Every decision is more significant and has to be carefully analyzed before it is made when you are taking care of foster children. One moment that can give foster parents a bit of a headache is deciding if they should take foster kids on a family vacation or not.
Fostering children is a difficult road to travel, but the joy and experience it can bring to everyone involved are just as great. Children of all ages need to feel included, nurtured, with a sense of belonging. The following are a few reasons why you should definitely take foster children on a “family” vacation.
The Mental Perks for Foster Children
No one has all the answers regarding foster children. Many states are still figuring out how to take care of foster children. For example, some states are starting to allow and even encourage foster parents to give foster kids the kind experience other children their age might have. One of those experiences is family vacations.
Family vacations are activities that most regular children participate in, and it is crucial that foster kids get to experience this because it gives them normalcy. Family trips offer children an opportunity to experience something new.
It forces kids to interact with others, which helps develop cognitive skills related to social interactions. These vacations also foster long-lasting memories a person can resort to when times are difficult.
Stress-Relieving Family Vacations are Heaven-Sent
It is no secret that some foster children have gone through a lot. The stress these kids have experienced can lead to developmental issues that could leak over into their adult lives. Trying to find a way to help these kids find peace and relieve some of that stress is vital, which is yet another reason why foster parents need to consider bringing these children along on family vacations.
Foster children may have a number of ways to decompress during a family vacation depending on where it takes place. For example, vacations that take place in areas that are mostly surrounded by nature can be very therapeutic for kids because nature seems to calm the mind. It should be noted that the excitement of traveling also helps alleviate stress since it releases dopamine and other stress-inhibitors in the brain.
Parents should not let the fear of spending too much on this trip keep them from doing the right thing. This is especially true since foster parents get paid different amounts depending on how many children are being fostered, how long they have been fostering, and how qualified they are.
Igniting Curiosity for a Better Future
It may not seem that important, but employers are looking for a healthy, curious heart. This particular personality trait can lead to innovation, which is something that employers want within their company. The problem is that curiosity is not always promoted, but that does not have to be the case.
Taking children on family vacations on various occasions can help promote curiosity in a number of ways. For one, these trips can help kids see something different, which naturally tickles their curiosity bone. Imagine going to the beach and seeing a dolphin or other marine animal swimming in the ocean. These things and happenings at the beach can help answer some of the child’s curiosity. It makes some of these children interested in exploring their new surroundings.
These types of trips could also make children curious about people. Excellent social skills will help in the long run, and these skills can be developed when the child is interested enough to learn more about others.
Experience Should Create a Stronger Bond
Children in this situation sometimes have trouble forming bonds with others. Gifting a child with this kind of experiential gift has been shown to help nurture emotional bonds. It may not seem like a good idea to nurture bonds, especially when parents aren’t sure if the child is going to remain in their custody long, but it is actually very beneficial.
Emotional bonds encourage the development of traits like empathy among many other things. These are crucial traits that can help a child become a much better person when he or she grows up. Most parents want to feel like their contribution to this world is a good one, and this is one way to ensure that happens.
Of course, another reason to try to include foster children in these types of trips is to break the ice and help the kid not only form a bond with the foster parents but for the parents to also develop a relationship with the child.
Family Vacations Could Help Crack a Tough Cookie
Vacations like these also give children an opportunity to open up. Foster children can hide their emotions or thoughts quite successfully with the help of gadgets among other things. This is something that children will not be able to do so easily during family vacations where the point is to socialize with others.
As mentioned earlier, family vacations should help enrich a child’s social skills, but it should also allow a child to be more emotionally available since all there is to do during a vacation is talk to each other. Doing something that the child has always wanted to do but has felt too shy to voice is a good way to start cracking that shell. Going to a theme park like Disney World is an example of one such popular destination. But don’t make assumptions about where your foster child wants to go; let them choose. These vacations offer parents the chance to use varying personalities to try to get through to the children if previous efforts failed.
Sometimes, a child will only respond to one type of person rather than another, so this is a good way to try to get through to a child that is a bit closed off.
Keep in mind that the hard exteriors some children create are often a defense mechanism and are hard to penetrate. It is okay for some parents to feel overwhelmed by a kid who doesn’t want to open up, which is the ideal time for a vacation where foster parents can tag in a little extra help from time to time.
The drawbacks may be there, but that does not mean that they outweigh the positive outcomes of taking your foster child on an unforgettable, but important, experience that can be highly beneficial to their development.
Planning a perfect vacation to take your foster children on? Find the perfect vacation rental for your next trip.