Fosters and Valentine’s Day
Should you worry about doing something special for your foster child and this siblings on Valentine’s Day? The truth is that if you are fostering a child and his siblings aren’t with him full-time, then holidays are a time that your child likely misses his brothers and sisters the most. Shared memories of holidays, even if those memories aren’t perfect, can bring up sadness and loneliness. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to combat the sadness.
Understand and Listen
The first thing you need to do is to understand how much a sibling misses his siblings when they are apart. Especially in dysfunctional families, the siblings may have had to rely on one another for almost everything. The older siblings often take on an almost parental role in these situations.
Take the time to ask your foster child how he or she is feeling about being away from his siblings. What does he miss the most? Listen to any memories he wants to share. You may pick up on some special traditions the family had that you can work into your own time together. This will make things seem more familiar, especially during holidays such as Valentine’s Day.
Plan a Valentine’s Day Get Together
Are you able to plan a get together with the child’s siblings? This can be as simple as an afternoon tea party with cookies, candy, and making cards for their friends together. You don’t have to plan anything extremely fancy, but allowing the kids to share some traditions can go a long way toward easing some of the hurt of being apart.
If your own family has a special dinner, go ahead and invite the foster sibling over to attend as well. Again, these small memories go a long way toward building those lasting ties that will see your foster child through adulthood.
Make a Special Treat
If you aren’t able to get the siblings together, talk to the other foster parent and get permission to send a special treat you and your foster child can make together for his/her sibling. For example, create some homemade, heart-shaped sugar cookies. Add some pretty frosting and designs to make them special.
Or, you could also create a special card and messages and mail them to the other sibling. If at all possible, try to coordinate with the other foster family so your child receives some special notes or treats as well. However, even if this isn’t a possibility, your child will appreciate the opportunity to make something for his/her sibling.
Holidays can be really tough for foster kids. These small gestures go a long way toward showing him that you don’t want to take away his family, but you want to keep those bonds alive. The opportunity to talk about memories and share new ones with siblings is well worth the effort in the long run.