Your Quiet Foster Child

Submitted by PeterAKenny on August 11, 2020

You have had a new second-grade foster son or daughter for a month.  He is compliant but smiles rarely.  Very passive and says little.  All your overtures seem to have elicited short and unhelpful responses.  How can you connect?

Listen with your third ear. Become quiet yourself.  Observe.

Watch him play with handheld devices.  Does your child play games?  Ask him about them. Can she teach you any games?

How about other simple card games, like War?  Would he be interested in playing with you? 

Does she watch you doing things around the house?  In the kitchen?  Ask her for help.  Start with simple things like spreading a bit of cheese on crackers for family appetizers.  Or topping off vanilla wafers for family dessert with a dab of frosting. 

Does he follow you when you are performing home repairs?  Would he be interested in helping with any home maintenance?  Perhaps he could hold your tools and hand you one when you asked.

Can you spend some quiet time with your daughter fixing her hair?  Perhaps you will be able to share other beauty aids with her, like decorating her fingernails or skin care.  

Do you exercise regularly?  Are you a jogger or a runner?  If so, would he be interested in running with you? Or any exercise program that involves lifting or stretching.  Would he enjoy simply playing catch?  Or a one-on-one game of kickball? 

Do you sew or knit? Perhaps she would be interested in learning how to make a simple project.  Or repair a hole in her shorts.

Are you an amateur artist?  Is she interested in drawing?  If so, encourage any of her efforts. The longest journey begins with a first small step.  Take turns doing a shared drawing, even a silly one.

Hobbies offer a multitude of areas for mutual togethering.  Something that you are passionate about may be contagious.  Or she may simply want to please you. Watch and listen.  Her actions may suggest ways to connect where words fall short.   

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