If you have made the heartwarming decision to foster children, you are probably both excited and nervous about your first foster placement. Creating space in your heart and home for vulnerable children is a gesture that will have an impact on the lives of others. Giving a child a safe space where they can thrive and grow can help them become well-adjusted adults in the future. However, as a first-time foster parent, you are probably feeling anxious about everything. So, here are four tips to help calm the nerves of new foster parents.
Prepare the Bedroom and Purchase the Essentials
During a pregnancy, parents often take some time to nest. In other words, they prepare their home for their new child. Foster parents can take the same approach. Once you have finalized the application process and you are awaiting your first placement, you can prepare the child’s new bedroom and make a few essential purchases. This may include bedding, toothpaste, and first aid supplies. If you have any questions about preparing your home for your first child, ask an agency like the FCA. They have a team of professionals who can help address any queries you may have.
Create a Welcoming Environment
A home should be a place where you can relax and feel content. Unfortunately, foster children might not feel this way about your home straight away and may need some coaxing before they can feel truly comfortable. You can make a good impression by creating a welcoming environment. Although they may not expect a super clean and tidy living space, it can help them feel more at home. An unkempt home that is full of clutter can evoke feelings of chaos and disorder, which is what you want to stay clear of when it comes to new foster children. Help your new foster child feel more at ease by giving your home a good clean and getting rid of unnecessary clutter. A warm home and the smell of delicious food can also help a foster child feel more welcome.
Develop a Support Network
All parents need a little help, and foster parents are no different. With a bit of research, you can discover the nearest foster placement support groups in your location. These groups will expose you to other foster parents who can help answer any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family and friends for support too.
Look After Yourself
Welcoming a foster child to your home and your life is a big deal, which is why you should remember to practice self-care. When things get too much, take the time to step back and breathe. Try to remain calm when emotions are high, and remember to look after your physical well being too. From nourishing yourself with nutritious meals and taking the time to exercise to socializing with friends and family, don’t forget that these small acts can make a huge difference to your mental well being. You need to look after yourself properly in order to give adequate care to a foster child.
Image Credits: Gabe Pierce