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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My foster daughter came last week, and will be a year old next week.

I'm starting to notice behaviors/skills that my son does not have, and yet i dont know if they are typical of other one yr olds.

She holds her own bottle (my son has not even figured out how, we bottle nurse) and doesnt particularly care for me holding it for her or holding her in the cradle hold.

she doesnt seem to know how to eat off of a spoon...i was trying to feed her some jarred baby food we have, and she doesnt "get" opening her mouth wide for me to stick in the spoon, she keeps her mouth closed and kind of sucks the food off of it, and doesnt seem to enjoy it.

She'll eat anything...my son isnt exactly picky, but still gets alot of his calories from formula, and often will only eat a bite or two of adult food....fd on the other hand, chowed down a whole chicken strip (cut up), french fries, veggies, fruit...whatever. She gets pretty frantic if there is food near her but you dont give her any. She highly prefers feeding herself though.

My brother came over, my own son is somewhat tentative for a couple of minutes, when he comes as he only sees him about once a week...fd however couldnt throw herself in his lap fast enough, she crawled right onto him, put her hands on his beard, started cuddling and cooing. I can't imagine she's seen *that* many bearded white guys that she wouldnt be at least a *little* shy, yknow?

She seems very comfortable to sit in a high chair for as long as i want her to, if she has some cereal or something to eat. And yet she seemed freaked out/uncomfortable in the carseat and the stroller.

When she does something like try to bite or scratch my son, if i pick her up, say something sternly ("No Bite!" or something) and go to separate her from my son, she wraps her arms around me, lays her head on my shoulder, looks all sweet and innocent, and makes little cooing sounds including "mamama"...its really cute, but seems a little manipulative. Maybe i'm reading too much into it? When i do the same thing to my son, he cries, or looks upset, and protests. He doesnt try to cuddle.

FD is totally content to put herself to bed. I tried to do the rocking and feeding thing with her that i do with my own son, but she was pretty upset about it, and i finally just put her in her crib with a bottle. She fussed for a couple of minutes, and then was out like a light. Now, i just put her to bed with her bottle and she is fine.

This morning she woke up early, and i had gone to bed late, and was sooo tired, so i gave her a bottle and some toys, thinking maybe i could get ten or fifteen more minutes of rest (her crib is in my room)...i fell asleep and woke up like an hour later, and she was still contentedly playing with her toys. My son would *never* do that. And when i changed her, she was totally soaked and had a poopy diaper, and even that wasnt enough to get her to protest being in her crib.

So...part of me wonders if she was left to soothe herself alot, spending lots of time with bottles or self-feeding food in highchairs/playpen/crib, and trying to be super charming with any adult she thinks might take care of her....OR if my son is just overly clingy/attached, super sensitive, etc.

Katherine
 

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I don't think your son is overly clingly/attached (although I don't know him) but it sounds as if that little girl had been neglected.
I think you hit it on the head with the self-soothing and spending lots of time by herself.
 

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some of the things you mentioned of FD is close to what my DS does. He just turned one so I think they are at about the same place. DS holds his own bottle and prefers to do it himself. He does eat off a spoon with me but with my mom he refuses, he wants to play with the food with her, I think he has learned that he can take advantage of grandma. On top of that DS gets shy once in a while and take a little to warm up to people but he also has his days where he will just climb in anyones lap. DS can sit all day in his crib playing as long as i am in the same room with him. I have never let him self sooth or cry it out a day in his life. I used attachment parenting and baby wearing. when I scold him for something he usually seems a little sad and whimpers a bit but then again sometimes he laughs or completely ignores me so I guess it depends on his mood. everything you mentioned seems typical, both of FD and your DS. Kids are all different and develop differently and have different personalities. I think you are looking too much into things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
its hard...because if this was just a child i was babysitting, and i knew the parents to be loving, attached parents...i would probably just think she was an outgoing, independant, easygoing kid. But the fact that she is in foster care for a *reason* makes me think there might be reasons for her behavior, such as neglect. And that these might be coping skills. The sad thing is that if it IS attachment stuff going on, i'm not able to work with her like i would if she were my only child, as my son is not dealing with her presence very well and i spend alot of time dealing with them interacting. so her being able to "take care of herself" is a big help, even though i dont think its so great for her in the long run.


Katherine
 

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I know Foster parents often dont get alot of history on curcumstances which brought a child to their house.. but could you maybe find out if neglect was really part of it? seems like without details someone could, after you explain what you are seeing, could confirm, yes likely its is the cause or that it likely isn't.

As other said, if you didnt know she was a foster child you'd probably think it was just personality differences. The two sound much like my youngest DD and my nephew(9wks apart) especially the bedtime, playing in bed thing, by dd will play for LONG periods either before going to sleep or after wakeing. none of my others would do that and it really weirded me out for a while. My nephew(raised by parents who firmly believe in crying it out till baby falls asleep
) will scream within seconds of waking up and only takes SHORT naps *I* think becuase he views bed as a torture place.. but thats neither here or there..

I'd see if you CAN find out any info, even implied.

Could be perfectly normal differences from child to child!
 

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I wouldn't worry...she sounds like an absolute angel! Everything you described could totally just be personality, in fact, sounds just like my dd#3! And she certainly hasn't been neglected! Just enjoy!
 

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Quote:
But the fact that she is in foster care for a *reason* makes me think there might be reasons for her behavior, such as neglect.
Don't forget about all of the MDC mamas whose children have been taken and put into the foster care system. From what I've read here, those children were taken from loving, attached parents. It's possible this child came from one also. Maybe not likely, but possible.
 

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None of the above is surprising or worrisome to me (and I've been in hundreds of infant/toddler early childhood classrooms.) A lot of that sounds like temperament. She may never have been fed with a spoon, especially if it seems like she's really comfortable with regular food.

There is such a huge range of typical toddler behaviors. Give it some time and you'll have more information from her. There could be something else going on but it's too early to tell. My toddler was (and still is) super social, particularly with men. It's just the way it is.
 

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My dfd was very similar at that age. I will either PM you or post more later when I have more time, but for her it was/is definitely a combo of personality and life experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dont have alot of info about her so far, she came as an emergency placement from the county, and has only been in care for a week. She hasnt even been assigned a worker. All i know is what my agency's placement guy told me, which is that the reason for coming into care is "drug use and environmental neglect"...i dont know the specifics. I was told she has sibs, that they are with a relative, and that the plan is RU. And that she will be having visits with mom and sibs at agency, but they havent been set up yet. I'm just waiting for them to call me and let me know what to do next.

This little girl is soooo cute. Unfortunately she is a carseat screamer, which i've never had to deal with before, i hope she gets used to it (i wonder if maybe she isnt used to rear facing??) She pulled a chunk of keegan's hair out today. Poor guy, he has no idea what is going on. I keep reminding myself that neither does she.

Its so weird to me that it takes so long for them to get visits set up...if my kid was taken into care and it took a couple of weeks or longer to see him, i'd die.


Katherine
 

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My son was a carseat screamer until a week before his first birthday. It was awful. My daughter could eat half an avocado ( or more ) at 6 months. Baby-led weaning aims to have the child feed themselves and not be spoonfed.

Overall, much of what you are describing is within normal limits.
 

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I just happen to see this in new posts.

Your FD sounds just like my ds! The question of course is how much of it is personality for your FD and how much of it is from being forced to self-soothe and such, kwim? My ds is just a super duper laid back kinda guy. If I wanted more sleep I could always throw some toys, books, and cheerios in with him and he'd play for an hour or more quietly. He's always loved everyone. He's about to turn 5 yrs old and I don't think I've ever seen him be shy...he goes to everyone and will go off with just about anyone as well (very scary!). When I needed him to be "contained" for awhile I could just put him in his high chair. He was a formula fed baby and at 12 mos I just started giving him cow milk instead since he ate so well. He looooved to eat and all regular foods at that point, not baby foods. He was eating small chunks of food by about 7 mos old. He did not master the spoon until he was about 2.5 yrs old. He was putting himself to sleep by 6 mos old (sleeping through by 9 weeks old). He was just a really easy kid. I never made him self-soothe, it's like he was born with the ability. When he was really tiny you could SEE him trying not to cry over something...like he didn't want to upset anyone.

My dd, my 2nd child, is a polar opposite of ds in pretty much every single way.
 

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"...part of me wonders if she was left to soothe herself alot, spending lots of time with bottles or self-feeding food in highchairs/playpen/crib, and trying to be super charming with any adult she thinks might take care of her..."

I think this is probably exactly what happened, but I wouldn't worry about it or try to change it, because:

1. It is obviously within the range of her individual capabilities to make these adaptations to a low-nurturing environment and still be a happy little gal.

2. The things you describe are not inherently damaging or dangerous, even the emotional manipulation. They are things to keep an eye on as she grows, but heck, my supernurtured 3 y.o. turns on the charm when she is corrected for doing something bad OR wants an adult to do something for her OR thinks an adult might have a cookie in their purse (that would be Grandma). It's definitely normal human behavior.

3. If RU is the plan, the self-feeding and self-soothing skills that your dfd has developed in the first year of her life may save her from going hungry or getting a beating in the next few years of her life. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but it think it's the truth.
 

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Oh, Katherine. +
Sounds like you're in a tough situation. Give yourself and Keegan time to adjust. When we got our dfd, my baby was 7 mos old and was nowhere near ready to have a new baby sib. She had horrible colic and was very needy. We went through a ton of work. But over a few months, we settled and he's doing better. I had to find a way to designate times for each child. A lot of the time we will have opposite nap times so that I can devote attention independent of the other.

Y'know, they're totally different children. My little boy is very dependent. He didn't take solids until he was a year old, and even now he prefers to nurse instead of eating solids. The second she *could* eat food, she was all about it. She *demands* to feed herself. If we try to feed her from a spoon, though she knows how, we have to provide her with Cheerios to eat by hand on her own or she won't take the spoon. She's little miss independent all the way. She's also a car-seat screamer, whereas my baby boy is the kind of baby where he just falls asleep instantly. They're different like night and day.

Anyways, just wanted to send hugs your way. Sounds like you have a long road ahead of you, but give it time. Keegan will adjust, and so will dfd. Change is never easy, for anyone. Poor baby girl, too. Sad.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
If RU is the plan, the self-feeding and self-soothing skills that your dfd has developed in the first year of her life may save her from going hungry or getting a beating in the next few years of her life. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but it think it's the truth.
I'm fairly new to this, but I remember in one of our training sessions, one of the seasoned foster moms talked about this. She said it was tough, but they taught dfs how to be more self-sufficient before going home. Such as, how to prepare cereal for himself, brush his own teeth, bathe himself, things he would need to know if the time ever came where he was in fear of neglect again. How awful that kids have to go through that! So sad.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off-topic.
 

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My now 4 yr old will put himself to bed. But my 7 yr old is just starting to do that. I generally have to lay down with him to get him to go to sleep...at least the first few minutes. So no matter how you raise them, you have different personalities anyway.
 

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Hi there, I'm fostering a relative's 2 year old little girl who we are going to be adopting soon, have had her since 9 mos. old and a lot of the concerns you're having with your little girl are the same ones we've had with ours. We just recently started seeing a counselor to help us out with some of these things and I highly recommend that you ask your social worker to get you in with a counselor as well, ours is really helping us out a lot and you want to ask for help soon because there can be a waiting list sometimes to get into counseling. Since it's my family I know a lot about our girl's history and like she would flip out whenever she was in her car seat also.... her birth mom would put her to sleep inside her car seat inside her crib and she was actually taken away because of neglect. Our baby girl has the eating issues also, when she was little she wouldnt let you hold her bottle, cant fall asleep if we're holding her, the being manipulative exactly like your daughter is, she'll run up to totally strange men asking to be picked up, trying to kiss them and everyone else... The good thing is if you start working on these things while they are little you can avoid them turning into more serious issues later on in her life. We are seeing a big difference in her already, especially with the not having boundaries with strangers thing. If you want any advice, I can let you know some of the things our counselor has suggested for us to try and give you some of the info she's given us, just PM me.
 
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