"Helping him has made me a more patient person" - Sons & Daughters blog #20

A lot of people ask me as a foster sibling : “do you not just want your parents too yourself?” and the answer has always been the same. No.

I get so much out of being a foster sibling, take this weekend for example I went to the beach with my 13 year old foster brother Leon*. Me, my dad and Leon got splashed by the waves in a game of ‘chicken’ with the North Sea, lost £1:50 in 2p’s in the penny arcade and munched some hot chips on the sand.

Leon has autism and he is very quick to tell jokes, make up hip hop dance moves or freestyle raps (often rude or utterly silly, but also incredibly funny and witty) Leon took his scooter to the beach and he took 10 minutes every mile or so cleaning his scooter of sand, and although he says I am his best friend, he was quite clear I would die in horrible ways if I even touched his scooter. I think Leon likes it that I am able to challenge him about these things as I know it’s about him feeling safe and not actually about me.

I now have a new foster brother, Tyrese*, who is 7 and mixed race like me. He is very sweet and my friends ask how he is doing. Helping him with his reading and writing has made me a more patient person. I have really enjoyed teaching him how to skip with a skipping rope. I know he struggles to make friends at school so feel great that I have helped him be better at something like skipping so he won’t get so frustrated at school.

It’s very upsetting when he tells me about his early life that was very tough, but I talk to mum and dad about it and know I can help him by making sure we have as much fun as possible.

Larnia, 12

*not real names