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12 Days of Christmas Preparations for Foster and Adoptive Parents

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8 of 12

12 Days of Christmas Preparations: Day 8 - Eight Holiday Parties
A little boy unwinds with a fun book, taking a break from all the hustle and bustle of the season.

Sometimes children need a break from the excitement to unwind with a fun book.

Photo © Carrie Craft, licensed to About.com, Inc.

On the eighth day of Christmas Preparations, my true love gave to me:
Eight holiday parties,
Seven teaching moments,
Six memories a-haunting,
Five golden rules,
Four fighting kids,
Three snow days,
Two calling workers
and a well planned respite weekend.

It seems like in our family we have about 8 different holiday parties during the month of December. Here are a few that many of us face. No wonder December often brings weight gain!:

church Christmas party,
boy/girl scout Christmas party,
family Christmas party for one side of the family,
family Christmas party for the other side of the family,
work Christmas party,
foster care agency Christmas party
classroom Holiday party,
birth family holiday at a scheduled visit.

It adds up fast. Remember to take a moment and implement the following few rules to help prepare your child for any gathering.

  • Try to introduce your new foster children before the main holiday or family event. If this is not an option due to travel or time, try showing pictures of your extended family to your foster child and go through their names prior to the party.

  • Make sure to give the extended family time to be just with you and your child/ren. Consider busying the foster children with a game or movie to give your children time to visit with a visiting Aunt, for example. Some foster children are very attention seeking and may unknowingly leave little room for others to visit with family. This may cause hard feelings within your family.

  • Remember confidentiality. Most people care about the plight of children. Some may ask what seems to be harmless questions about why your foster children are in care, but to answer these questions would mean breaking the confidentiality of your foster child and his birth family. Politely tell your family that you appreciate their concern. Then explain how you know that they'll understand that keeping the child's past confidential provides them more security and respect.

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