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Blog – Respect and admiration

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

Blog – Respect and admiration

Monday 19th Sept

Well that is a weekend I would like to forget. Alice has been in meltdown for most of the weekend. We could do nothing right for her. She challenged everything we said and pretty much did the opposite of everything we asked her too do. Lauren and Annie tried to be helpful in reinforcing things we have said, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect. Alice takes great offence in what they say – particularly what Lauren says to her. We have to gently remind them that although we know they are trying to help, they have to remember that they are siblings and we are the parents!

For whatever reason, this weekend Charlie bore the brunt of Alice’s outburst. This is a relatively new experience for him, as usually things are directed at me and I have to bring him in to help so that I can remain calm. This time the boot was on the other foot and I had to let Charlie leave and sent him into another room to do some lunges (our preferred method of dealing with stress, and it helps us get fit too!).

It all started over homework. Alice decide that she was too tired for homework. We have a rule in our house that we get our homework done before the TV goes on. We have learnt from experience that once the TV goes on there is no chance of getting anything done. This was certainly not what she wanted so she threw a huge tantrum. She shouted over and over for him to leave her alone and go away.

As she got more and more upset her face went all blotchy – she looked like she had got chicken pox. As her rage came to a climax, she started screaming “you’re a meanie man” over and over. She said it with such anger, and yet we had to immediately walk away. It was possibly the funniest insult she could have made. But we knew if we had laughed at her we would have made the situation far worse. We walked away and gave her time to calm down. She started shouting “sorry” repeatedly. Although she has learnt the word “sorry”, we know she has not yet learned empathy so she doesn’t really feel sorry. However, we have to model forgiveness to her. We know at this stage there is little point trying to reason with her, so we accept her apology and we move on.

The rest of the weekend followed in pretty much the same way. So we have started the new week exhausted. But it is nevertheless a new week. So we start afresh and hope for a better week. I am reminded yet again how important it is to have good partnerships and support with friends and family. Charlie and I are blessed to have each other, and my respect and admiration for single foster parents, of which we know several as good friends, is raised significantly. All of us need good support and encouragement!

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