Life as a foster carer!
During a time of social distancing and lockdown, we all have many bridges to cross and must keep calm and carry on.
Even when everything has to change our foster carers are up for the challenge, it is great to have a real insight into what life is like, it is also important to remember all of the accomplishments, memories and triumphs that can be achieved in a good family home during a very unique time.
This is an insight from one of our amazing foster carers during this time.
Lockdown can be difficult when children are anxious and have special needs. I can tell first thing in the morning what mood mine are in. Yesterday, B was up for some maths work and O did not want to do anything written.
Firstly, we all sit at the table and discuss what we are going to do. I then write a simple timetable on a whiteboard. We try and do maths first then have a snack break.
If the weather is good, then its playtime.
The next session before lunch can be tricky so we try and do art or reading.
We are all reading Harry Potter books together. All the children read out loud.
With O, yesterday she did more practical things, so made sausages rolls, which everyone had for lunch. She then made sock animals. I allow her to do this.
We then leave school-work for another day.
My children are all at different schools. R has not been sent a great deal but is concentrating on his maths. He does an hours’ worth of maths each day. O has an over whelming amount of work sent as the school has sent work for a whole term. We will gradually work through this, when her anxiety is low.
B has three pieces of work set each day. We are gradually working through. I have printed all his work and have put it in a folder.
It’s a Juggling act, but O just finished her maths with R’s help. Her marks have never been so high! ?
It is not worth raising the children’s anxieties by insisting that they complete the school-work.
I also try to hide the fact it is school-work and try and make it fun. E.g. the sausage rolls was school work!
We then will have a family-time film and everyone has an ice cream or popcorn. This will be a rainy-day activity.
Every day we have a walk and go on our bikes or scooters. We have trampoline time and football or badminton. Our garage has become a mini gym; we have a rowing machine, weights and have recently added a boxing bag for B.
I am missing swimming so much. This is usually my thinking, head space. I try and have a field walk on my own but it’s not the same. I have also equipped myself with lots of books that I will gradually read. With my post-adoption group, we have set up a remote group for these times – we all have our challenges and these parents know what we are going through.
We are supporting each other and sharing tips that we have learnt from NVR (non-violent resistance).
Also, our neighbours are brilliant. We have a neighbourhood watch group which is very active. Recently we had a toast at 3pm, for VE day.
Yes, we are just trying to make lockdown a happy experience.
I have just been sent a kindness calendar which I will send on to Chrysalis Care to share with other foster carers, which is also a lovely message for our children.
Finally, before I sign off, I want to say, “take care and safe….and thank you.”
With all good wishes