Foster children go through a lot of heartache and instability in their lives. They experience pain and uncertainty. It can be difficult for them to open up and let people into their lives. They need time to heal and to understand their life experiences. They need to emotionally heal. But emotional healing is a process. It won’t happen over night. It requires patience, hard work, diligence, and sacrifice. It requires sometimes reliving the pain for better understanding and acceptance. While your foster child may not want to go through this process, it is important to encourage him or her to heal emotionally. Here are some ways you can do just that:
Professional Counselor: This is a great resource for anyone looking to deal with past or current issues in his or her life. The professional counselor can provide an unbiased listening ear, and can help your foster child wholly understand and effectively deal with their negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Because it can be so difficult for your foster child to open up to you, he or she may feel more comfortable opening up to a professional.
Open-Vent Sessions: Sometimes your foster child will need to vent his or her frustrations, fears, concerns, and annoyances. Be there for your foster child. Lend a listening ear. Be attentive, and let your foster child know that he or she can come to you anytime to talk. Even if he or she doesn’t take you up on the offer, make sure your foster child knows that you are available and willing to hear what he or she has to say.
Family Involvement: Make certain that your foster child feels like a part of your family. Invite him or her on family outings, a day at the movies, or an afternoon at the park. Family get-together’s and activities are great ways to help encourage emotional healing. It provides the joy and happiness that can help move along the healing process. It helps your foster child see that things can and will get better. It can increase hope for the future.
Sturdy Support System: Your foster child needs a sturdy support system during this difficult time. Gather your friends and family around, and let your foster child know that you are all there for him or her. A sturdy support system is made up of trusted loved ones. Your foster child should know that he or she has these in great abundance.
Emotional healing is a process-a difficult one, at that. But it isn’t impossible. Help your foster child along the path of healing, acceptance, and looking forward to his or her bright future.