Skip to Content

How to Bond with Foster Children

Bonding with a foster child quickly is incredibly important if you want to be able to make them feel safe, build a relationship, and enjoy your time together. If you have a traditional family set-up, where the mum stays at home with the kids and you, as the father, go out to work, you may worry that bonding with a foster child will be more difficult. But it doesn’t have to be. Even if you spend less time with the children in your care than your partner, there is plenty that you can do to bond. Here are some ideas to help you.

Be Patient

Your journey with a foster child is bound to have some ups and downs. There’ll be days when everything seems great, and you feel as though you are bonded as a family unit. There might also be days when you feel as though you’ve taken a step backwards. This is all perfectly normal. Be patient, expect the ups and downs, get plenty of information on the fostering process from, and make the most of the good times.

Share Responsibilities as Much as Possible

Obviously, if you work and your partner stays home, you may spend less time at home with the kids, and some responsibilities will fall to your partner. But making an effort to share as much as you can, for example, doing the school run when you are home, having the difficult chats, dealing with conflict, and taking on chores, shows your foster child that you are a family unit, and that you are their carer as much as your partner.

Attend Everything

One of the best ways to bond with your foster child is to be there for them. For you, this might mean chatting to them about their day and comforting them when they are sad. But children tend to take those things for granted and notice the bigger things. They’ll notice if you don’t attend a parent’s evening or if you aren’t at their sports game. Try to be there for as much as you possibly can.

Talk to Them

When you are with your foster child, make sure you speak with them. Chat when you are driving them to appointments or social events. Chat over dinner. Even chat when you are just sitting at home. This way they’ll start to open up without either of you noticing.

Take an Interest in Them

One of the best ways for any carer to bond with a child is to take an interest in them and their hobbies and passions. Even if you have absolutely no interest in their favourite video games, let them tell you about them and ask questions to show that you are engaged.

Spend Some Time One-on-One

Enjoying family time is important, but if you want to secure your bond you should also try to spend some time alone together. Drive them to meet their friends so that you can chat in the car, and when you are free, try to do things that you might both enjoy.

Start Some Routines and Traditions

Routines are important when it comes to helping foster children settle, but they can also help you to form a bond. Things like always being the one to read to them, always making their breakfast or taking them swimming every weekend are great.

Bonding with a foster child might seem tough, but really, it’s just a case of showing up and engaging with them, which any parent can do.

Jeff Campbell