By Carol Jones
Moving to a new home has got to be the hardest thing a child in foster care does. Every new move has many possibilities, some good and some bad. New rules, some of them hard to understand, are imposed without explanation. Even if a child wants to be a rule follower he/she may fear they won’t know what the rules are.
Other fears are also very real for the child. Adults have not been trustworthy or even safe to be around. They may have done things to the child that were hurtful and even embarrassing to the child. This early bad treatment by the family that was supposed to love them and take care of them is not forgotten. The child can learn that you are different and that you can be trusted, but it takes time. The child may be an adult before he or she learns to understand completely what happened and how it affected them.
Respond to the child’s fears such as leaving the light on at night or wanting to sleep on the floor or even under the bed with understanding. These don’t have to be long term issues, don’t be rigid in your expectations. Faster kids will not be like the children you have raised, they will have their own ways to protect themselves until they feel you can protect them.