Being a foster carer often requires you to think outside of the box. This is never more true than when you are trying to put your foster child’s mind at ease during those new experiences. Anxiety is a natural part of a foster child’s life for many reasons, but there are methods to help them ease into the unknown. This guide has the best ways to achieve that goal and keep the tension at bay when navigating the uncharted together.
Accept Anxiety as a Part of the Package
That is not to say that every single foster child will experience anxiety, because every child is, of course, unique. However, anxious feelings are one of the top cited emotional responses that a foster child may have, especially when facing something they have never done before. A day out is filled with wonder and core memories, but doing an activity or visiting a place that is unfamiliar is a distinct trigger for anxiety. So, when you accept this fact, all of the above will never take either of you by surprise because you will be able to discuss it openly and build skills for dealing with it together. Anxiety is always easier to control when someone else is on board and keeping an eye out for it.
Invest in Their Comfort
The most reliable trick in the bag is to ensure that your foster child has everything they could possibly need in their toolkit to feel safe and comfortable. As a qualified and registered carer, you will receive an allowance, as explained by thefca.co.uk. This allowance means you will have the means to provide whatever is necessary to support your foster child. This might be a fresh new outfit to boost their confidence, or a backpack filled with snacks, entertainment, or even a new teddy depending on their age. As long as it brings them a sense of peace, it’s worth the money.
Talk them Through it
There is a lot of value to be found in talking things through. It can both be a major point of comfort and a great way to support them as you move forward. You could discuss exactly where you’re going, how long it will take to get there, what will happen once you arrive and expectations around leaving at the end of the day. Having these discussions creates points of reference for the child to connect with and they will be better placed to piece the day together mentally before it comes about. Let them ask questions, and be prepared to find the answers so that you are working as a team throughout the whole thing. It may sound like a lot of planning and effort before you’ve even started a day out, but it is absolutely vital for their well-being and something that is always worth doing.
While visiting new places is a core part of the foster carer-child dynamic, there are undeniable challenges. Thinking about all the ways you can face these difficulties is a great way to engage with the task at hand and ensure that the experience is a positive one for all of you.