Notice: Forum posts will not be published until they have been approved by FosterClub staff.

holidays

ahoke21474'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. this comment hit right at home thanks.

We always include the kids in

kjerideau's picture

We always include the kids in everything from picking out the tree, baking cookies, outside lights. Find out what they want to do and what they want for Christmas.

As a former foster child I

qlpeterson's picture

As a former foster child I understand how it can be sad to see others and their families and you can't be with yours.

kinship

dtbower2003's picture

I am looking at being a kinship foster parent and I am worried about the holidays. We are not close in distance or "togetherness" with each other. I only hope I can change that and deepen those connections for my niece.

Holidays

VMagill127's picture

I have not had a child around holidays yet, but I always think the most important place to start is by honoring their feelings and letting them talk about things if they want to. I would also keep them involved in our traditions and bring some of their traditions in, and maybe make one that is new to all of us. I would also try my best to make sure they are able to visit bio family if allowed, and help them make/get gifts for them to take to the visit.

How can I help

monicatoejam's picture

I can help my foster children by talking to them, preparing them for what to expect. Asking them what traditions they had before foster care and trying to incorporate some of those traditions.

Holiday

NCurtis1011's picture

Try to have the best experience. Something that the children can always remember.

Holiday

beverly40's picture

We try to make that day special for the children and let the children express what they did during the holiday.

Holiday's

amberbobst's picture

I want to make sure giving them the love and attention that they need to feel that they belong.

Encourage your biological children to help with this!

gretchennoah's picture

Two things: #1. Something powerful in our home is that our kids love our foster kids. They always welcome a new foster child into our home with love and acceptance. They treat them like a sibling - which is good and bad but mostly really good! We take in mostly teens. Our bio children are good students in school, student council members, leaders, accepting, kind and confident....so they are good role models for our foster children. During the holidays, we talk to our children about how hard it is for the foster kids to feel included. We ask them to work extra hard at sharing the meaning of our traditions but building in theirs. Parents can forget this important tool - the power of the words and actions of your own children. Sometimes they can make our foster children feel more included than even we can - because they are not only their peers... but they also become their friends/siblings. #2. Whenever possible we also try to get approval for our foster kids to have an overnight at home but if they aren't able... a dinner or visit with their bio families at a local restaurant or wherever. We get them together with their siblings as often as we can too. It shows our foster kids that we value their family too.

Holidays stink in foster care

marknoah's picture

No matter how fun we make the holidays... it's just not the same for our foster kids. We try desperately to get approval for each of them to see their bio-families. We have a small Christmas tree that we bring to the get together if it can't be an overnight. We let them "earn" money to buy gifts for siblings and parents. Before holidays chores earn spending cash! Then they feel like it's not charity. It's their hard earned money buying a gift for their parents/siblings. It is money well spent on happiness and the spirit of giving.

Sad Holidays

Mbloodworth's picture

We always include our fosters in ALL activies we buy them there own ornament to put on the tree. And let them talk as much as needed about what they did during the holidays.

Sad Holidays

Mbloodworth's picture

We always include our fosters in ALL activies we buy them there own ornament to put on the tree. And let them talk as much as needed about what they did during the holidays.

The Holidays

Tabithaprice28's picture

We just try to make that day all about the kids we have never let any of the children feel any different from the other children whether they are foster or not!!!

Holidays

andidoll's picture

I find it very insightful to hear from the perspective of those in foster youth. My prayer is that they feel that they have a voice. I always encourage my son to have a voice and pray he feels that he can really be open and share honestly.

Fostering for Christmas

matt2016's picture

This is the first year that we will have a foster child for Christmas. He is very young, so I think it will be an easier time for him than for an older child. He is getting into the holiday spirit. We share our traditions with him and he is happy to be a part of them. I know he will miss his family though. We're going Christmas shopping for them this weekend so he can take them on his next home visit.

Holidays

trombonehampton's picture

We will always try to include some aspect of the child's Christmas in our holiday. We will ask the child and the parent if possible for input into easing the transition during this time of year.

Christmas traditions

Ankromfamily1's picture

With our foster children being younger, the important thing for us will be to make sure they don't get overwhelmed by us trying to do too many new things. We're blessed to have extended family locally that loves all our kids.

Christmas traditions

Ankromfamily1's picture

This will be our first Thanksgiving/Christmas with our foster children, but since they are quite young, I don't anticipate a lot of issues. We have a young bio daughter and we know cramming too much into the season can make her cranky and tired, and I'm sure our foster kids will be the same way. Parents of young kids (foster and/or bio) usually have to work to make sure their kids don't get too overwhelmed by too many new things. We are blessed to have extended family that is local and attached to all our children.

Fostering Youth through Holiday

epowell's picture

From experience my kids have good holidays every holiday. Since day one my children have been accepted as family period so the holidays they feel normal because that's what happen when your a true family. Treat people how you want to be treated regardless of the situation.

One of us!

Ryanfontana's picture

We foster younger children, under the age of 4 so I think it may be a little bit easier for us and them. Our foster kids have/get everything that our bio kids do even with our extended family. We are fortunate to have family members who view our foster kids as a bio kid, welcoming them with open arms.

Xmas cheer

grant2050's picture

We pray together at the dinner table and I like to add feelings and emotions into the prayers. The foster children are often surprised that my wife and I know and understand (as best we can) their feelings of grief and separation. We try to let them have a say about what would be good family fin (board games, walking, going to the park, etc) during the holiday. We give them plenty of warning about our plans since they do seem more anxious about where they may be going to next (

Chhristmas time

Reneehughes's picture

I always let all of the kids put up the Christmas tree every year and decorate the way they want and make sure they are always involved.

Chhristmas time

Reneehughes's picture

I always let all of the kids put up the Christmas tree every year and decorate the way they want and make sure they are always involved.

Chhristmas time

Reneehughes's picture

I always let all of the kids put up the Christmas tree every year and decorate the way they want, make sure they are always involved.

This is the first year that I

refrazi's picture

This is the first year that I ha e had older kids in my home for the holidays. I have already been talking about our traditions over the holidays and asking them what they did for the holidays. It is important to maybe do one or more of their traditions that way they feel like we really care about their past and what they are used to doing. Making gift for their family also makes them feel excepted

Holiday Cheer?

Rosesaurus's picture

As a former foster child I know of the troubles that the holidays might bring. For foster children holidays like Christmas are almost always challenging, no matter how much love and care you give to your foster child. Foster children might act out, be fussy or depressed during the holidays. Which can be very frustrating when you're trying so hard to make them happy. Don't let this get you down! It's important to acknowledge this holiday sadness, and understand why your foster child is acting this way. For me it always helped when my caregiver was very clear with me (your foster child may have never had a Christmas, and won't know what to expect). So explain even the simplest things to your foster child, just talk them through the holidays, so they know what to expect.
So to summarize: Be loving, understanding and communicate.

Get them involved

Chafinclan's picture

Getting the children involved in decorating for the holidays has always opened a door for conversing about what they want to talk about during these stressful times

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

Pages