Why Every Foster Child Needs Hobbies & Interests
We all understand the hard work and endeavour that our community of foster carers put in each day to help ensure the children and young people within our care are given the best possible chance to succeed in life.
Every fostering relationship has the opportunity to flourish, but how do you go from a somewhat shy and reluctant child entering your home for the first time, to someone who is full of confidence and positivity after just a few weeks or months?
As an independent fostering agency, we were commended in our most recent Ofsted report in relation to the progress and development made by the children and young people we look after. Making sure children are made to feel as part of family is a great way of helping to provide safety and stability, but so to is exploring and expanding on their initial hobbies and interests.
Should I choose a child’s hobbies and interests?
Regardless of a child’s background, there is a strong likelihood they may already have a hobby or interest that they enjoy doing. Whether it’s playing football, reading, writing or learning a musical instrument, all hobbies and interests have the potential to promote good behaviour among foster children, as well as help to strengthen the relationship between foster carer and young person.
Through the training and support you’ll receive from the very beginning of your fostering journey you’ll feel comfortable in communicating with a foster child, so why not break the ice with a quick question about their favourite hobbies and interests?
Even if they don’t particularly have any specific hobbies, or you believe what they’re currently doing might be having a negative impact on them, then you may be in a position to suggest something more appropriate.
The main thing to remember is that children and young people are more likely to keep at something if they enjoy it, so just be prepared to experiment with different ideas – patience and resilience is a must here.
What are the benefits?
When we talk about promoting hobbies and interests, it’s not about going to a different activity club every night of the week. Some children may take a liking to a certain activity that they may want to pursue further, perhaps 2 or 3 even. Either way, you must always aim to strike a balance between school life, family time, relaxation and hobbies.
Whilst you should always look to encourage, praise and support the interests of a foster child, you must also understand the various benefits of what such activities can have on the life of a young person.
If a child joins in with a local sports or music group, they’ll not only improve their specific skills, but they’ll also have the chance to become part of a team, increase their levels of communication with other people, as well as gain a stronger grasp of self-discipline and dedication. Quite often, the skills and qualities learnt from childhood hobbies can be carried forward through adulthood.
As a foster parent it is critical that you understand and appreciate the importance of allowing children and young people to partake in suitable hobbies and interests. Although to discover more information about this topic, or if you’re interested in finding out how to become a foster carer, then you can contact us, here.