Celebrating the Holidays as a Family


The holidays are one of the happiest times of the year, but, for foster and/or adopted children, it can also be a stressful time as issues may surface that don’t bring much joy. Here are some helpful tips to remember when planning your holiday with your foster and/or adopted children:

  1. Help Your Child Understand the Season: Depending on the situation in which your child came, the holidays may have been very different for your child. Take time to read holiday books or watch a good holiday movie that explains what the holiday season means to your family.
  2. Watch for Signs of Holiday Blues: Holidays can be a difficult time for many foster and adopted families. Sometimes holiday memories are the only thing that your child has left of a birth family. However, it can be a great time to bond and create new memories for your child.
  3. Prepare for Family Gatherings: Holiday family gatherings, big or small, can be a tough situation for introducing foster and/or adopted children to extended family. Try to introduce your child to family beforehand and go over basic manners or rules prior to the holiday get-together.
  4. Avoid Overstimulation: Try to keep holiday celebrations low-key and maintain a regular routine as much as possible. Be an advocate for your child by explaining to family members that your child can get overwhelmed easily so that they give him/her time and space as needed.
  5. Beware of the Perfect Holiday Trap: Remember that the holidays don’t have go perfectly as planned to be perfect for your family. The only holiday that is truly perfect is one where everyone feels loved and accepted.

With a little preparation and the tips above, holidays with your foster and/or adopted children can be a joy for all involved.

Article adapted from About Parenting.