Younger foster children that have been in a care giver role can be a little more difficult to work with. Since it has to do with their fears, need for consistency, and not fully understanding things. For most young ones in time with repeated routine they learn to accept you the foster parents as the care giver and learn to rely on you for that. This is something that will not happen overnight and will take time.
Remember, they need to learn that you will not hurt them and that they can trust you. They may not be able to do these things one hundred percent due to their past. From time to time you come across a few younger foster children that are unable to transtion into you being in the parental role. The children that are being cared for by siblings may also struggle with allowing you to parent them and continue seeking their older sibling to parent them.
I had a sibling placement of a boy (age: 4) and a girl (age: 3) where the brother was the care giver completely and both would become very upset when he was not in the parental role. In the very beginning she would not do anything unless her brother asked her to. For me this was very hard since I like my mother role and in this situation, I was viewed only as the maid.
In this situation explaining things in great detail and working out a compromise is not really possible. Setting clear boundaries is a must. There will be times that you will have to be the parent and do what is best for them even if that means forcing them to spend time separately
With the above mentioned siblings any kind of separation was traumatic for both of them. Before coming into foster care, they slept, bathed, and even needed to sit in the same chair together.
The brother would feed her himself, dress her, change her diapers and they only wanted to play with each other. Since they were in foster care he could not do a lot of these things because of the gender differences.
Baths and bedtime was horrible. I had to leave the door partly open when giving them a bath so that they could talk to the one receiving the bath while screaming and fighting the entire time. It was better than having one of them beating on the door, screaming while I gave the other sibling a bath which was how it was in the beginning. Bedtime was about the same thing, but with one of us at each door so that the children would stay in their own room and not get in the other one’s bed.