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keeping a straight face Blog

Friday’s Foster Care Blog

Things have definitely been bubbling under the surface for Alice since she broke up from school two weeks ago. Unlike the rest of us, the break from the routine does not do her well at all. We have been waiting for what we have secretly called “big summer blow out” (thanks to a line in Disney’s Frozen).

The last few days have been spent visiting Charlie’s family who live a couple of hours away, seeing new friends locally, and collecting my great Aunt who is coming to stay for a few days. I could physically see how difficult it was for Alice – lots of attention seeking and many attempts at causing little arguments with her sisters, whilst trying to maintain the sweet and innocent look with friends and family.

Today “big summer blow out” finally arrived. I had a feeling it would erupt over something little and I was right. Today, Charlie asked her to eat a piece of cucumber – something we have asked her to do at many meal times. Today, this was the straw that broke the back of the camel. After taking 40 minutes to eat one piece of cucumber, the mealtime was over and the plates were cleared away. For the next 45 minutes Charlie bore the brunt of her outburst at not being allowed to eat ice-cream for dessert.

He was called all the names under the sun, she threatened to shout at him, she threatened to ignore him. The melodrama kept increasing. She felt that he was trying to ‘kill’ her by taking away her plate, such was the loss of the ice-cream, and that she should therefore ‘kill’ him by not giving him ice-cream when he comes to visit her when she is “grown up and living in my own house.” What is difficult during these times is keeping a straight face. To laugh would fan the fire of her fury, but it is impossible to keep it in. We all have to leave the room before we implode. Of course, on a deeper level, this is not funny at all – her behaviour only seeks to remind us how mealtimes are still a battleground, and her desire to control this area still causes her, and therefore us, problems.

We have learnt that when rage ensues, we have to take a step back. If we can’t distract her before she gets to this stage, then it is best to leave her to it. Time will eventually help her to calm down and she can rejoin the family.

A Less Ordinary Family Fostering Blog