10 Ways to make the holidays special for your foster child

  1. Share your traditions. Tell them about what your family does for the holidays (or what traditions you loved as a kid). Include them in your traditions.
  2. Ask them about their traditions. Is there a food they liked? Or things they did? And try to figure out what Santa does at their house.
  3. Make new traditions. See if there is anything they have always wanted to do.
  4. Decorate your house. Not only should you decorate your house but you should have them help. Maybe they can make something or they can help you pick something out. This year all my decorations were things the boys could play with.
  5. Buy them special trinkets. At my house we all have stockings with our names on it so I make sure foster children have them as well. I also buy them special ornaments as well as a family ornament with all our names and years.
  6. Take lots of pictures. These will help you remember your holiday together. But they are also a special memory for your children.
  7. Read books. Books are magically. They make children excited and they can teach them what to expect.
  8. Make art work. I love holiday art work. You can make things to decorate your house with and keepsakes for both of you.
  9. Keep it small. Last year I broke my mom’s heart into a million pieces when I told her I wouldn’t be going to their house for Christmas morning because I knew Diva would be overwhelmed and I wanted to limit her time in a crowded space. It ended up working out really well but it was a hard thing for my mom to accept.
  10. Try not to have too high of expectations. If the child is older the holidays could be a huge trigger for them. Try to play it by ear andhave them tell you what they are comfortable with.

Weekly update December 10

  1. Baby Z was reunited with his family! I am so happy for them that it’s hard to even be sad. But my house is very quiet since he left. His parents are sending me lots of adorable pictures which is helping the sadness. I feel like I should be more sad but honestly I’m so happy for them it’s hard to be too sad for myself. This is what I went into foster care for and it finally happened.
  2. I bought baby Z and his family Christmas presents. I had been waiting for the outcome of court to buy him presents. Just because he went home doesn’t mean I won’t give them gifts though. I got the family matching stockings with their names on it, a Santa plate with Zs name on it, and an ornament. I also got Z a fun little toy for 12+. They have a lot of things for him now so I wanted to get something for later.
  3. Bubba and I did nothing Saturday. It was awesome just to play with my little buddy all day. I think he likes having all the attention for a little bit. He is struggling having his room all to himself.
  4. Our tree now has ornaments. I had just lights because Z got into everything but now I don’t have to worry about that.
  5. Bubba decorated a ginger bread house. It was funny to watch. Only like 3 things ended up in his mouth.
  6. Bubba is officially out of pull-ups. He hasn’t worn them during the day in weeks. Now he no longer needs them for bed either. And he hasn’t had an accident in weeks. Yay!
  7. We saw Bubbas mom again. We met at a museum so they could play, it was a lot of fun. Bubba didn’t stop building the whole time.
  8. I got an early Christmas present. My parents got me a new dresser (I have had the same one since my 5th birthday) I love it and I feel grown up lol.
  9. I finally have presents for everyone. Now I just have to wrap. Ugh.
  10. Lots of court days and visits this next week. Pray for us

My 10 favorite kids friendly Christmas decorations

I love Christmas! I always have enjoyed Christmas and decorating my whole house after Thanksgiving. Having two young children though I’m trying to keep all of the Christmas decorations to things they can easily play with and enjoy.

  1. Melissa and Doug count down to Christmas I have had this since Princess was little. It is so simple and I love it.
  2. Hot wheels advent calendar I am not a fan of the chocolate advent calendars. So I try to find one that relates to what the kids like. This is Bubba’s this year. Princess has a Lego one (she gets one of those every year). Bubba got a little people one last year. There are so many cool ones out there.
  3. Felt Christmas tree I know you can make these your self. However I don’t have time for that. I also got the boys a felt snow man.
  4. Christmas window clings We decorate with window clings for every season. Bubba puts them up and then moves them around where ever he wants.
  5. Little People Nativity Bubba loves this. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a nativity and here is one that I don’t mind the kids touching and playing with.
  6. Christmas Train Set This year I decided that every little boy needs a train to go around their Christmas tree.
  7. Christmas boxes What do kids love more than playing in boxes? Absolutely nothing. And now I have something to put next to my door.
  8. Christmas light projector As a single mom I don’t have time to hang lights. This makes my house look pretty and it only takes a couple minutes to put together.
  9. Live tree for outside I can’t have a live tree inside the house because of my allergies. So the kids and I got one outside and burlap ornaments to decorate. It’s nice to have something that smells like Christmas but isn’t making a mess in my house.
  10. Step2 My First Christmas Tree I don’t have this because they are sold out. But I want this for this boys. Maybe next year.

10 supportive things foster parents do

Yesterday I posted about the things foster parents say in Facebook groups that piss me off. However, there is a lot they do that I love.

  1. Give supportive advice. Whether it is about parenting or doing hair there are some people who are always supportive.
  2. Kindly disagree with you. We all aren’t going to agree but I appreciate it when people do it kindly instead of like an asshole.
  3. Offer to share clothing/supplies. Having a new placement is hard. Even though you tried to be prepared you can’t have everything you could possibly need in every situation. I love when others are willing to help each other out.
  4. Share discounts. Some people get upset that we are always looking for discounts on experiences and trips: however, a small discount could be the reason I could take my family to Disney world, so please share that stuff.
  5. Ask for advice from former foster youth. They are the experts. When you want to do know how a situation will effect your foster children or how you should handle something they are the ones to ask.
  6. Refer you to research/laws. I love when people include specific details/links so that i know what the law is or what research says is best practice.
  7. Refer you to professionals. Just because we have experience doesn’t mean we know the answers. Therapists, doctors, and social workers are always they people to ask.
  8. Send prayers. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but pray.
  9. Suggest books. Especially when it comes to parenting traumatized children.!
  10. Celebrate the small victories. Your foster kid didn’t swear at thanksgiving dinner? Yay! Your foster kid sat the whole time for time out and didn’t kick you? Yay! Your foster child let you brush their hair? Yay?

10 things other foster parents say that piss me off

I am part of a lot of country wide foster parent group (with thousands of members) and some of the things people say on there make me wonder if people foster for the right reasons. I try to assume positive attention but sometimes it’s hard.

  1. They ignore what former foster youth have to say. This one makes me so furious. If they are saying something is offensive believe it.
  2. They talk bad about the biological parents. No just no! You don’t know what they have been through so save the judgement. Your role is to take care of the kids not judge the biological parents.
  3. They complain that they can’t hit foster children. If the only form of discipline you can think of is to hit a child then you shouldn’t be a parent to begin with:
  4. The celebrate termination of rights. I understand that this child has probably been with you a while and you want to adopt them. Go right ahead and celebrate the adoption. But the termination is a sad moment. A parents heart is breaking and we should never celebrate the breaking apart of a family even if it means your family gains a member.
  5. They call foster children brats. Nope!!! No child is brat. They just haven’t been properly taught.
  6. They act superior to the biological parents. You have no idea what their childhood was like or even their adult life. Don’t judge.
  7. They complain about visits on holidays . I get it. However the kids want to see their family on holidays too. Just have the caseworker pick up the kids where ever you were planning on being.
  8. They act like there bond is stronger then the biological parents bond. You both have a bond and there should be no comparison. Even if you have had he child since birth their parents have a special bond through dna and that should be nurtured.
  9. They complain about having to do extra for the parents. I get that you don’t want to go above and beyond constantly (I don’t either). But if it means your foster child will be happy, then do it.
  10. They don’t support other foster parents. I know I just complained about other foster parents. Though I hate when they say this I don’t yell or insult them. I try to educate and help them grow. We should all be there for each other.

Weekly update December 3rd

  1. I bought my first Usborne Books and love them. I’m having Usborne Facebook party this Wednesday. Email me at missfostermama@gmail.com if you would like to join.
  2. We went to see Diva and the rest of their siblings at zoo lights. It was a lot of fun and my parents joined in.
  3. Baby Zs parents got the cutest elf gift for Bubba. OMG. They are so sweet and thoughtful.
  4. Boys both had doctors appointments this week. Both are healthy and developmentally on track. She even said baby z was advanced. They did get 3 vaccines each. Bubba was fine for his own shots but freaked out that we were hurting baby z.
  5. We had a Team meeting for Baby Z. The parents don’t have to include me but they do. I love that they see me as part of the team. It was also decided that I will start supervising visits.
  6. We had our first visit together and it went really well. I love partnering with parents.
  7. We had our Elf on the shelf breakfast. Our elves were lazy and we had cinnamon rolls. The boys enjoyed it.
  8. I am done Christmas shopping for Princess and Bubba!!!! Yay! I’m waiting for Zs court date to shop for him.
  9. I’m starting to plan parents Christmas presents this year. I think the kids are going to make something with paint on canvas. Most likely handprint art. I just don’t know what. Any ideas?
  10. I have 14 more days of work left before Christmas break (not like I’m counting or anything)

10 favorite holiday children’s books

We are big readers in my house. We read between 2-3 books a night. The boys have three bookshelves in their room. We bring out books from the basement for each holiday. Here are our 10 favorite Christmas books

  1. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas This is a classic. I love this book (and movie) and so do my kids.
  2. The First Christmas Tree: A Legend from Long Ago My grandma bought this for my sister and I when we were little. It is an adorable story and I love sharing it with my children.
  3. Ten Tiny Gingerbread Men Even during Christmas time we need to work on our counting. It is an adorable little book as well.
  4. S Is for Santa: A Christmas Alphabet We have to work on our alphabet as well!!!
  5. Little Reindeer Saves Christmas: A festive story to share My kids love this adorable story and I love the message: believe in yourself and anything can happen
  6. Christmas Star (Night Light Books) A cute little story about a Christmas pageant that tells the Christmas story. The light up star is a bonus
  7. The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish Pout Pout fish is very popular in our house so this book is always a hit. It has a good message about the best gifts coming from the heart
  8. Don’t Push the Button! A Christmas Adventure Don’t push the button is a nightly read in our house. This year we bought this book, I can’t wait to read it.
  9. Christmas Songs: Interactive Children’s Sound Book (10 Button Sound) we have a lot of these books and they are always a favorite. This year we decided to try this one as well.
  10. Disney Baby My First Christmas (Disney Touch and Feel) Baby Z gets a touch and feel book for every season. We really like this one because it’s our favorite Disney characters.