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Monday

After a pretty chilled weekend, it back to school today. Sure enough, no one wanted to get out of bed this morning! After several times of calling the older two, I had to use my “cross mummy voice”. Its pretty annoying to have to resort to that – but sometimes it is the only way. Alice nearly jumps out of her skin. Drama now proceeds. Alice tells me that I frightened her when I shouted. It is difficult to know whether I did actually frighten her – she doesn’t cope with loud sudden noises on the whole, but on the other hand she also likes attention to be on her – good or bad. While I am shouting at Annie and Lauren, attention is certainly not on her. I chose to ignore it, and carry on getting her breakfast.

This is when her tactics for attention changed. She started her “go slow” morning. She took at least two minutes over every mouthful of breakfast. After breakfast she procrastinated instead of getting dressed. This used to be a huge issue when her and Lauren were at the same school – because if she made us late then Lauren would be late too. The result was that I would get cross trying to hurry her up – she would then go even slower. We are in a different season now that Lauren walks to her new school with her friends. If Alice decides to go slow, then she is only making herself late. I have to say I am a lot less stressed about it. I am have no time constraints as I am a full time carer. So if she is late the only person that gets annoyed is her when she misses going in with her class and has to go in through reception. I also make her tell her teaching assistant why she is late.

I think the fact that I am now more relaxed about this means she doesn’t get the reaction she is hoping for and she is actually very rarely late. If I could use this experience when thinking how I react in other situations, I am pretty sure we would have a lot fewer and shorter outbursts. We know that Alice craves attention, and sometimes the truth is we feed it by the way we react. We are still learning, but we know it is a long journey – so there is a long way to go – for us all!!

A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog