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Both Harry and Beth are very protective about all of their possessions and this has not altered at all in the 16 months they have been living with us.

When Beth and Harry first came to live with us they arrived with three car loads of belongings, so I was aware that their obsession about the belongings hadn’t come from not having much and obviously since living with us they never go without anything and are always given the same amount.  So why is it so important for them to claim ownership of every little thing.

The obsessions seems more evident in Beth, she was very keen to have her own plate, cups and  cutlery set and on the odd occasion that Harry dares to touch her knife and fork, Beth will immediately get very upset, although more recently she has learnt a better way to react, and that is to lick the fork and knife and say, “now you’re not going to want to touch it are you?”

Quite regularly in our house you will hear the words “no that’s mine”, obviously at times that will be followed by angry tears if the other person believes otherwise.  The item could be something as simple as an empty water bottle. Once Beth fell out with her best friend because she touched her rubber without asking.

So, it leads me to wonder if possessions could signify something different to our foster children.  Perhaps for them there is a need to own everything because it is something physical to hold on to or perhaps it links to their identity.

Its hard to explain what I believe it is, but for me my gut feeling tells me it is linked to their family being taken away from them, therefore the need to hold to on to anything that they believe is theirs’ becomes so important to them.  

Whatever the reasons I guess the bigger question is how do we try to challenge this behaviour? Will it again be simply time and learning from our example?

Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer

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