Self-esteem and how you feel about yourself are important for everyone.
A person with high self-esteem is usually confident and has a positive outlook.
It is normal for children to go through times where they feel low in self-confidence, but this is more common in foster children.
Foster children haven’t always had the best start in life, causing them to struggle with self-doubt and worry.
However, as a foster parent, you can do things to support your foster child through this transition period and help build their self-esteem to feel confident and able in any situation.
Want to know what you can do to boost your foster child’s self-esteem? Here are five fun activities.
Children grow in confidence when they know that they are good at something.
As a foster parent, you should encourage your foster child to explore their hobbies and interests.
For example, if you have noticed that they enjoy music, you could sign them up for a class to learn an instrument.
Or if they show an interest in sports, you could support them in going to a club. This is great for socialising and meeting new friends too.
2. Spend quality time together
Never underestimate the power of quality time. Many foster children may not have spent much one-on-one time with a parent or guardian figure before, so they might need extra care and attention.
Schedule time every day with your foster child. This quality time will help build their trust in you and make them feel more comfortable and confident in their new setting.
You can use this time to do anything from reading, colouring, playing games, going to the park, or even talking.
If you are unsure of what activities to do together, the team at Clifford House is always on hand to support you through your fostering journey.
3. Create a recipe and cook it
Food is a fun way for a child to express themselves. It is also something that your foster child may not have been able to explore or experiment with before.
Giving them the control of inventing a recipe and then cooking it together is a fun, confidence-building activity.
Dishes that are fun to make include pizza, pasta, and desserts. You can enjoy the results together and talk to your foster child about what they might change next time. This inspires them to think creatively, boosting self-esteem.
4. Packing for a trip
Going on a day trip is a new experience for many foster children. You can boost their confidence and excitement by encouraging them to pack the bag for your next day out.
Once they are all packed, you can check the bag and prompt them about any items they might have missed in an inspiring way.
If they’ve forgotten to pack a sunhat, you could ask ‘Do you have everything you need for hot weather?’ instead of ‘Where is your hat?’.
5. Keep a self-esteem journal
Encouraging your foster child to keep a self-esteem journal with a positive focus can help to build their confidence.
Journalling is a great way to give kids a chance to learn about their thoughts and feelings.
You could ask your foster child to list three positive things that happened that day, the things that make them feel proud of themselves, what they enjoyed about the day, and goals they would like to achieve.
Encourage your child to journal on the bad days, too, as this reminds them that no matter how hard things get, there is always something good in everything.
Self-esteem is so important for every child. It gives them the confidence to try new things, helps them to feel proud of what they’ve achieved and provides them with an inner confidence that allows them to be forgiving when they make a mistake, and try again until they succeed.
And while most children will begin building self-esteem from babyhood, through the positive attention and care they receive from their parents, sadly, many children and teenagers in foster care will have missed out on this growth. Fortunately, self-esteem can be raised though.
Remember to make your foster child feel supported through every step of their journey. Praising them and taking an interest in their development will help to boost their self-esteem. If you need further help or support, reach out to your fostering agency.
Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.