Instilling Healthy Habits in Foster Children: Difficulties and Solutions

All children can benefit from healthy habits unless there is a medical reason preventing them from doing so. That principle is just as true for foster children as it is for your own. There are, however, certain unique difficulties when it comes to instilling healthy habits in foster children. Irrespective of how effective and beneficial they might be, you might not be able to instil those habits in foster kids as easily as you would be in your own children. Read on as we discuss both the difficulties and possible solutions to them.

Limited Authority

There are legal constraints and limitations regarding how much authority you have over a foster child. They are most certainly needed to protect them, but some of them can also make it difficult to teach something new and beneficial to a child. The fact that children seldom prefer healthy habits by choice does not help either!

This is the part where patience and acceptance will come into play. Never attempt to force any rule or discipline onto a foster child, even if you believe it is for their own good. Accept what your limitations are with the foster kids, but don’t be impatient or give up. Whether you have them for a single week or five years, reinforcing good advice and helpful suggestions can do wonders.

Special Needs

If a child has special care needs, be it for medical reasons or because of prior trauma, most fitness and wellness related practices might not even be an option. They will often have more urgent needs that will take precedence over healthy lifestyle needs. Leaving a positive impact on any foster child requires experience and sometimes, specialised training.

For example, even special needs children can be taught healthy habits, but you will have to receive the necessary knowledge, experience, and training to safely impart them. If you wish to know more about your training options as a general or specialist foster care provider, contact your local agency for fostering in Yorkshire.

Limited Time

If you are relatively new to the foster care network, you should gain experience first with short term fostering. Unfortunately, this also means you will only get a few days or weeks to build any connection with the foster children. It is exceptionally difficult to impart any healthy habit onto a child who knows he/she will be moving on to a different foster home soon.

That does not have to be the outcome later on, because you can become a long term foster care provider later, that is after gaining the necessary experience. As a long-term care provider, you will be tasked with caring for the same child/children until the time they turn 18. It usually allows enough time to build the minimum bond necessary for developing a proper guardian-child relationship.

When your foster children know that they don’t have to change homes again soon, they are far more likely to listen. You can also choose to foster the child/children who have the best bond with you.


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