7 year old in kinship care with aunt and uncle - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 36 Old 09-20-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yah I do get what you mean there, and it definitely got me to thinking.  I guess I just thought that since she went through a similar thing (adopted young, her mom died early) and her foster mother was tough on her.  Even now I see things like, where her mother will introduce her daughter to friends of the family, but not even mention my wife, even though she is standing next to her.  For me, I wouldn't made the biggest scene in the world, but my wife lets it go by because she is used to this sort of behavior from her foster mom.  It can't be easy to deal with and we could all say what we would do in the situation, but you just don't know.  Other times, she'll be really mad at me and then an hour goes by and everything is fine, even though nothing had been discussed.

 

We've been going to therapy for the past couple weeks, the therapist has been playing games with us, in an attempt to build an attachment.  We played "go fish" and everytime you picked up a card, there was another card to read with life experiences to share.  Some where you told sometime when you were bad and what your punishment was, or others where you just did a great job and deserve praise, etc.  Kinda seemed cool, but I think it all goes out the window when it comes to her wanting something, knowing if she screams loud enough and long enough, my wife will give in.  The other game, we played last week was "Sorry"  so if you knocked someone off the course, you would say sorry for something that you've done in the past that may have upset the other person.  I think our niece has the idea that if she says sorry, anything she had done is better now.

 

One thing, maybe someone could help me with understanding..  Every time our niece goes to her grandmother's for even 1 night, she comes back so defiant and stubborn, I'm ready to blow a gasket.   Last night I had to pick her up and carry her to room because she wouldn't move.  Told her 3 times, let's go to bed.. she wouldn't move.. i counted to 3, walked towards her room, tried to hold her hand to go with her.. wasn't happening without my carrying her.   Other times, we'll meet her grandma to pick her up, and she's barely in the car before she'll start yelling at my wife that she doesn't like this or hates her, or crying for something she was already told no for.. the list goes on.  I'd absolutely love to tell her grandmother that she's no longer allowed to stay over there, but we really need the break sometimes and there's nobody else to watch her. 

 

 

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#32 of 36 Old 09-21-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kmack1 View Post
Other times, she'll be really mad at me and then an hour goes by and everything is fine, even though nothing had been discussed.

 

That's how my brain works (I've got diagnosed ADHD) and I don't have a personality or attachment challenges.

 

 I think our niece has the idea that if she says sorry, anything she had done is better now.

 

I don't discount other things that are going on, but that's also part of being seven.

 

One thing, maybe someone could help me with understanding..  Every time our niece goes to her grandmother's for even 1 night, she comes back so defiant and stubborn, I'm ready to blow a gasket.   Last night I had to pick her up and carry her to room because she wouldn't move.  Told her 3 times, let's go to bed.. she wouldn't move.. i counted to 3, walked towards her room, tried to hold her hand to go with her.. wasn't happening without my carrying her.   Other times, we'll meet her grandma to pick her up, and she's barely in the car before she'll start yelling at my wife that she doesn't like this or hates her, or crying for something she was already told no for.. the list goes on.  I'd absolutely love to tell her grandmother that she's no longer allowed to stay over there, but we really need the break sometimes and there's nobody else to watch her. 

 

That happens with my DS (also seven and adopted) when he comes back from a sleepover at his younger sister's house. They have such a great time together, don't get as much sleep as they would at home, and then he falls apart afterward. I remember my sister doing the same thing.

 

 



 

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#33 of 36 Old 09-21-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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It must churn up so much emotion for her to go to her grandmother's home. All the loss, all the grief, all the mixed up feelings about her family. I wonder what it would be like to give her a lot of empathy for that when she returns, rather than expecting her to shift right into gear? Imagine if when you visited family it brought happiness but also intense pain....sort of like going to a funeral--you're happy to see loved ones, but really sad at the same time? You might be really off center for a couple of days afterwards and it might take you a while to get your groove back.

 

As well, any sleepover for some kids seems to churn up some dys-regulation--they don't sleep as well perhaps or it's just a different routine. What would it be like to take this into account and prepare ahead of time for her to re-enter with your support?

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#34 of 36 Old 09-21-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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I'm so glad you are all seeking the support you need.  This is really hard stuff and I can't imagine anyone who could do it alone.

 

Our daughter also has a lot of "but I said sorry..." moments, as though that makes anything she did prior to the "sorry" acceptable.  We've started having her make repairs to help her better begin to understand the consequences of her actions.  She hurts her sibling, and goes to get them an ice-pack or bandaid.  She throws a major tantrum, after she's calmed down she "repays" us energy by either drawing a picture, writing a note, or spending some special time with the parent she screamed at (purportedly as a favor to the parent: "I'm feeling tired from being yelled at, I think I'd like to play some uno.")  If something is broken she helps repair or replace it.  If I didn't get to cook dinner/do laundry/unload the dishwasher she helps with that task.  The idea is that it's something to do together that repairs either the physical or more emotional side of things that happened.  It might be worth looking into for you and your family.  It's been very helpful around here.  The key is that it's not a punishment in any way, it's a way to repair the damage that was done by her behavior.  What we're learning is that our daughter hates when she regresses to a 2 or 3 year old, she feels embarrassed after, and she wants to make things right but feels so awful and has learned no skills for how to address the situation.  It's become a lot easier for us to have empathy for her now, knowing that we as a family are able to repair it. 

 

As for the sleep-overs, I'm not surprised at all.  Some things that help us with transitions after either longer times away from us or anytime a birthparent visits (every few weeks around here!), is to have a very clear plan with the child about what we'll do when she returns: "you'll get back, say hello to us, and say goodbye to your mom.  Then we'll all go inside and watch a movie together.  Do you want cheese and crackers or chips and bean dip while watching the movie?" When our kids are out with their birthmom we've also realized that they often don't eat very well.  Lunch is usually fast food, and snacks usually sweets.  Drinks are whatever soda the grown-ups are drinking.  Or they just snack on junkfood and don't ever eat an actual meal.  Serving some whole grains, fruit, veggies, and/or protein has helped.  I'm not going to lie though, it's still a tough transition much of the time. 

 

 

 


Married to DH since 2006.  Adoptive mom to DD1 (June 2002), DS (Jan 2006), and bio mom to DD2 (May 2009).

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#35 of 36 Old 03-21-2012, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Been a while since an update, but finally a couple weeks ago we had a real Doctor do a full diagnosis on the niece.  We did discover she has a learning disability and ADHD.  

 

On a sad note, I've left home (it's been a week) because I can't deal with the yelling everyday, waking up to them screaming, the dog barking every morning.  Also, the children society will find a new home for the niece, hopefully with medication things will go well.  W wants to stay in contact with N regularly, while continuing to live with me. I asked her to check with the Dr. if that is going to be a good idea or not to continue a relationship with N.  I think that's a big move, I did say that I would not be upset if she decided to live her life with the niece, but she insisted on saving our marriage.   

 

On a side note, I am starting to think that I just might have ADHD as well.  As I do more reading on it, it a lot is making more sense! 

 

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#36 of 36 Old 03-22-2012, 04:37 AM
 
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I'm sorry that it came to that, Kmack, but glad that you asserted yourself about not willing to continue in the unhealthy situation. It's not like you were the only one who noticed that the placement wasn't going well. 

 

I'd suggest coming to an agreement with your wife about a "moratorium" on visits with N for a certain period - a month? - and then a trial visit. You two need to heal yourselves and your marriage before you can be the kind of rock-steady Aunt and Uncle figures that this child needs. I think it makes sense to back off initially, and then ease back into it and see if there's a place for you in her new life with her foster family. 

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