adoption phase v. professional intervention - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 12-16-2011, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Our foster child is acting out against authority increasingly. He's been with us nearly 2 years and is preadoptive (paperwork all in and we're waiting to fingerprint). We started him at a small preschool we love after his first 6 weeks in our home at the age of 3.5. He experienced neglect, but there's no record of other abuse. We worked closely with the lead teacher at the preschool and after a slow phasing in he began going 4 days a week. We've held that schedule consistantly  and he's done rather well. Now he's the oldest in the class (one room, montessori style stations, better ratios than state requires due to teacher trainees).


At home, he's been mostly fine. We've used a behavior chart to work through agressive responses to me and my older daughter which has worked in general. Now he's showing these tendencies in school towards others, including the teachers. It's not daily, but it's a few times a week. The lead teacher emphasizes this is one year behind developmentally despite his catching up in most every other way.


Our 8 year old daughter was adopted at 3.5 from Russia and I went through major tantrums with her outside of school. After many bouts of rage (predictably while walking home from school) over the first 2-3 years in elementary school, she's/we've got a handle on it. She's always been sweet/adorable/well behaved in school, so we did not seek extra help outside of a few visits to a psychologist who specializes in adopted kids as well as seek advice from her school. We never felt certain that the therapy visits were useful outside of confirming for us that she's well within normal range for her emotions and attachment.


Anyway, my big question is whether others have waited through these phases using all the professional techniques they've learned from professionals (in classes) and books? We've done this with our first because all the literature points to no avoiding these behaviors when dealing with trauma cases (even slighter ones like ours have experienced). I'm not anti-therapy, but I"m pro-developmental phases. I'm not sure if this makes sense...


By the way, this message finally came about after yesterday morning when he ratcheted up in the car over a toy he left at home. Pulled my hair while I was driving. I pulled into a park, sat next to him in the back seat after he'd calmed down and told him I cannot bring him to school when we're this angry with each other. He apologized and we reviewed coping options. Together we did a breathing and counting to 10 excercise, hugged and left when he said he was ready. Much of this was lead by me. The teachers are now on board with us for a behavior star chart I made at home. He'll get a star each day there are no tantrums and after 34 days, he gets to chose a special activity for us to do. It worked before for in the home. I'm just nervous that his behavior is now being seen iat preschool.


Back to work!



Mama to Ru cutie (a. age 3, fall 2006) and foster to adopt  wonder-child (arrived a. 3,  2010) 

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#2 of 3 Old 12-17-2011, 07:28 AM
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Sounds like you are dealing really wellsmile.gif   Are the teachers putting pressure on you to get outside help?


For us, we decided to get help because we could NOT keep our cool and manage the situation.  She would spiral out of control and then we would too.  We also could not get over our anger at her aggressive behavior and that carried over to when she was behaving.  When he acts out toward his teachers, is he able to calm down and accept being isolated until he able to rejoin the class?  If not, I would say it is time to get help.

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#3 of 3 Old 12-20-2011, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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He is able to calm down after separation. I'm working really hard to curb all of our negative behaviors. I feel like I have all the information I need, I just have to DO IT (better). Thanks for your feedback. I hear about kids who have behavioral issues and how their parents take them to therapy. Your phrase, spriraling out of control, is most helpful. We are able to regain calm on our own. It's just very tiring when we're in a phase of disequilibrium like now. Good for you to take the bull by the horns and ride it all the way through the gate. 

Mama to Ru cutie (a. age 3, fall 2006) and foster to adopt  wonder-child (arrived a. 3,  2010) 

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