For many families, back to school is an exciting time for the children to meet new teachers, make new friends, and face new academic challenges head on. When kiddos are in stable homes, these new situations are welcomed.
For foster children, however, going back to school often brings anxiety and fear. Foster kids are often placed in new out-of-home care situations over the summer, which means they may also have to enter a new school system in the fall.
If you’re a foster parent facing this scenario, here are some tips to help build confidence in your foster child and ease the transition.
Instead of waiting until the first day of school to meet new kids, organize a few play dates for your foster child. This way, she can meet a few new friends on her own turf (either your home or a familiar playground), which in turn, means she’ll know a few friendly faces when school begins.
Avoid the temptation to brush difficult subjects under the rug. Instead, be open about the challenges they’ll face. While it may be difficult to start all over again in a new school system, there will also be lots of positives to look forward to. Find out what interests your foster child, like sports, art clubs, musical activities, etc., and focus on those.
You can build qualities like discipline and teamwork in your foster child by getting him involved in sports. Being on a team can also give kids a sense of value, too. So let your foster child try any sport he’s interested in to be part of an instant community!
Involve your foster child in the routine of getting ready for the school day. Do they want to pick out their lunch and snack? Help make the meal? Choose their clothing? These types of exercises build independence and ownership in the process.
A good night’s sleep will go a long way toward having a great school day. Create a routine for your child so that bedtime and waking up are consistent. This will set your foster child up for success.
Learn more about Fostering in Medina County. You can make a difference in a child’s life.« Back to Blog