Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Bumpy Ride

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The cutlery shelf after I slammed the dishwasher closed one morning. Not my finest moment.

Here we are again, back in Negativity Land (or Reality, whichever you choose to call it). It got pretty bad, like crying every evening bad, then we got some respite, which helped. Then it was even worse after that (to be expected). Slight improvement this last couple of weeks, but we’re on the verge of a final decision about the kids’ future, probably not the one they want, so things are likely to get pretty messy.

As usual, the kids’ behaviour isn’t the problem, it’s my attitude and response. I have shouted far more than I care to admit, I have let my frustration show too easily without taking a step back to breath. I’ve been watching lots of videos, reading articles, trying to let advice and encouragement sink in. I’ve examined myself and my emotions, which can be pretty uncomfortable (try saying, “I just don’t want them in our lives anymore” and not feeling like the most uncaring person on the planet) and am endeavouring to change my interactions from ’emotional’ to ‘conscious’. I desperately want them to feel safe, loved and protected, but I have no idea if I’m conveying that to them.

All the while, the uncertainty of the future looms over us. They could leave within a week (highly unlikely), a month (very unlikely), or a year (looking more likely every day). We are not their long term solution, and as going home is increasingly unlikely (oh did I mention it changed? After expecting them to leave within a few weeks, the social worker changed her mind) finding long term foster carers for 3 children aged 8, 7 and 6 is hard. I mean, one child for at least 10 years is a lot to commit to, let alone three. And whilst they don’t present with any huge behaviour issues, they are kids, and there are three of them…

I’ve been reminded in the last week or so that this is not the kids fault. They did not ask for this. They wholeheartedly do not want to be in fostercare. That doesn’t make the rudeness and disobedience OK, but it does change one’s perspective on and attitude towards it. And as that all ramps up a gear in the next few weeks (just in time for the Easter holidays…greeeat) if they’re given the news today, we need to be there for them. Not correcting them (which I am far, far too quick to do), not yelling at them, rather loving and listening to them as they deal with the prospect of not returning home 😦

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Plodding on

Just read through my last few posts – what a bleak picture…! Although it does reflect fairly accurately where things are at.

It’s carried on being tough the last few weeks – the defiance increases, seems to be contagious, has pushed me almost over the edge – but I think much of that is my attitude. am feeling down in the dumps about all this, don’t have a ‘connection’ with the kids, it’s all me me me. And this should not be about me. So let’s focus on some of the positive things that can be talked about…

1) Noticing change

If I think back to those first few weeks, the Least Small Person would rarely give hugs. Now, he happily climbs on my husband’s knee at storytime and frequently comes up to give you a hug (sometimes at the most awkward of times, but again, this is not about me). Middle Small Person’s hair has become thicker and has more life. Smallest Person can now read confidently (if a little reluctantly) and recognise split digraphs and work them out.

2) Achievements

Least Small Person passed Stage One of swimming after 4 weeks of lessons. Middle Small Person now isn’t far off. Least Small Person got Star of the Week. He also is on track to pass a pretty tricky national phonics test in a couple of months time – not somewhere he would have been a couple of months ago.

3) Friendships

The older two in particular have blossomed in their friendships at school. They’re also learning how to interact appropriately with other children their own age (rather than, you know, poking them and pretending to be a cat…).

4) Little Moments

We find ourselves laughing affectionately at the little things that they do, like Smallest Person’s tiptoe-jump-walk, or Middle Small Person cycling with a huge grin on her face through a puddle, or when Least Small Person made it up the climbing wall at the park. These sometimes feel few and far between, but I’m sure I’d see more of them if I only looked.

There is much to be thankful for.  They are doing so well, and with a few turbulent weeks likely to be ahead, it’s good to reflect on how far they’ve come.

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