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temporary custody of my neice

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

About 3 weeks ago, I got temporary custody of my 3 year old neice, Brianna, due to her mom being arrested for too many bounced checks.  Though my sister is going to be out of jail at the end of this month and will have Brianna back, I am worried that this transition will stress Brianna out even more.

She was very upset when mommy didn't come home one day and then had to stay with me.  Though she is comfortable with it now, I am worried that she will get aggitated and throw more tantrums, delay potty training even more, etc, when her mom comes back.

 

How can I help her with this transition at the end of the month?

post #2 of 9

I think you're right that Brianna's mom's return, and another shake up in her living circumstances, are likely to stress the little girl out.  Moving stresses everyone, especially little kids.  And I think you're probably exactly right about what form that stress will take - tantrums, potty regressions, and so on are common expressions of stress in children that age.  She may have a few hours or a few days of "honeymoon" angelic behavior first, but she's going to get to the less pleasant stuff eventually.  Fundamentally, however, her mom's return is a good thing (yes?), and this rocky transition is temporary. 

 

What might help?

- Talk to her about her mom coming home.  When will it happen?  What will it be like?  Where will she and her mother be living?  Who else will be there? 

- Expect this stuff and deal with it calmly.  Talk to her mother about what she was like the first few days with you, not in a "your child was so awful!" way, but to let her know what your coping strategies looked like, so that she can make use of them too, and so that the behavior doesn't come out of the blue to her.

- Stay involved.  Obviously, you're a very involved aunt, and you've stepped up for your niece at a very difficult time.  Let her know that you'll still be around, and that she can rely on you.

- Ask her how she's doing, and listen to the answer.  She's three, so she may not be all that good at saying what's up, but listen to what she does say, offer her lots of comfort when she seems upset.

- Make sure she eats and sleeps enough at regular intervals.  Nothing adds to drama like a kid who needs a snack or a nap.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Meepy,

 

Thanks for all the great advice!  I will definetly have to talk to Brianna about all of this.  I found a book for kids at the library that also talks about if mommy or daddy are in jail, so I hope that helps too!.  Thanks again!

post #4 of 9

Have you checked in to groups that offer support to kids/families of people who are incarcerated?  If you call the facility your sister is at, they may have a list in your area.  I was a corrections officer at a women's facility for awhile, and there were several organizations that we tried to plug both the families AND the residents into.
 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

Have you checked in to groups that offer support to kids/families of people who are incarcerated?  If you call the facility your sister is at, they may have a list in your area.  I was a corrections officer at a women's facility for awhile, and there were several organizations that we tried to plug both the families AND the residents into.
 

I will look into this.  My sister gets out of jail next Thursday.  So far, Brianna is excited about mommy coming home next week, but is also scared that she will go away again (which won't happen).

post #6 of 9

Why will that not happen?  I would think this would be a very common fear for kids whose parents are in jail.  I am glad she was only there short term and truly hope you are right that she will not go back and be able to raise her daughter.
 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of your wonderful help.  This forum is awesome!

 

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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

Why will that not happen?  I would think this would be a very common fear for kids whose parents are in jail.  I am glad she was only there short term and truly hope you are right that she will not go back and be able to raise her daughter.
 

Hi!  The reason it won't happen again is because my Mom told my sister that if she ever did this again, she would no longer have custody of Brianna, according to the courts (this has happened twice since Bri was born).  My sister is wanting to turn her life around for the better, so I really, really, hope this doesn't happen again.

post #9 of 9

I hope for her daughters sake she is right!  
 

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