Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.
Anyone else finding things a bit tough at the minute?(14 Posts)
I'm almost 2 years into fostering 2 boys , now aged 7 and 8. They are lovely boys but their behaviour is sometimes quite poor and I often think that after 2 years with me it should be a lot better by now!
This morning we were out at a local event and they were kicking each other, talking when they should have been listening to something, fidgeting, kicking their feet etc. Nothing too heinous but it's constant low level behaviour and I'm annoyed with myself that we haven't stamped it out!
I've been feeling quite low since Tuesday afternoon when, at a club I help to run, the youngest was very badly behaved. Touching things he shouldn't have been, not responding when I called him back over, moaning that he couldn't do the craft activity (without even trying) and ordering around anyone that tried to help him. At the end another adult told him not to do something that he shouldn't have been doing and he said 'you can't tell me what to do. You don't know my mum.' Meaning me about the mum.
Then on Thursday at a club they attend without me I was told both were running around and not listening to the adults, and the younger one was hitting and kicking his brother.
I'm just finding it really hard to be positive around them this week. When they behave like this I can hear how flat I sound when I talk to them, because I just feel so low about it. When we got home I put some washing in the machine, put on my shoes and coat and told my husband I was going out. We should have been going somewhere all together but said we weren't because of their behaviour this morning, but I just had to get out! Currently sitting in a local park.
There's no way I'll end the placement or anything and I know I'll pick myself up and feel more positive soon, but right now I just feel so flat! Anyone else?
I previously cared for a sibling group of 3 for over a year. All under 6, all with their own behavioural issues. It was a constant battle, years of neglect and abuse takes an age to reverse if ever. All you can do is be patient and keep reinforcing those boundaries. I know that you know all of that and I know that it's easier said than done. Had my fair share of overwhelming days/weeks (sitting in the laundry room crying while they run amok in the house for 10 minutes before plastering the smile back on) It's the hardest job in the world as well as the most rewarding ofcourse. You need to look after yourself and rely on your support network to have some alone time. Don't feel guilty for needing a time out every now and again. You need to be relaxed and motivated to be able to give theme the care and attention they so desperately need. I hope you feel better after your time away and remember it's quite normal to feel like this every now and again. We pour our heart and souls into these kids and it's a constant up hill battle, but remember your doing good even if you can't see it. Good luck. Feel free to message me if you ever need a rant. X
Thanks willow. I'm home now. Had a lovely mooch around the shops and bought myself a new pair of trousers - which is very rare, these days I normally only buy kids clothes!
Got home and found the eldest sitting on a chair in the kitchen for a timeout. Apparently the youngest had earlier been there. Weirdly that made me feel better, that my husband has problems with their behaviour too!
Kits... I absolutely get where you are coming from. I have had a sibling group for a few years and sometimes I feel like I'm going to snap like a stretched rubber band. They cannot be left alone at all without fighting and we rarely go out for meals as I am on tender hooks wondering how they are going to behave. Even taking them both to the supermarket just for bread can be a nightmare.
I have lost count of the number of times we have had to forgo a family outing as I have had to follow up on my threat of not going out if they cannot behave. The last time being when the 9 year old threw a stone and broke my car back light!
My DP and I have put in such a lot of work and we can see a big difference from when they first came but there are often days when I have to retreat to my bedroom for a few minutes just so I can gather my thoughts and calm myself down.
Having said that I find what helps is reminding myself why I decided to foster and that I couldn't expect life to be easy. My DP is very supportive and although he works he notices when things are becoming fraught and gives me time to myself whilst he takes the children out. Like Willow advises above I have stopped feeling guilty when the children are away on respite ( never for more than a couple of nights) as I really need that time to take stock and recharge my batteries.
There has never been a night when they have gone to bed when I haven't still been glad that I chose to foster which tells me something!
Anyway same as Willow please feel free to message if it gets too much on occasion. Sometimes you just need to talk to somebody who is going through exactly the same!
Thanks Eggs. It's nice to know that I'm not alone! Likewise, I can see a big difference in mine, and I know I can't expect perfect behaviour from them, but it would be nice to be able to take my eyes off them for 2 minutes and expect them to have the self control to behave themselves! They are very sweet and loving, and a lot of it is immaturity - which I'm hoping they'll grow out of! So if we go into a shop for example, I am constantly telling them to stop touching things and to stay with me instead of rushing into the next aisle.
I had quite a nice afternoon with them after my time away. It is definitely good to have some time to myself sometimes - I felt much calmer once I was back! We played board and card games then went for a walk before tea, bath and bed.
Now my husband is sitting on the stairs because otherwise the oldest would be constantly out of bed or making noises. Hopefully he'll grow out of fighting sleep at some point too!
I'm still battling away with a 16 yr old. Hot headed, impulsive, mardy, argumentative and all.
I thought that after 3 years of age, it was very hard to change behaviours etc, as these are set in stone almost from soaking up and digesting all aspects of birth family life. It's no wonder we sometimes feel like we are going one step forward and two steps back. Interestingly, birth parent traits are presently coming out in a big way here.
Love and hugs to all you brilliant foster mummies.
How long has your 16 year old been with you Tick? I must admit, I'm not looking forward to the teenage years! They're staying with us long term so we're in it for the long haul
The other week I was saying to my cousin it would have been nice to get my boys aged about the same as her son, in order to work through the 'toddler' type behaviour that they still show. I explained one gets very angry and likes to be in control and the other gets overly emotional and still screams and cries very easily. She said, 'but that's just like my son!' I said, 'yes, but he's only 2! They're 7 and 8!'
She's been with me since she was 9.
A fellow FC had trouble with her 11yr old and huge tantrums. She was treating him as an 11yr old to bring him out of it and it just didn't work so after advice, started treating him like a toddler instead and he was able to respond to that really well.
Might be worth a try?
Some times you have to be as stubborn as they are. After a few weeks thought time they did their bit, wash the pots. Did a great job so I thought , until we put the bins out too find they binned the lot. So no treat's ice cream and such all eat off napkins and snacks until pots reappear,
Created mayhem in restaurant a water fight in the loo's , all did a runner including our self's, no damage ,
Some times it help's too set a level playing field , even if it includes silly innocent
behaviour they least expect from an adult.
It can be so very exhausting, fostering. Yet the normal AIBU thread is full of parents struggling with their own children.
You are doing an amazing job ! Try to get some time to refresh yourself and invest in yourself.
Foster kids are usually behind emotionally, and any adults that knew their background would understand x
Yes can be exhausting, but can be fun too, after over 38 years of fostering and still in touch with many ex LAC children now adult's, Very surprising and funny too here what the got up too , Things we did not know of. All quite normal and things our Kids did also.
WHENT THROUGH A LONG PERIOD. where I spent lots of time in the court's all
worked out for them, with positive outcomes.
We are really struggling at the moment. I feel awful that a 3 year old had me in tears today He's almost 4 but with the attitude, lies, deceit and anger of a teenager. From the minute I open my eyes its screaming, tantrums, abusing my dog, insulting my own children, constantly trying everything he can do to upset my son. I know why he is the way he is but it doesn't always make it easier to deal with. Everyone is so low and miserable at the moment.
Sorry to hear that mum2tots. I know I should think myself lucky mine are old enough to be reasoned with (even if they don't always listen), and I am fortunate that any tantrums are very few and far between. I've actually had a lovely Easter holidays with them. Hectic but lovely. Is yours back to nursery after the Easter break soon?
If it's any consolation you've described the behaviour of my (birth) children, who are 10 (cognitively 4-5: SN), 8 and turning 7. It's an age thing and is very unlikely to have anything to do with your fostering skills!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.