15th September, 2023
Sharing your hobbies and passions with your children is beneficial in so many capacities. It allows for quality time together and helps to build relationships. But for those considering fostering, perhaps who are approaching retirement and looking forward for some ‘me time’, sharing your hobbies is a great way of making a difference as well as carving out some time to do what you love.
Foster carer, Mark, always had a passion for cars, so when he made the decision to foster one of the first things he did was go out and by an old rally car, in disrepair and in sore need of some tender TLC. He rented a garage and when his young person came to stay, it became their weekend activity.
“He had so much energy, and had a hard time focusing in school. But when he was working on the car, it was incredible how it held his attention.”
The project worked, in both building relationships but also teaching his child how to fix engines, as well as giving a focus never seen before.
Restoring the car became a key ice breaker when any new child came to stay, and it had new and unexpected ways of benefiting the child. One girl who came to stay wasn’t so much into the car, but loved bikes. So, this became their ‘thing’ to do together.
Mark would help her to fix up her bike, and it nurtured her passion in return. He kept in touch with her after she left, and she is now in college doing a bike repair course.
Mark says that the key to sharing what you love with children is to be adaptive and find common ground. It’s only when the interest is shared that the endeavour works in building a bond.
In one such occasion, a young boy came to stay who had no interest in work on repairing the car. However, Mark remained unperturbed and discovered that while fixing cars was not interesting to him, he did love building and painting model cars.
This was something Mark could get on board with, they spent time together in Hobbycraft picking out new models, and constructing them together. Mark still has the paint on the kitchen table to prove it!
When you are sharing something that you love with a child, it’s your enthusiasm and passion which will excite them and make them want to learn with you if it’s also the right thing for them. Be patient and adaptable, there’s usually a middle ground.
However, what sharing your hobbies is really about, is that quality time together. Where a child feels involved, connected, and part of your world.
“Seeing them light up during that one-to-one time, it’s just so important to them.”
If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.