Holidays

courtneydavis's picture

This will be my first holiday season with children, and I am so excited to make the season about celebration and time together. They have had mixed experiences with the holidays in the past, so I hope to have them involved in the planning and events that happen.

Thankful for the agencies

davis71809's picture

It is amazingly overwhelming the gifts the children in our care received from the agency. We enjoy the children we have and would do anything for them but the extra support around the holidays is wonderful.

Holidays

mistycorn's picture

We haven't had foster children over the holidays, yet. I pray we are able to meet the emotional and physical needs of any child in our home, especially so during this trying time.

Treat them as if they were you're own

jdrobin123's picture

As foster parents, we take these kids on and bring them into our family, we should treat them just like any of our bio kids. They will feel the unconditional love we can give them.

Always make them feel wanted.

kisses28318's picture

Always make them feel wanted. Treat them as your own children including family gatherings and even if you are going away on holiday if it is allowed. Never make them feel as if they are a burden or you only have them out of obligation.

Holidays

andrewlr76's picture

We always include foster children in our family's events and gift-giving. Our extended family is also very warm and welcoming each year!

Holidays

linneacnord's picture

I have yet to get my first placement having just been licensed. We are hoping for younger children so I'm not sure if we will have children that have traditions at their bio homes. However, I have already been planning on making sure we make gifts and cards for various holidays for the children's family. I have already purchased different photo albums where we can record holiday and mile stone events so the family can have it when/if the child is put back in their care. If we foster children old enough to have experience with traditions and celebrations I am hoping that we can incorporate as much as we can into our own family. We do not have children yet and so traditions are ones we do from when I was little and adding to them is something I look forward to.

Continued Outreach

grncarex2's picture

Being a foster parent under kinship foster care makes the holidays a little easier because the children are already accustomed to family and traditions. However, while reading these articles, something caught my attention that, sadly enough, I had not given consideration. So many outreaches have a specific target group, but what about reaching the youth that have just exited foster care? It would be nice to have a tactful way to reach them through the holidays and become that continued support system where it may be lacking. Even in church studies, statistics show that young adults, college age, 18-25, are the least targeted or "un-reached" age group. This makes my heart ache.

Holidays

vita's picture

For me as a foster parent, I have always included my childrens siblings and parents on holidays. It does make for a hectic time ,but so worth it because nothing that I can give them brings them greater joy.

Holidays

vita's picture

For me as a foster parent, I have always included my childrens siblings and parents on holidays. It does make for a hectic time ,but so worth it because nothing that I can give them brings them greater joy.

Holidays

hernandez685's picture

I think the best thing to do as a foster parent is to have an open mind and open communication with any foster children. Maybe even following the child's lead when it comes to communication. Take what they give you but don't pry. And show and understanding but also be honest with them that we (my family) don't know how or what they are feeling but will do our best to try to understand and help them through the holidays the best we can.

Holidays

anads's picture

Holidays are bittersweet for most people too, remembering family members lost. Tapping into that sentiment is helpful to understanding and communicating with foster children.

Holidays

Miriammyers's picture

I had my first foster child in my during the 2015 holiday season. It was obvious that he missed his bio-dad and siblings. Luckily, the siblings got to visit each other and exchange gifts. I also think it is hard because, most of the time, the children are out of a normal routine as well. School, extracurricular activities, and even church are not going on and/or have different program and schedules.

Holiday

bradley.reeder's picture

It is important to make the kids feel as welcome and comfortable as possible and be understanding if they are extra emotional during this time.

Holiday

bbreeder's picture

Having our 1st foster child during Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2015, we found it very important to make her feel as welcomed and as part of the family as possible. We included her in the family pics, Christmas cards, and Santa even come to see her (and brought GOOD gifts). We made our families aware she was coming and changed a lot of our gift practices to games so no one would be left out or made uncomfortable.

Holiday

TheJLedQ35's picture

I think if we keep in mind that nothing will ever replace our foster children's need for their bio parents then we will be more sympathetic towards asking some things that may make them feel less sad during the holidays.

Holidays

albaughg's picture

Holidays are a time of the year where families can spend quality time together and connect on some of the lost time during the hectic hustle and bustle of the school year and other times when it seems like everything just goes by in a blur. Whether its sitting down together for a Thanksgiving meal, opening presents together on Christmas Day or picking out that perfect pumpkin and carving a face on it together, many of the holidays offer times to spend together as a family and including your foster child with you as part of the family experience is something that is important to making them feel like part of your family.

I would always include the

cmlee's picture

I would always include the child an all the family traditions and activities. When purchasing gifts, there would be no distinction between them and my child. In addition, any Christmas gift would be allowed to be taken with them if they leave before the holiday.

I would always include the

cmlee's picture

I would always include the child an all the family traditions and activities. When purchasing gifts, there would be no distinction between them and my child. In addition, any Christmas gift would be allowed to be taken with them if they leave before the holiday.

Holidays

rocksheen219's picture

This was a great overview to show how the holiday season impacts foster children.

To always treat your foster

brandymh's picture

To always treat your foster kids like you would your own.

Treat them as if they were

AmyWhiteside's picture

Treat them as if they were your own
Expose them to all of your family traditions and allow them to expose you to theirs

Include them!

wlalonde's picture

Include them in your Holiday traditions but also understand and participate in their traditions as well.

Christmas

spedteacher828's picture

Our foster son was placed in our home on the evening of December 19th - it was a Thursday. He was just 3 and just removed from him mother. He had not normalcy such as table manners, etc. If he saw food on a plate, he would go up and help himself. If he was thirsty, it didn't matter what was in the cup, he would get it to drink it. That year, my side of the family was celebrating on December 21st. I was given toys to give him for Christmas and my mother made sure he had several things, and he was too young to understand if someone got more toys than he did. Although foster children are not new to my family, this was an interesting experience for everyone. It was neat to look back the next year to how he had grown and changed.

Holiday Cheer

Rocran75's picture

Its a good time to share different activities with the child.

Teen Rebellion

Jmalott's picture

Over the years I have seen a lot more rebellious "acts" particularly around holidays. I know it comes from great deal of sadness so I tend to be more forgiving. I also try to do something really special they might like to do that they don't get a chance to do often.

Helping in the community

adowd416's picture

We treat any foster youth in our home as our own family during the holidays, but we also take it outside the home. My extended family all gets together to sponsor young adults who have aged out of foster care. We unite and a couple of kids who would otherwise not have much for the holidays. We fulfill their wishlists :)

Holidays....

BillandAmyLittlefield's picture

Anyone can be together on a holiday. It's about caring and sharing, not about who is or is not blood related. Having all included for a meal and doing a random gift exchange at Christmas can be really fun and non-stressful.

Holiday

kdavis5916's picture

I would try to make them feel as special as I could with out over doing it. I treat my foster children the same way as I do my own children. They receive the same treatment in every way possible.

Holidays

aarmentano's picture

I think it is a great idea to get foster kids involved in helping & serving others...whether it be helping other people or serving at a local animal shelter. The key is serving others in the community :)

Holidays

Donyetta's picture

I think it also shows the children that there are a lot of other people who may be in a worse situation and by allowing them to help someone else in need lets them know their talents are valuable and much needed.

By Creating a Sense of Normal

cmschock's picture

I personally think the best way to help a child get through a holiday is to create a sense of normal. Ask them what their favorite parts about the particular holiday are and then try to make sure you touch on those. Of course there may not be a tradition so perhaps ask them what they would like to do for this year.

Holidays

cindypearson's picture

Always be courteous to the foster child's feelings. Like to the things they like, want or beliefs. Maybe bring some of their traditions into your. You want to make them feel loved, accepted, and comfortable as possible. I believe in treating them as my own. And always will. Happy Holidays to all.

Always helping the kids know

Josebonilla's picture

Always helping the kids know that they are loved.

Family

marlene1112's picture

By always reminding them that they are loved. Including them in all activities and making it seem they are family...because they are. Help them understand what the holidays mean and that no matter how they feel, I am there for them.

Family holidays

cat10141966's picture

I have my grandchildren placed with me and getting permission ahead of time worked out well for me to have at least one bio parent here for Christmas. With big gatherings in my family and other siblings to consider having the go ahead took a great burden off of myself and the children with the worry that the kids wouldn't see the family like they always did.

Holiday memories

Rosemary1957's picture

Encourage children to talk about there favorite memories and what they did on every holiday.

Holidays

woods1219's picture

We had a three year old for almost two years in our house. She became part of the family and when the judge decided to move her without cause/warning it was very hard and two weeks before Christmas. Our older boys who we adopted out of foster care a few years ago had a hard time. We wish we had seen this earlier - it might give us some ideas of how to work with them as they grieve and get back to normal without her. THanks for all of your thoughts!

Holidays

HeatherPC's picture

While providing a sense of family, kinship and togetherness, openly or privately discussing with your youth that its ok to express moments of sadness during the holidays is a way to facilitate them coping with the stress and sadness that is associated with the season. Reassuring them that it is ok to take sometime to process their emotions and that you are always available to listen and help them through I think will go along way in reminding them that they are cherished even in the absences of their biological families. We are not here to replace their families or their memories of their family.

Christmas Traditions

TheWolfePack's picture

We had been blessed in that we got each of our foster children well before the holidays so that we had opportunity to really get to know them and get them appropriate gifts so that they could know they were thought of and loved. All of our foster children also had visits with their bio families. We taught them about traditions for the holidays and asked about theirs as well. We truly loved them as a part of our family and I hope they realized that. :)

helping foster youth through the holidays

LFreeman2016's picture

no comment

Helping youth through the Holidays

khomer's picture

If you think they can handle it, ask them to share a special holiday tradition from their birth family. Ask them if it would be okay to add that tradition to their new family. If not, sit down together and create a new tradition together.

Holidays

gianna15's picture

This happened to my foster child. I thought that the birth mother was going to spend Xmas with her and did not. We just got her dressed up and took her to our scheduled event. Things went very well, and she was able to be part of the celebration. Our host family had a gift for her already planned out and we also brought some of ours that we had opened earlier. I can see how it can be so challenging as you get older and don't know how its going to impact you.

Holidays

Cali_R's picture

I would welcome them into my home, and let them participate in what they would like so they feel comfortable and enjoy the holiday. Also, I would ask them if they had any traditions they would like to do.

Holiday Guest

tom_k's picture

With 10 (soon to be 11) grandkids and 10 children (in the mixed family), another person would be most welcomed (and expected) in the "perfect storm" of Christmas week.
All the suggestions are great in the articles and some are very unique and well thought out.
Thanks,

Holiday cheer

Ashlee_M's picture

I would invite he or she to come celebrate with me and my family for the holidays.