the members, faces become familiar over time. [more]
Give back to your local foster care community by researching what it takes to become a foster parent and consider following through.
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