Flame free confessional? (Really Super Long! Sorry) — The Bump
Adoption

Flame free confessional? (Really Super Long! Sorry)

I am seriously having second thoughts about foster care, and I need to say this to someone who might understand. I don't have worries about whether or not we could love a child, or even provide a stable healthy enviroment to grow in. I don't worry about our getting "accepted" either, or that adopting out of foster care might feel different to me than having a bio child (I list these because they seem to be the "normal" worries).

Here's what I do worry about, to the point that I am thinking we might need to reconsider becoming foster parents (and please have mercy on what I am about to say), I worry about the punishing the child/ren. I never in a million years thought that this would be an issue except that I had a dose of reality this week. I am a huge proponant of "time out" so I never thought that I might have an issue with this, but this week my sister had an emergency and needed me to watch my nephew for the week. I have done this since he was born (he is 4). He has been coming here to stay for periods of time since birth, as well as being mainly financially supported by us for most of his life as well... This is a part of "normal" life for us, but this week- my nephew put me through the ringer...

Nothing worked. Time out- did NOTHING. He was completely unresponsive to anything I said/did until I finally broke and spanked him (after five and a half days of everything else not working- prior to this I had never spanked him). It wasn't hard, but still... So, follow my train of thought... my nephew who is generally a great kid, and is REALLY comfortable in my home, got me to the point where I spanked him- so what is going to happen with foster kids? I KNOW I can't use that kind of punishment with them (and like I said I normally never use it anyways) so what am I going to do when nothing else works with them?!

It goes deeper than that too, my nephew's parents are... horrible. Unfortunately there is no other way to put it. They get into physical altercations over who "HAS to take him" (even though they won't allow anyone else to take care of him). I have tried really hard not to judge them but... I am failing. Then I caught myself telling my nephew "not to talk back to adults" which makes me wonder if I am more authoritarian than I ever imagined or have ever seen within myself before.

I have felt for a long time drawn towards foster care, especially since almost my entire family is either former foster children of my grandfather or adopted by him. I have been around the system my entire life... so why do I now find myself afraid that continuing might be a mistake? I have no idea about what we should do, am I normal here or is this serious cause for concern, and please be honest because I need to know the straight truth... Thank you for taking the time to read this! GL to you all!

"Live your life with no regrets and you won't miss so much of it looking back."
Me: 26 DH:31
After a m/c, a year of failed treatments with an RE, and a failed surrogacy option, we are grateful to open our home, heart, and lives to foster children.
We are hoping to adopt when the timing is right.
Come on forever child- find us! :)
P/SAIF DEFINATELY welcomed!!!
[IMG]http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l181/lady_chance_99/4.jpg[/IMG]

Re: Flame free confessional? (Really Super Long! Sorry)

  • i am so sorry :( hugs. no flames here. parenting is hard, especially parenting hurting kids.  disciplining foster kids is probably the hardest part, and it takes a ton of effort. but as soon as i started asking for advice, i would find tons of people with great suggestions and something would always work!!

     

    with your nephew, spanking wasn't off the table, but when it is with foster kids, i think it will be different. 

     

    ps sorry for no caps, i cant for some reason on my blackberry. 

    Married on 3.20.2004. It took 30 month, 2 failed adoptions and IVF for our first miracle. We have had 9 foster kids since he was born and started the domestic adoption process when he was 10 month old, we had 4 failed matches in that time. After our daughter was born we brought her home and spent 2 weeks fearing we might lose her because of complications that came up. But Praise God all went through and she is ours forever! Expecting again after IVF Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Pregnancy Ticker Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers image
  • I am not for spanking but I also don't think you are a horrible person for spanking your nephew.  I think you were just out of discipline resources and turned to the last thing you had left on your list.  (BTW, I'm curious- did it work?) 

    What I think is that you just need to add more discipline tactics to your "list."  Get a bunch of books or parenting DVDs etc on strong willed children; those usually have some great advice and will give you a whole lot of other options to turn to before spanking.  I've heard "The Fussy Baby Book: parenting your high need child from birth to age 5" by Dr. Sears is a good one, as well as any parenting books by Dr. Kevin Leeman. 

     You sound like you just need to take a step back and equip yourself for this situation in the future.  Don't give up altogether!  Think of this as a great learning experience. 

    TTC September 2010 thru October 2011
    SA February 2011: Normal
    RE App. October 2011 - Recc. Clomid and IUI

    Taking a break from TTC to pursue adoption

    Met our 2 year old son in Russia July 2012!
    Court trip October 2012
    Home November 24 2012!

    Back to RE Summer 2013. TTC journey continues: 

    Dx DOR, endometriosis, low sperm count 
    Clomid + IUI#1, #2 = BFN / IUI #3 = ???

    Laparoscopy scheduled December 2013

    Adding a Burden
  • image MayDayGirl:

    i am so sorry :( hugs. no flames here. parenting is hard, especially parenting hurting kids.  disciplining foster kids is probably the hardest part, and it takes a ton of effort. but as soon as i started asking for advice, i would find tons of people with great suggestions and something would always work!!

     

    with your nephew, spanking wasn't off the table, but when it is with foster kids, i think it will be different. 

     

    ps sorry for no caps, i cant for some reason on my blackberry. 

    At the moment I am just grateful that there is a place to go where I can say these things without worry about someone who doesn't understand saying things that just don't make sense. Thank you for your confidence in my ability, it gives me some hope...

    "Live your life with no regrets and you won't miss so much of it looking back."
    Me: 26 DH:31
    After a m/c, a year of failed treatments with an RE, and a failed surrogacy option, we are grateful to open our home, heart, and lives to foster children.
    We are hoping to adopt when the timing is right.
    Come on forever child- find us! :)
    P/SAIF DEFINATELY welcomed!!!
    [IMG]http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l181/lady_chance_99/4.jpg[/IMG]
  • image jillianmb:

    I am not for spanking but I also don't think you are a horrible person for spanking your nephew.  I think you were just out of discipline resources and turned to the last thing you had left on your list.  (BTW, I'm curious- did it work?) 

    What I think is that you just need to add more discipline tactics to your "list."  Get a bunch of books or parenting DVDs etc on strong willed children; those usually have some great advice and will give you a whole lot of other options to turn to before spanking.  I've heard "The Fussy Baby Book: parenting your high need child from birth to age 5" by Dr. Sears is a good one, as well as any parenting books by Dr. Kevin Leeman. 

     You sound like you just need to take a step back and equip yourself for this situation in the future.  Don't give up altogether!  Think of this as a great learning experience. 

    Yes, I was at the end of my list of techniques... and I dread saying this but- yes, it did work. I felt/feel horrible about it none-the-less even though I didn't spank him hard enough to make a baby whine... Thank you so much for the recommendations, I would love to "add more tools"... my biggest concern is making a devastating mistake like this with kids who have already been through so much... Thank you

    "Live your life with no regrets and you won't miss so much of it looking back."
    Me: 26 DH:31
    After a m/c, a year of failed treatments with an RE, and a failed surrogacy option, we are grateful to open our home, heart, and lives to foster children.
    We are hoping to adopt when the timing is right.
    Come on forever child- find us! :)
    P/SAIF DEFINATELY welcomed!!!
    [IMG]http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l181/lady_chance_99/4.jpg[/IMG]
  • image fredalina:
    One thing I've learned about parenting is that you MUST forgive yourself and move on. You will cross a line somewhere, sometime. Now, obviously spanking is not okay with foster kids, but for now, forgive yourself.  Honestly, I don't use time out very often. I don't think it's "enough" to simply replace spanking with time out and expect it to stick all the time. You need more tools in your toolbox IMO. Do you think it would help to take a little step back and read some books? My very very favorite is "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk." I read it about once or twice a year, and am rereading now. I also love Positive Discipline, and I attended a Positive Discipline workshop that I thought was great. It literally provided a lot of great tools. And when I fail as a mom, it's almost always when I am in pain, PMSing, have a bad day at work, etc. In other words, it's not about my kid's misbehavior at all. HTH and no flames here.

    I will definately be checking out some parenting books... thank you! Oh, and thanks for not flaming me!! I just don't want to have a child come to me because they need to see that things don't always work the way they have at their biological homes, only to find that they have ended up in a house that has never had their own children to work out all the kinks... I mean this whole week I have been trying to explain to my husband why it is not okay for him to override my decisions in front of my nephew. He literally looked at me tonight and said: "what? It made him stop crying?! Isn't that all we want?" (the situation was that I told my nephew it was bed time and to pick out his story- we read a story to him at bed every single night) Yes, dear and why don't we just tuck him into bed with a gallon of icecream as well? I mean, whatever makes him stop crying... ugh! Not to mention all the other nonesense going on in my life (and the guilt over sending my nephew back to parents who want to do anything except parent) So you are probably right, it probably had a lot less to do with him and a lot more to do with me... which only worries me more, but I guess I just have to pack this away as "a learning expierence" and move on... for now I am going to find more tools and see what that brings me... Thank you!

    "Live your life with no regrets and you won't miss so much of it looking back."
    Me: 26 DH:31
    After a m/c, a year of failed treatments with an RE, and a failed surrogacy option, we are grateful to open our home, heart, and lives to foster children.
    We are hoping to adopt when the timing is right.
    Come on forever child- find us! :)
    P/SAIF DEFINATELY welcomed!!!
    [IMG]http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l181/lady_chance_99/4.jpg[/IMG]
  • o h
    image lady_chance_99:

    image fredalina:
    One thing I've learned about parenting is that you MUST forgive yourself and move on. You will cross a line somewhere, sometime. Now, obviously spanking is not okay with foster kids, but for now, forgive yourself.  Honestly, I don't use time out very often. I don't think it's "enough" to simply replace spanking with time out and expect it to stick all the time. You need more tools in your toolbox IMO. Do you think it would help to take a little step back and read some books? My very very favorite is "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk." I read it about once or twice a year, and am rereading now. I also love Positive Discipline, and I attended a Positive Discipline workshop that I thought was great. It literally provided a lot of great tools. And when I fail as a mom, it's almost always when I am in pain, PMSing, have a bad day at work, etc. In other words, it's not about my kid's misbehavior at all. HTH and no flames here.

    I will definately be checking out some parenting books... thank you! Oh, and thanks for not flaming me!! I just don't want to have a child come to me because they need to see that things don't always work the way they have at their biological homes, only to find that they have ended up in a house that has never had their own children to work out all the kinks... I mean this whole week I have been trying to explain to my husband why it is not okay for him to override my decisions in front of my nephew. He literally looked at me tonight and said: "what? It made him stop crying?! Isn't that all we want?" (the situation was that I told my nephew it was bed time and to pick out his story- we read a story to him at bed every single night) Yes, dear and why don't we just tuck him into bed with a gallon of icecream as well? I mean, whatever makes him stop crying... ugh! Not to mention all the other nonesense going on in my life (and the guilt over sending my nephew back to parents who want to do anything except parent) So you are probably right, it probably had a lot less to do with him and a lot more to do with me... which only worries me more, but I guess I just have to pack this away as "a learning expierence" and move on... for now I am going to find more tools and see what that brings me... Thank you!

     

    my husband is an amazing dad and husband and i constantly have to remind him not to overide me in front of the kids.  he does it because he is clueless and forgetful. thankfully so is our son so he hasnt learned to use it against us lol.

    it takes time to figure out how to parent together. this was a good learning experience for you. definitely read some books and take some classes together. discuss how you might handle certain situations in advance.  i advise you to decide what your ultimate goals in parenting are for your kids...and let your simple actions derive from that.  ex: if you want your children to learn that whining gets them no where, do not let them whine. if you give in once, you will pay for it lol.

     good luck sweety!

    Married on 3.20.2004. It took 30 month, 2 failed adoptions and IVF for our first miracle. We have had 9 foster kids since he was born and started the domestic adoption process when he was 10 month old, we had 4 failed matches in that time. After our daughter was born we brought her home and spent 2 weeks fearing we might lose her because of complications that came up. But Praise God all went through and she is ours forever! Expecting again after IVF Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Pregnancy Ticker Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers image
  • What PP said about it being different when spanking is not an allowable option is definatly true.  We had to sign a contract to never use corporal punishment of any kind (and they define tht very broadly).  I was never against spanking in certain instances, but the truth of the matter is that I can't imagine hitting my son, who has been abused in the past.  Just the thought that he might even for a second consider me in the same light as the people who've hurt him is enough to make it a no-starter, something that is forever unquestionably out of the realm of possibility.

    So, I knew I wasn't going to spank, and I knew I didn't want to be like the strict, authoritarian parents I had growing up.  My husband and I did a lot of reading, and we found some techniques that resonated with us.  Overall, the ideas are pretty similar throughout, and we take what we like, modify it, and leave the rest.

    It's important to remember that you aren't concerned with how to respond to a single incident or rewarding/consequencing/punishing each individual act.  The goal is to create a responsible adult, and that takes consistent parenting over years.  If you screw up a couple hundred times, it's okay (I can do that in a weekend!), because you will have a lifetime and endless chances to get it right.  Literally every interation you have with your child will be a small parenting decision that will join all the others, and combine to represent your parenting strategy.

    What I mean by this is that it's okay to react sometimes and not react at all to the same behavior another time, because it's a matter of what's right for the momment.  While the rules have to be well defined, your reaction does not.  If you know there are extenuating circumstances that are making it hard for your child to concentrate and behave, then you might point out the bad behavior but not enforce a consequence.  But if the child has been escalating his poor behavior and nothing seems to be getting through, you can be more strict with how you handle it.

    Dealing with your nephew is tough, because you aren't parenting him on a regular basis, and he was obviously testing boundaries.  When he kept pushing, it seems he didn't think you had the power to do anything about it.  This is what it's like in the beginning with new kids in your home, but if you are consistently firm with them, they start to realize it's just much easier and more pleasant on everyone if they behave.  You have to stick through the transition period, and it gets easier.

    Also, when you are the parent, you can insistutue reward systems.  This works in conjunction with consequences to make the child want to behave, but often doesn't work in the transitional phase with foster/older-adopted kids, for lots of reasons I can get into if you really want to know.

    Don't make a huge decision like abandoning your desire to foster based on a bad experience not knowing how to deal with a kid who was pushing your buttons!

    If you want some great parenting books, I like techniquest which help children learn to self-control their behavior and how to help them learn to make good choices.  Two good books are Parenting with Love and Logic and 1, 2, 3, Magic.  I really liked the philosophy in Parenting with Love and Logic, and it?s what my husband and I base our parenting style on, and I found the techniques in 1, 2, 3, Magic supper effective.

    The following books are geared towards raising children who have experienced trauma, such as foster kids and older adopted children:

    Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow;

     

    Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families; and

     

    Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents.

     


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