Caring for children is fulfilling and fun, but it can sometimes be stressful and challenging. As a foster carer, you are in a unique position to help the children in your care, and over time, you’ll get a lot out of the experience too. But in the early days, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and like you don’t know what you are doing. However, you will overcome challenges, build rewarding relationships and start to enjoy yourself, but for that to happen, you need to build your confidence as a foster carer. Here are some tips to help you. 

Create a Support Network

If you are looking at fostering in Southampton or another city, there are bound to be plenty of other foster carers in your local area. Reach out using your agency and online to make friends with other foster carers and even with other parents. They’ll have plenty of shared experience, be able to offer tips and give you the reassurance that you need. You’ll also have a chance to see other carers making mistakes, which can help you to feel less alone. 

Get into Routines

Routines make things easier, especially if you care for young children and have to contend with school runs, after-school groups and classes, appointments, etc. Be flexible when you need to, but sticking to a routine as much as possible will help you to feel like you are in control, and everything is going well. 

Listen to Feedback

As parents and carers, we are always learning. Getting feedback from other people in your life and asking your foster children if they are happy and if there’s anything you could do to help them is a great way to learn. 

Take Classes

Taking classes and reading books can also help you to feel more confident. Classes like first aid can be a great way to feel more in control on days out with your foster children. 

Enjoy Family Days Out

Family days out are often easier than spending time at home. Plan some trips to zoos and museums and try not to stress. Enjoy your day and enjoy your foster children’s enthusiasm. This can be a significant confidence boost. 

Practice Gratitude

When caring for young children, it’s easy to get caught up in all the things that we have to do and forget all the things that we have to be grateful for. Spend a little time each evening thinking of three things you are thankful for. This will help you to see how well you are doing and offers a quick and easy confidence boost. 

Focus on the Positives

It can take a while for foster children to settle in, and you may struggle to bond. It can be easy to focus on the negatives while waiting for big breakthroughs, which can dent your confidence if it takes a while. Instead, focus on the smaller, daily positives, like the first time your foster child contributes to the conversation around the dinner table or tells you something about their day. These small milestones can boost your confidence and mood. 

Fostering is a fantastic way to grow in confidence as a carer and person as you watch the children in your care grow and develop. As your confidence grows, you’ll enjoy yourself and your time with your family.