I just love to listen to her read, she sounds just like me when I read to her………..
A few weeks ago I had a very quick chat with middle girl about consequences for poor behavior, being fair. Now I know a lot of adopted children struggle with ’cause and effect’ thinking but I thought I’d give it a go any way.
Let me give you a little background first. Middle girl is angry, she hides it mostly behind her smile but at home, the minute she doesn’t get her own way she ‘strops’ and by that I mean she chucks herself on the floor and gets even more angry. This has meant that whenever I’ve had to talk to her about a poor choice or an unacceptable behavior or even simply a gentle word about speaking nicely or sharing etc I’ve been met with looks of utter hatred and anger which have meant that the poor behavior turns in to a vicious circle of anger feeding yet more negative behavior.
So a few weeks ago, after yet another episode of night time and early morning antics I sat middle girl down and tried to explain to her that if she misbehaved there would be a consequence. We talked about how it was ‘fair’ and that It didn’t mean that she was a bad person or that I was a terrible mummy, it was simply fair. All children make bad choices sometimes, I explained to her, its how you learn and grow up to be an adult who makes great choices, I said. I used a few examples to back up my ‘fairness’ theory such as when grown ups make bad choices they might get in to trouble with the police, and when children at school misbehave they might have to miss play time or some other privilege. Initially she responded to me with anger and tears but then it was like a light bulb moment for her and she started to listen and even contributed a few other examples of her own.
We then moved on to talk about her own responses to the consequences and how in the past she’s felt angry which I understood, but it hasn’t helped her to make good choices and improve her behavior afterwards, so we talked about how she might look at her consequences in a more positive light and instead of thinking ‘I’m rubbish, I hate mommy’ she might like to start thinking ‘oh dear, I messed up but never mind I can do better next time’. This really seemed to sink in. Now I wont say its improved her behavior as such, and it doesn’t appear to have ignited any ’cause & effect’ thinking, but I will say its improved her anger.
When I have to speak to middle girl these days about a poor choice or behavior, she no longer looks at me with all that hatred, these days its more of a ‘bummer,I’m in trouble, but its fair’ kinda look!
I’ve linked this post up over at ‘The Adoption Social’ for this week’s ‘Weekly Adoption Shoutout’ #WASO
I’ve watched baby girl today, playing, being a pain, pushing boundaries and smiling, shouting, giggling, nagging my ears off, driving me to distraction and just being a typical 7 year old albeit a bit more immature than most.
She’s wearing a dress today, a gorgeous denim dress from a designer store. It was once big girls dress and has been handed down to baby girl. I see baby girl jumping around, looking young and child like and it saddens me.
Big girl wore this very same dress when she was a little younger than baby girl is now, but I don’t remember her being this ‘young’. She came to us with such an ‘old’ head on her shoulders, she’s never pranced about, skipped through the lounge after repeatedly being told not too, she’s never lolled across my lap and asked ‘what’s for dinner’, she’s never allowed herself to ‘need’ me. I don’t remember her being ‘young’ and baby like, or as irritating to be honest.
I’ve felt blessed today that I’ve shared those moments with my baby girl, (even though some of them have left me pulling my hair out and wanting to saw my head off), I have also been blessed with being able to share some of those times with middle girl, but I feel so sad at the loss of not having shared any those moments with my big girl who didn’t get the chance to be ‘little’ because she was forced to grow up too quickly.
I’d like to say it was unexpected and came out of no where, but I cant.
We were sent a free ‘Petite’ ToucanBox some time ago, I’m finally going to show you how much fun we had and then I’ll tell you how you can get your own free ‘Petite’ ToucanBox!
We really enjoyed this, well, when I say we, I mean baby girl, because quite honestly, other than supervise her with the scissors and help read some of the instructions she did it entirely by herself! The parcel contained everything we needed except the water and scissors, it really was just a perfect little craft activity for one.
She was so proud of her work of art that she decided she wanted to give it to her teacher, so we used some self adhesive ‘letter’ stickers and stuck her name on the front and used it to hold her ‘end of year teacher gift’.
ToucanBox very kindly sent us this free box sometime ago so I must apologies to them for taking so long to write this review but also I’d like to thank them, Baby girl and I really enjoyed some special time together doing this project.
You can send off for your free ‘Petite’ ToucanBox here using this special promotion code MH259
I’d just like to take a moment to thank the staff in school for all the extra effort that was put in to supporting my children with the transition to the new classes in September.
The time that was taken helping them to feel familiar in what will be their new surroundings for the next year.
The thoughtfulness in helping to build relationships with new teachers that they will need to try and trust in order to learn.
The empathy for the trauma they have endured in their short little lives and the emotional scars they still live with every day.
The understanding of why trust is so important for them, yet so difficult for them to give.
The openness needed to read the literature I gave you about attachment and trauma and how to support this in school, and not rolling your eyes and being so quick to label me as a neurotic parent.
And finally, thank you, for listening to me when I pointed out all of the above and explained the catastrophic impact NOT supporting the girls would have on our summer and their emotional well-being.
Oh wait, you didn’t, and that’s why this morning big girl has screamed and shouted and hurt herself before collapsing into a pathetic exhausted heap, screaming out her fears of the unknown for September, the ‘different’ classroom that she’s terrified of and the new teacher that she’s worried about, truly, we couldn’t have achieved this without you, so from the bottom of my heart, Thank you!