Many foster families feel that since foster children are a part of the family they should also be included in family vacation plans too. So, if you are deciding whether or not to include your foster child on your next family vacation, here are some of the pros of taking along your foster child.
Time to bond as a family. – It's important for a child to have healthy attachments. Remember, if a child can attach to you, he can attach to anyone. A family vacation is a great time for a child to grow even closer to you and your family.
Create unique experiences and memories – Your family vacation may be the child's only opportunity to see the ocean or ride in an airplane. This can be another gift you can offer a foster child.
Yet another reward as a foster family – Foster parents know that being a foster family has many rewards - helping a struggling family, provide safety and comfort to a hurting child. Taking a child on a family vacation is another opportunity. It's wonderful for a child to see something new. It's almost better for the foster parent who gets to witness the child's wonder.
Family vacations are a normal part of growing up – Many foster children have missed out on the normalcy of family life. Families have fun together. Families argue. Families spend time together. Even if a family vacation turns out to be just horrible and stressful, isn’t that a normal part of the family experience? Give that to your foster child too.
Let them know that they are important enough to include – So many foster children struggle with feelings of low self-worth. What better way to let them know that they are an important part of the family than to include them in your family vacation plans.
Opportunity to be a part of the planning process – There are many valuable lessons to be learned while planning a family vacation, such as the location, the itinerary, and the financial planning. Many foster children feel out of control within their worlds and with good reason. Everything about their lives is planned by the adults around them from judges to social workers. Foster children can learn a lot from this process that will allow them to have some ownership, not only in the process, but perhaps in the outcome too. It's also a great opportunity to learn some needed life skills.
Get started with your Foster Family Vacation Planning with this checklist.