Honeymoon Period

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The first two weeks of a placement is called the "honeymoon period." During this time, you and your foster child are just getting to know each other. It's a period of adjustment for everyone.

First, don't baby the new child. Have her jump right into your routine. If there is something she doesn't want to participate in, tell her, "That's okay, but we're going to have lots of fun; and we'd really like you to join us." Tell her she can change her mind and help if she wants to. Try not to make her feel bad if she decides not to join in.

She's going to have "separation anxiety," and she will probably withdraw a little bit. This is especially true if she has been in more than one home. She may be afraid to attach to you because she thinks she will just lose another mommy. Keep reassuring her that you love her and she will always be a part of your family, even if she doesn't live in the same house.

The foster child most likely won't test her limits yet. She will want to get a feel for you; how you handle situations, how you talk to the other children, what sets you off. The best thing to do is always be consistent. You need to show that everyone gets treated the same way.

Always follow through. If you tell her she has to clean up her toys or she will have a time out, make sure she gets the time out if she doesn't clean up. Her biological parents may not have even acknowledged her, let alone paid attention to her. You are showing her things she may not have seen before - attention, discipline, and love. It will take a while for her to get used to it.

Credits: Wendi M. Sturgeon

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