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Boosting A Foster Child’s Confidence

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Studies show that children with healthy self-confidence do better at school, grow up to be happier individuals and show a good level of empathy for others. Put simply, confidence is like armour for a child, protecting them against the world.

Now, all kids can go through phases of low confidence. However, in the case of foster children, low confidence is often linked to the situations they have found themselves in. It could be they have been neglected or abused by their biological family. Then they are placed into a home with people they do not know. It’s a lot to deal with at such a young age and it can take a real hit on their self-esteem.

There are things you can do to help boost your foster child’s confidence, it just takes a little patience and understanding. Here we’ll look at some tried and tested confidence boosting methods.

Talking about the situation

If you think a lack of confidence may be linked to being placed in an unfamiliar situation, such as being in new surroundings, it’s possible all they need is a little time. However, what can be really helpful in boosting their confidence is allowing them to talk about how they feel.

Sit down with them and start a conversation by acknowledging how they might be feeling about being in a new home. The key here is to listen and let them know how they are feeling is completely understandable. Explain that they can always talk to you and they aren’t alone, even if they feel like they are right now. Children can often feel ignored and so this simple action and acknowledgement of their feelings can do wonders for their self-esteem.

Avoid doing too many things for them

It’s really tempting to jump in and do things for a child when you can see they are anxious. However, doing so won’t help in the long-term as they may start to think that they don’t need to face certain situations in life and that they should simply rely on others to step in and help.

When they are starting something new for example, try to take a step back. Be there, but don’t interfere. All children learn via trial and error. It’s important for them to learn how to interact and cope with certain situations without being able to shy away and hide behind you.

Try out role play

A child’s lack of confidence could be down to the fact that they haven’t had that many previous social interactions. Take birthday parties for example. A party could be overwhelming to a child who has never attended, or at least attended very few parties in the past. Role playing can work wonders here.

Create a fake social situation using the child’s teddies or action figures to stand in for other people. Then, go through various scenarios such as what to say when greeting another person, giving the other child a present at a birthday party, or what to say if another child starts to bully them. There are so many scenarios you can act out that can help equip a child with the relevant social skills they’ll need to feel confident in various situations.

Overall, the key to building confidence is patience and understanding. The above tips can really help but don’t expect them to work overnight.

Do you have any confidence boosting tips our carers might find useful? Head over to our Facebook page and share your thoughts.