The activities listed below are not for every foster or adoptive parent or every foster or adopted teen. Only do the bonding activities that are comfortable for you and your teen foster or adopted daughter. These bonding activities include ideas for physical touch. Appropriate and safe physical touch is very important for healthy growth and development.
When trying to decide what parental bonding activities to do, keep in mind:
- Teen's Age - Chronological and Emotional
- Teen's History of Abuse and/or Neglect
- Comfort Levels - of not only the teen but of the foster or adoptive parent
- Safe Boundaries - some ideas below may not be appropriate for foster or adoptive fathers, depends on the teen's history of abuse and comfort
Please note that I'm not promoting these activities as a way to create an instant bond between you and your teen daughter. Bonding is a process that takes time. These activities are ideas that may help start the process of bonding.
Side Hugs - Easy way to incorporate a hug in an appropriate way.
High Fives - Non-threatening way to include physical touch and tell a child, "great job!"
Fist Bump - Like the "high-five" this may be more "now" and the teen may find it funny that you're such a dork to even try it.
Sit Near The Child - Watch a favorite TV show or read a book aloud.
Take a Walk - A great time to talk about life and find out what's going on in each others world.
Give a Pedicure or Manicure - Includes non-threatening physical touch and most girls enjoy being pampered.
Apply Make-up - Some teen girls could benefit from a quick make-up lesson. This could be a fun activity, especially if foster or adoptive mom allows the teen to apply her make-up.
Hair Lesson - Along the same lines of nails and make-up, doing each other's hair means more non-threatening physical touch.
Cook a Meal - Spending time in the kitchen with a kid does more than just feed a belly, it also feeds the spirit and mind. Learn more about working with children in the kitchen.
Clapping Games - Lots of physical touch included in this activity as you and your foster or adopted teen daughter enjoy leaning clapping games and rhymes.
Please use these links to help you find Jump Rope Rhymes or Clapping Games for you and your child to enjoy.
- Please remember to use your best judgment in choosing which rhymes to teach your child as some may not be appropriate for young children.
Teach to Knit or Crochet - More and more teen girls are getting interested in leaning how to knit or crochet. It's also includes minor physical touch. Encourage your teen girl to create something for herself or others as gifts.
Teach How to Play Golf, Softball, or Billiards - Choose any sport that your foster or adopted teen is interested in learning. This is a great way to spend time in an active activity that may include a bit of physical touch as you teach how to hold a golf club or catch a softball.
Teach How to Drive - Depending on a the teen's age, this is another way to spend quality time with a teen. What an exciting time in a teen's life.