Many of us roll full speed into the holidays with lists of gifts to purchase, dinner invitations, and a calendar full of holiday gatherings. It is a festive time that is full of joy and BUSY! BUSY! BUSY! Sometimes, those of us with children in our homes who are in foster care, kinship care, or who were adopted need to gently ease into the holiday season. There may be feelings of worry or concerns hiding in the back of our minds.
As parents and caregivers, it is important to remember that the kids in our care have come from hard places and have perhaps had some holiday experiences that weren’t the best. They are living with a family other than their family of origin and things are . . . different. So what can we do to provide them with a sense of belonging during the holidays?
We wanted to offer a few tips and ideas that may help bring a little peace and calm this holiday season.
- Talk openly, honestly, and often.
- Address feelings of conflict or emotions that may be coming to the surface.
- Ask about traditions from the child’s family of origin. Things like a favorite food, decorations, or celebrations are often easy to incorporate and will provide a feeling of being welcomed and included.
This doesn’t mean that holidays can’t be full of smiles, laughter, and quality time together. We hope all of your holidays are filled with those wonderful gifts! In addition to the ideas above, we have included some resources below. And, we’d love to hear from you! What do you do in your homes or with your families to help ensure a happy holiday for all?
From the Champion Classrooms