|Not everybody loves holidays!|
Everywhere they look foster children are confronted by visions of family: family events, family cards, family traditions, family relatives, etc etc. For a child or teen who may have been abandoned, or mistreated, or neglected, or traumatized by family, or even "just" separated from theirs, these happy, wholesome "family" images provide a range of pain, anger, and an inner battle of wishful thinking and hopelessness. When "family" is more of a "f" word than the usual ones, trying to survive emotionally during the extended rolling holiday season is an almost impossible challenge.
A few hints that might help a bit:
1- Respect the realities of their feelings.
2- Limit extras as much as possible.
3- Pick what is most important to keep and let the rest be optional or maybe even dropped.
4- Be sure to keep communication open and flowing.. check in frequently with your kids, keep your eyes open for warning signs.5- Plan safety valve opportunities for the kiddos to escape from high stress situations and gatherings.
6- Respond quickly if they start showing the strain... get them out of the situation before it gets worse.
Use those safety valves.
7. Don't take it personally!
Image credit: http://seejennknit.blogspot.com/ and abundancesecrets.com