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5 Tips to Connect with Your Kids as a Resource Parent

Connecting with your kids – biological or not – can be tough sometimes! We get it; kids are always changing and in their early years, it seems like they grow up in a flash, right before your eyes. What was their favorite food one day they can’t stomach the next, and it seems like their favorite color changed every five minutes. If you’re struggling to connect with your kids, we have some tips for you that could help bridge a better connection and help you feel closer to one another.

Make Time for Them

One of the most important things you can do for your children – whether you are a resource parent or not – is spend time with them. Especially undivided time; this is how your kids will feel the most heard by you, and the most connected to you. Everyone has probably had that parenting moment, you’re cooking dinner, making an appointment on the phone, and your kid is droning on about what happened at school that day. All you can muster is “uh-huh” and “yeah?” until the story is finished. While that is totally okay and even normal, you want to make sure that you balance those moments with moments of undivided attention so your child feels connected to and loved! 

Share Your Feelings Openly 

In addition to making sure your child feels heard, sharing your emotions together can be a great way for them to feel like they can know you and be better connected to you too. Rather than shutting your child out or giving them the cold shoulder in pursuit of protecting them from your emotions, let them know gently that you’re feeling frustrated and why. They will learn to listen to others, gain empathy skills, and feel more connected to you seeing that you are a human being and you have bad feelings sometimes too. 

Physical Contact

If your child is open and comfortable with it, physical touch can help in establishing your emotional connection with your child. Children will have obviously had different and individual experiences, so this is something that your Social Worker can support you with. If it is deemed appropriate, start small! Give them hugs and hold their hand to show them that you are there for them and allow them to feel secure and safe in your home and in your presence. 

Share a Hobby

This one is fun! Find a hobby that the two of you enjoy. Share something each week, or once a month, that you can both enjoy. Really try to understand what they would like to do – maybe it’s something quiet and calm like putting together puzzles, maybe it’s a T.V. show that you both enjoy watching, or maybe it’s a physical activity like hiking or riding bikes. Whatever it may be, spending time together through a shared hobby is one of the best ways to grow closer together and ensure you are getting that undivided quality time together. Quick disclaimer: the activities you can and should do will depend on the age of your child – it’s easier to share a hobby with a teenager or young adult, so this would be a creative way to connect with a teenage foster daughter or son.

Build Trust

It’s tempting to keep your children on a short leash to protect them from everything scary in the world. However, building trust with your child and allowing them room to make small mistakes and grow on their own can bring you closer together, while excessive strictness can push you apart. It truly is an art to find balance, but we know that as you employ these tips, you and your children – both biological and foster – will grow closer than ever! This doesn’t come quickly – especially if a child or young person has had a hard past and struggles with trust issues. Trust takes time, but there are some things you can do to try and gain their trust. Perhaps allowing them to do new things on their own, or maybe by sharing some of your personal information with them, so they feel that you trust them in turn. 

We hope that you enjoy these tips and we admire you for searching for ways to grow closer to your children. Enjoy your shared hobbies and quality time together! From the Kamali’i family to yours, stay safe and healthy!

Kamali'i Foster Family Agency
Corporate Office:
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Riverside County Office
31772 Casino Drive, Suite B
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Voice (951) 674-9400
San Diego County Recruitment and Training Center:
Office Hours: By Appt. Only
145 Vallecitos de Oro, Suite 210
San Marcos, CA 92069
Voice (760) 761-4300