Tracey’s fostered with Blue Sky for over three years and has heaps of experience. Currently, caring for teenager, Aaron, Tracey describes her experiences of helping her foster children feel involved and ‘allowed’ to have fun and simply enjoy themselves.
“Even the most organised and methodical of us can go in to meltdown at Christmas - it goes with the territory! Our routines go out of the window and we seem to hurtle from one thing to another without having the luxury of taking stock!”
Keep calm and carry on
“For some children, the whole of their life experience, prior to foster care, will have been chaotic, so I would say try to keep everything as predictable and planned as possible; no big parties, keep things calm!”
My family and me
Managing my family’s excitement and my own is a challenge! We’re big on Christmas and big on family and we have our own traditions and annual events, so I’ve learnt a trick or two when plans are being made! My top tip is to sit down with your foster child, well in advance of the whole holiday, and ask them about their experience of Christmas. They may have their own family traditions or positive memories that you could incorporate in to yours or they may’ve never experienced the anticipation and fun the festive season brings….they all come with a different understanding.”
Their family and them
“I always take them shopping, maybe for gifts for their birth family, so they have marked it in some way. Sometimes, this isn’t possible, so I take my cue from what I already know about their family circumstances and how they feel about them.”
“We all experience emotions, happy, sad, frustrated, angry, whatever….. Sometimes, a child or young person who’s encountered neglect or abuse simply can’t label how they feel. They may just feel upset but not be able to acknowledge that feeling because it’s Christmas and they are not with their family. It’s a very complicated time of year.”
“I do think, though, that us foster carers should remind ourselves what a difference we are making. Even if a child can’t show you appreciation, chances are this could be their first experience of how magical Christmas can be.”
Be like Tracey; foster with us, here at Blue Sky. We'll be beside you, every single step of the way..