Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to approach difficult situations with a foster child

You would have laughed at me this morning watching me run for the car. I leaped out the door and down the steps. You would have thought I was an Olympic hurdeler. Why you ask? We have found that DS2 can be very slow to do things. This is his way to control the situation. It is not outright defiance but a form of passive defiance. I can decide when and how I do something if a slow down enough: You can't make me do it. These are the messages that are sent with the behavior without any words being spoken. So this morning DH turned it into a race about who could get in the car first. DS2 won the race. He was dressed, ready, in the car, and had his seatbelt on properly as I propelled myself out the door. I was happy to announce that he won the race, which of course delighted him and we were on time to school which delighted me. All and all a win / win situation.

We have found in general that the calmer we can be and the more laughter and game-like atmosphere that we can interject into a situation the easier the day goes. . . Mind you we are very early in the fostering process, so I wouldn't just take my word for it, but this was great advice that we got from other more experienced foster parents and it has been working well for us as well. I just hope that we continue along this path and don't find out that we are just in a honeymoon period.

Honeymoon period - a period of time usually at the beginning of a placement when a foster child attempts to behave "very well". A period of time that is not reflective of the child's true behaviors and attitudes that soon come seeping out and the honeymoon ends.

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