Let’s face it – kids will test your limits. They will push your buttons. How do we deal with a child’s demanding behavior? Following are 10 tips we hope will help you manage this difficult phase.
We Want to Hear from You! – What are some helpful tools you have used to help with demanding behaviors? What were the results?
One of the toughest things we have encountered as foster parents is the constant statement, “I want to go home with mommy.” The endless questioning of, “When is mommy coming?” It’s hard being constantly reminded that these children are in great suffering. A warning: You can get to the point of feeling irritated and frustrated toward the child at what may seem like constant nagging, but remember that they are children. Check yourself constantly and bring it back to their hurt. This has been the case for the past couple of nights at our home.
Then came Friday night. For the first time since placement, Zoe Girl (ZG) did not continue asking about mommy or going home. She asked only once and seemed satisfied with our answer. We left the room and the door ajar. A couple of minutes later, to our surprise, he hear ZG singing… I walked over the door and heard her singing the following: “ZG and ZB going to mommy home… la la la la la… we gonna sing and dance… la la la la la…”
There were some mixed feelings as we heard her sing. We were amused to hear her sing for the first time. Sad for the words we hear hearing. We were witnessing the innocence of a child and our heart was broken at the thought that something like this is going on for her and so many other children. Another part of us was also comforted to know that she was using her inner coping resources to soothe herself to sleep.
It’s moments like these that give meaning to being a foster parent. It’s seeing with your own eyes, that your home brings comfort and safety to a child in need. Now, we have good days and then… well, not so good days, but on those not so good days, we think back on nights like this and we feel refreshed. We thank the Lord for His daily strength and wisdom with these little ones. We depend on God for continued guidance and discernment to make the best decisions for the sake of these children. We know he will see us through.
We Want to Hear from You! – What are some of the nightly struggles you have had with your little ones? What did you do to help the child cope?
The last couple of days have been very educational. Zoe Girl (ZG) was picked up by Children’s Services at about 8:30am this Thursday. She returned safely at 6pm. To our surprise, we found out, two days later by talking to county social worker that there was a mix up and she never entered the courtroom. More importantly, because she’s less than 5 yrs. old, she should not have even been there. At least that’s the information the social worker gave to us. Needless to say, this was very frustrating.
Friday/Saturday: We had conversations with the social worker to schedule the first visitation with biological mother. There’s a lot of mixed emotions present for us right now; joy for the children to see their mother, but also concern about their reaction of not being able to go home. ZG asks daily for mommy and wanting to go home. We helped ZG with this a bit by having her write a letter (draw) to her mommy. We think it’s important to validate her feelings, but not giving too much hope that she will go back home because we don’t know when or if she will go back to mommy.
Highlights of the week: The children finally began eating hardy meals. We introduced them to family and friends. They seemed to adjust very well. We also took them to church. Zoe Boy still needs more time to adapt, but ZG did very well in her class.
We Want to Hear from You! – If this brings back memories for you, we would like it if you would share your experience.
Last night was a bit rough. ZG began asking for her mommy. Then, ZB began pouting and then… cried inconsolably. It can feel so overwhelming to not really know yourself what’s going on. Can’t imagine what it’s like for them. All I could do was tell her that her mommy was with the Dr. trying to get better. That I did not know more. That I was so sorry she could not be home. I held ZB till he fell asleep then laid him down next to his sister. He then wanted to leave the light on, so I left the hallway ones on. I tried going to sleep, but just couldn’t.
Around 4am, ZB wakes up… he turned the lights on. I go to check on him, thinking he may wake up ZG, but she was sound asleep. So, I held him again, laid him to bed and then he slept all the way through 8:30! ZG woke up till 9:30! Overall, I would say things went well… at least for me.
Today, our case manager from Olive Crest (OC) came. They both were very calm and playful. ZG was playing with the cards that Child Share (SC) gave her the day before. I’m so grateful for everyone involved thus far. SC has been very supportive and the gift baskets for the kids were a nice touch. OC… well, I love this organization. These individuals truly care for our children.
Okay, so after our case manager left, we went to the park. It was so much fun. ZB’s personality was coming out just a bit more. One thing I know – he likes to play ball! ZG is a little monkey J She loves the monkey bars… loves to approach other kids and loves to wave. I almost wonder what went so wrong with their mother? She’s done good things for sure. Yet, so many questions are still unanswered.
My husband got a call from children’s services that they want ZG to be at court hearing tomorrow. I am not happy about that. I sure hope they don’t put her on the spot. I also have to tell her so she’s not surprised… somehow I have to learn how to deal with these difficult conversations. This will be my first.
I made their first doctor appointment for this Friday. I’m concerned for ZG – she has a full body rash that usually kicks in at night. Not sure if she’s allergic to something. ZB finally ate today!! He had fruit this morning – orange and he loves apples… he also had cinnamon teddy bears. I’m so relieved, but will still take him to Dr. cause he seems to skinny for his age. Well, that’s my day thus far. If there is time I will continue telling you about this journey. Now time to wake up kiddos from their nap and have some ice cream – yummy!
Today’s Prayer: Wonderful savior, help us guide these children into your Word, your Love and your Salvation. Give us peace, lots of energy. Give me a new back J and bring my husband safely back home tonight. We ask you to take full control of tomorrow’s court hearing. Help little ZG through this process.
We Want to Hear from You! – What have been some of the struggles you have encountered with your little ones?