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I need all of your honest opinions on this. We are foster parents as well as have three bio children of our own....We are also in the process of adopting our son that we've had since birth (he is now 20 months).<br>
He has been having severe temper tantrums in the last several months. He was drug exposed as a baby. Two of our social workers from our agency came out today to offer some "support and advice" for how to deal with our son's tantrums. OK....so when they showed up....ds was sleeping and woke up by the sound of the door opening....I asked ds if he wanted a bath (since we had just come home from the park a little earlier) he said yes and I put him in the kitchen sink while I was talking to the SW. The water was cold (my other ds used up most of the hot water from his bath) so I asked ds if he wanted to get out....he said no...so i let him play in the sink while we were talking....then SW proceeded to tell me I shouldnt just let him have that kind of control and I should have TOLD him it was time to get out and taken him out. I told her at that point it wasnt a big deal as I didnt need him to get out right that moment and he enjoys his bath. She then proceeds for the next two hours to tell me that I've been inconsistant since he was a baby....not setting boundaries for him.....she told me I shouldnt have let him sleep in our bed...I should have let him cry it out....I held him too much, I should have put him down and showed him boundaries....etc.....IN the midst of all this, she tells me that in order to stop his terrible tantrums that he throws, I need to get a pack and play and put it in my living room....when he starts screaming, tantruming or taking things from my other children, I should put him in there...in the living room and walk away and let him tantrum...ignore him...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I told her that sounded extreme and she said, If i would have been better at boundaries, he wouldnt be this bad now.....She also told me that if I dont set very very firm boundaries for him now...(basically implying I should not give him any control) then he will wind up getting kicked out of kindergarten and nobody will want to play with him.....<br>
AT one point, he took the baby's bottle and walked away with it.....SW asked me why I didnt stop him and I told her, the baby wasnt drinking it and since the baby moved in ( a few months ago), ds has regressed and has wanted a bottle, so we give him one and hold him to help him feel secure....she told me he doesnt need a bottle and especially not taking it from the baby...that is teaching him that it's ok to take things from others and that im' failing him as a mother...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I agree I shouldnt let him take the baby's bottle (even when the baby's done) and I will not allow him to do that anymore...but I told her I will still offer him his own bottle......she told me that was not wise.....he is a big boy and can use a cup.......(i wanted to tell her, If i was bf'ing him, i would still be doing it...so why is a bottle a bad thing.). Mamas, I feel like such a failure! I constantly question my parenting abilities....I have five children and have had 14 foster children in the last two years....and all that time....this sw has pointed out that I hold the babies too much, i'm not firm enough with the toddlers, etc.....<br>
She insists that ds is manipulative and can cognitively understand sooooo much and yet she tells me not to dialogue with him....that when he's doing something wrong, dont say a word...pick him up and put him in time out without explaining it....she says he cant reason...huh? Ok, he isnt smart enough to understand why he's getting in trouble but is manipulative to get in trouble???? I dont get it......<br>
She reprimanded me for trying to redirect ds when he tried to take a toy from other ds's hand....she told me I should have removed ds from the room and told him no...and not "offered him another toy".....was that right? I thought I was supposed to redirect....that's what the training said....and now I"m getting from her that I should be drill sergeant with him...UGHHHHHHH....help mamas.....how do you deal with 20 month old tantrums? How do you deal when they try to hit their sibs? How do you deal when they throw their food at the table?? (she suggests taking him down and not giving him another chance to eat til the next meal!!!!!!) Am I too easy? If he hits, I tell him no and tell him that hurts and try to redirect and move him to a different location.....but I'm certainly not going to contain him in a cage.....ughhhhh sorry, i'm rambling...I"m just crying as i'm typing this because I felt so attacked today.......thanks for listening.....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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oh how frustrating!! you sound like you are doing a great job. 20 month olds as you know, are diffucult sometimes-they are learning!! it takes time!! they need to be reminded many times before they get it-<br>
that woman sounds like a nut case!!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb"> good luck to you!!!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
You sound like you're doing a GREAT job and she doesn't seem to know anything about child development.<br><br>
Keep up the good work mama.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I'm not sure if this SW has any control over your situation. She can't take the kids away b/c she disagrees with your parenting right?<br>
If she doesn't realy have much power that way I would deal with her the way I deal with my ped. Smile and nod and keep life as usual when she's gone. You are doing the right thing...She is on a power trip.
 

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Okay, dd is just now coming up to her 1st birthday, so I don't have real experience here. What I wonder though is if you are so horrible then why do they keep sending you more foster kids? I also question the definition of boundaries as punishment. I don't think they're synonymous.<br><br>
I will say one thing about the pack n play. Sometimes it is a more effective redirect than trying to get her interested in an alternative toy. We do use it when we can't find any other solution. But I never leave dd alone for any length of time. We put her in it when we're eating, eg, and she keeps grabbing the plates etc. The first maybe 3 times, she cried for a few minutes, but she got used to it faster than I would have thought, and now she just plays quietly and talks to herself. But it's right by us, we talk to her frequently. I don't like it to seem like punishment, but as a practical way that we can sit down and eat. As soon as we're done we take her out, and if we don't, she cries, and we respond.<br><br>
the thing about not eating till the next meal is way too harsh. The kid will be hungry for hours after he will have forgotten why. People who raise their kids that way really scare me. I'm sure you know with so much childcare experience that following your instincts is way more important than following a method or imposing strict rules.
 

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My guess is that you have raised more children than she has, and that she is power tripping, as a pp said. I think she is treating you terribly, nit-picking at every little thing you do. You sound like a great mother to me.
 

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Is there anyway to report her? I dread to think how many people may have listened to her cruel suggestions.<br><br>
When ds1 threw tantrums, I offered to hold him.He usually refused, so I would sit next to him, empathize if he seemed receptive (iy usually set him off more, for some reason, though), and wait for him to work it out/indicate he needed more than just my company.<br><br>
You were totally right with the toy thing.<br><br>
ds1 didn't have sibs, but for hitting in general, we'd grab his hand and stroke whatever he was going to hit while saying "gentle" or "gentle touch". Eventually we just had to say it (most of the time).<br><br>
You're doing good and that sw has no idea what she's talking about. She sounds like she not only doesn't understand children, she also doesn't like them.
 

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THe SW clearly doesn't know much about child development. If you really want to respond to her you could create a pamphlet about co-sleeping and how it promotes independence, GD, how CIO is developmentally damaging, etc. Otherwise you could ask for another SW, tell her thanks for her input and ignore it, or tell her you find the way she speaks to you very insulting. Clearly you have experience raising children. Who does she think she is telling you all the stuff you're doing "wrong"? She's trippin'.<br><br>
edit: I wanted to add that it sounds like you're doing a great job. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Oh mykdsmomy I feel so sorry for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s It is awful to be attacked. You sound like a great mama and a wonderful caring person and that woman should take classes from you.<br>
I understand the way you feel. Even when deep down I know that I know better, attacks always put me down. That shouldn't be so though! Attacks are just opportunities to teach other people, to help other people, and in the process we can ourselves grow and become a better person. If you can see it from this perspective, that this woman really needs your help to do her job better and that you can open her eyes, her next visit will be less horrible.<br>
I am posting a link to two leaflets about tantrums that you can show the lady when she comes next time (I posted them yesterday in another thread so I hope people forgive me for being repetitive).<br><br><a href="http://www.carolinaparent.com/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2005-02-01&-token.story=113584.112112&-token.subpub=" target="_blank">http://www.carolinaparent.com/1edito...-token.subpub=</a><br><br><a href="http://www.carolinaparent.com/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2005-01-01&-token.story=109795.112112&-token.subpub=" target="_blank">http://www.carolinaparent.com/1edito...-token.subpub=</a>
 

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This woman sounds like a whack job. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br><br>
I agree with a pp who suggested looking into reporting her. Her advise is downright cruel.<br>
I'm all for encouraging some boundaries and limits with kids- but I don't think that being mean has any part in that.
 

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I think you should send what you just wrote in this forum (maybe with a little editing to make it a letter form) to her supervisor and the agency's psychologist. Usually, agencies also have a consulting psychologist or an on-staff psychologist to help foster parents deal with "problem" behavior. If this is a state or federally funded agency in the US, the advice she gave you would be considered completely inappropriate and she might be subject to some re-education or disciplinary action. She needs it.
 

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Ugh. I cannot imagine trying to parent my children with someone standing over me critiquing my every move. What a pain in the behind! You are doing fine. She is over-the-edge. 20 months is still a baby, and its fine to be laid back. I wish I could be as laid back and patient as you are! I'll tell you what else, if you start getting all tense and drill-seargentish, his anxieties are going to sky-rocket and you will have bigger problems than you do now. You sound like the perfect sort of mama for this little boy.
 

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I'd find articles and print them out for her with experts you disagree with her opinions. There are great things out there on why we should hold our children a lot (promotes IQ) and many experts who recommend distraction. Handling tantrums- well there are a million opinions on that. Have a packet of materials ready for her so she can tell you're an educated parent who isn't available to be pushed around by a know-it-all supernanny type. Ask her if she can site her sources for all of her recommendations or if they are just her personal opinions and if she can find current medical information and is qualified to over-rule experts like Dr. Sears, etc.<br><br>
For example if questioned about why I am breastfeeding my 23 mo., my reply is "You disagree with the Surgeon General about breastfeeding needing to be for 2 years? Really? And the WHO and the AAFP? Wow, what is it that causes you to take such a contradictory stand to basically all the major medical organizations out there?" It kind of puts a stop to self-declared experts when I know all my sources on why I do what I do.<br><br><a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/</a> - look under the discipline and the fussy baby sections.<br><br>
Also I know almost every expert will tell you that distraction is the way to go.<br><br>
You should really challenge this SW as to whether or not this is a "my experts vs. your experts" issue or whether or not the government really recommends not holding and is anti-distraction. I think she has overly-critical issues. I'd report her and ask for another SW who will be helpful and not come out for a power-trip.
 

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I'm tearing up as I read this. It seems as though you were the victim of a power trip. I really feel this woman has a personal issue with you or you parenting style. Is there a way to be re assigned a different SW? Your DS sounds just like my younger DS who is now 4. (he was not drug exposed) If you have time you should read "Raising Your Spirited Child". It has made all the difference in our home, I wish I knew about it sooner. Back to you, you are obviously a very giving and able person. Feel the grief over the "old school" parenting attack and then go back to following your heart and instincts. It's very easy to sit down and watch someone parent and criticise them. The tough work is finding the heart to do that parenting every day.
 

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It sounds like you are doing beautifully. I did daycare with a wee girl who didn't *appear* to be responding to any of the GD style care her mother and I were consistently using (and I agree - it CAN look inconsistent to an outsider when we let children have control of specific scenarios). We worked with one specialist who leaned towards rigid boundries and while it looked like it was effective K's mother was worried she was losing her spirit.<br><br>
We got support from a different therapist (she was speach delayed, had severe tantrums, and showed signs of autistic spectrum disorder) and stayed with the GD goals - we did put a clear plan in place that reflected those values though.<br><br>
Stay strong in what you believe and use the language that goes with GD - if it sounds like you know what you are talking about rather than looking wishy washy you will look as in control as it certainly sounds like you are<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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WHAT??? omg what a fruit loop. clearly she didn't have many child development classes in her SW program. or she slept through them. first of all, don't do anything she suggested. LOL secondly, i agree that speaking with her superviser is a good idea. chances are you're not the only one she's spewing this crap to and unfortunately some other moms who don't have the experience you do might take her suggestions to heart and follow them. how horrible!!!! you keep doing what you're doing. you're nurturing a little soul there, and doing a great job. keep it up, report this quack, and adopt that little bundle of spirited joy!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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wowsers. if i were a foster child, i would hope that the people who fostered me would hold me that much! it's a hard thing to be a foster kid, especially if you get moved around alot or where exposed to drugs or abuse, i would really really hope that they get all the love and care they can!<br><br>
keep hugging him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have never felt so supported and loved as I do today from reading all your posts!!!! You know, parenting is such a difficult and personal journey. We live, we learn, we take cues from our kids. It's hard to be criticized by people who are "supposed" to be trained and have experience. I just want you all to know how much mdc means to me......you mamas rock!!!!!!! feel free to vent to me anytime.....i'd be happy to listen and support!!! xoxo<br>
Judy<br>
ps...thanks for all the links....i'm reading through all of them
 

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I'm a teacher, I work in special ed, doing early intervention. So I have a fair knowledge of child development and attachment theories.<br><br>
The woman is WRONG. Let me repeat that. W-R-O-N-G!!! What is she thinking??? Children in foster care have a very good chance of having lots of problems with attachment - foster parents need to, excuse the pun, foster that as much as possible so that the children learn to trust and love others - esp. adults, and not go through life with Oppositional Defiance Disorder and other such issues.<br><br>
It sounds to me like you are doing everything right. What on earth is wrong with asking a child if he wants something and then following through with his choice? If you actually wanted him to get out it would be a different story, but you were simply giving him a choice. Seeing as he already has had little choice about what happens to him, giving him some control over his life, is, IMP(professional)O, one of the best things you can do for him besides to love him and make sure he knows that.
 

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i wonder if that social worker and my mother are long-lost twins/<br><br>
she is seriously wrong and out of line. i find it incredibly sad that she is supposed to be in a position to help and support children and their families and is spouting such nonsense.<br><br>
i would worry that she could negatively impact on your family (by 'reporting' or whatever), but she IS wrong, and sounds ignorant.<br><br>
hats off to you for keeping your cool and respecting your kids!<br><br>
hang in there, mama!
 
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