Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
School reports(53 Posts)
I'm knackered so forgive the bullet points. Just need to offload.
School report day here
So sick of parents commenting in person, via Facebook, wherever how clever their kids are, how they're reading light years ahead of their age.
How they're excelling at extra curricular activities.
DC are can't concentrate, are regularly in trouble at school and well behind their targets. The language on their reports is flowery but unmistakeable.
I wish they excelled at just one thing. But they don't. They don't even have the ability to sit still during carpet time.
I fear for their future.
Facebook = Fakebook
How old are your DCs?
Don't believe all the comments on Facebook, most of them are smoke screens. I'm sure there are things you are proud of about your children that you don't need a school report to identify.
7 and 6. Placed a year.
It's REALLY early, I know.
There's plenty of time, I know.
They've come so far, I know.
But 1 DC decided to stab another in the arm 'to see if it hurt' today
The other got sent to spend time with the class below again because they were messing around. Again.
I'm not sure that there is anything I feel proud of. And that makes me feel utterly, utterly awful.
Sounds tough for you - but you are giving them a loving home: don't ever underestimate what a difference you are making to their future that way. <Hope that doesn't sound patronising.>
Have you thought of/looked at karate or a martial art for them? I gave it a try with my dss and it was fabulous for a) a fun activity b) helping focus and concentration, whilst still moving around and c) self esteem/ achievement. Even the wiggliest of kids seemed to be able to do well/progress through the belts/ so stuff they/you could be proud of.
I'm not sure if you're ready to hear that I bet they do excel at something, because it sounds like you've had a rough day - people trumpeting their kids' school reports is very tiresome but they don't mean to be insensitive. Well, most of them anyway.
It is times of direct comparison that can make us really hurt for our kids who have a sodding mountain to climb that other people can't see. I am trying really, really hard to only compare LO with what they alone could do a year ago. Any progress at all from their own starting point makes me much more proud than any parent whose child is allegedly reading Proust in French before snack time...
Oh spam, so sorry you are feeling this way.
FB is crap though, you only get the edited highlights. My eldest gets good school reports but I have found him really, really hard work to parent.
Last week he was jumping up and down on his bed having a full blown toddler temper tantrum (complete with I hate you and blood curdling screams etc etc). He is 12. The crime? I had removed his phone.
If I was so inclined I could boast on FB about his report, but it wouldn't change how bloody hard it is to know how to parent him most of the time.
Cross-posted, sorry. I can't help thinking that the school strategy of "sending to work in class below" is disastrous - the shame/rejection triggers of that are huge, and I would not be at all surprised if it resulted in more challenging behaviour rather than less. Time for some teacher training, or a chat with the SENCO about how discipline needs to be managed very differently when there may be attachment issues?
I agree with Jam DS has had a challenging couple of years at school and the school (having received a diagnosis fresh off the press for the EP) are now coming around to the idea that time out isn;t such a great idea
he's been home 8 years! So 1 year is indeed very early days.
Don't fear for their future brains are great at adapting with constant reinforcement but its like steering an oil tanker.
Jam / Kew (and everyone else)
I know what you mean but I'm at a loss as to what to suggest to the school in terms of behaviour management.
We had have specialist support in terms of an adoption/child trauma expert who doesn't believe the issues aren't 'that bad'. The school spoke to him and said the behaviour is manageable. And it is... Compared with some of the stories I read on here both DC are actually very 'normal' (horrible word but best descriptor I can think of). Their behaviour is very 'low level' and on the surface there don't appear to be attachment issues.
So it's hard to get buy in for a different approach.
DS doesn't have attachment issues I wish the professionals would stop latching onto that to the exclusion of everything else.
DS has been diagnosed with executive processing function disorder.
Please don't beat yourself up. All DC are hard work at times and no one I know would boast on FB about their kids - I never get why people do it. Some of my mates DC excel at all sorts of things but that's not how you would know. Boasting is not s nice trait. Ignore it - most of it is rubbish.
You are offering them a stable home and love. That's worth so much more
I was about to say - are the school able to present you with any helpful suggestions? Surely they are aware of the difficulties your children have had so I believe that you should trust what the report says. What I mean is if you trust the school are working to get the best from your children then don't necessarily dismiss the 'flowery language'. It may be that from their own benchmark the children are doing well. It would help you all to know what that benchmark is
Was just about to say same as Kew, in that "attachment" is not the only question that should be asked, but that I would be assuming your DC if placed at 5/6 have had some degree of difficult experiences in their early years, and the effects can be complex. "Low level" problems on the surface can just mean they have well-developed coping strategies but are feeling pretty desperate underneath, so it bubbles over into behaviour... Can you ask for a different "expert"?
I just worry about using isolating and excluding as punishments in school, because if a child's internal belief about themselves is "I am bad, I am not worth bothering with" it just reinforces it. Quiet time with a key worker, completing a task or working on ways of expressing emotions, might be more positive. Something in place perhaps that acknowledges they find things hard sometimes and that it's OK, like an understanding they can go to a quiet corner for a bit, or go with a key worker to get fresh air.
Kew knows loads more about this than I do!
I'm in a same-but-different situation with DGS (6) who I have an SGO for.
Behaviours issues at a school with ridiculously high expectations, but I am hoping to push them towards better use of the Pupil Premium to help him cope better in the classroom. I'm going to go in armed with Ofsted sheets and reports showing what strategies give best value for money etc.
(And hoping that his sports skills mean they'll overlook his below average reading and writing.)
We got our reports today too. I also have 7 and 6 year olds, and they have been with me a year too. They're not adopted though, but we are fostering them long term.
One report stated that he gets barely any work done and that he has a bad attitude towards learning. He's also about a year behind where he should be, and finds it hard to make friends. He's distracted easily, makes odd noises and very rarely understands what he has to do the first time the teacher tells him.
The younger one's report also said that he's behind where he should be, though not as far, and that he doesn't like getting on with his work without an adult sitting right by him. His main problem though is his behaviour. All year he's had 'tantrum' type of outbursts and ran about shouting and knocking over chairs. He's also hurt others in anger a few times. More recently he has got a little better but has taken to shouting angrily at his teacher.
So no bragging on Facebook for me!
My boys are changing schools in September so I'm hoping a fresh start will help!
I would agree that school need to start with using Pupil Premium to get some staff trained in attachment/adoption issues (your social worker may help here). Teachers may not have a clue where the DC are at if they are brushing it off as naughtiness or using shaming/rejecting punishments. Are school trying to make out they are coping OK or discouraging "interference" from your support worker?
TBH what you are describing sounds very typical and to be expected from children in your situation. It's not their fault. They have probably missed out on so much in early years that other children have the benefit off.
Don't feel bad. They will find their talents one day but they are still "firefighting".
We have just finished and got back the new EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE PLAN. (Replaces the old statementing process) DS has CP what a trawl took 12 month's too finish but is complexed and detailed, interesting school had more information from LA children's services , and reviled more past history of his time in care that we were aware of, has enabled us too follow up area's which have been overlooked and neglected. Wonder if any one has experienced similar.
Looking at a young woman living independently, parenting effectively and sustaining relationships it is hard to believe when she went to school she hid in cupboards, assaulted peers, had huge emotional meltdowns and ran away walking 10 or more miles in rages that were incoherent and terrifying. There was quite some chaos in between then and now but her progress is huge. It wouldn't rate on Facebook but it is meaningful.
Progress against self is all that matters and only knobs post such facebook stuff. I could tell you my eldest ds is excelling academically but also that he nearly very seriously injured his brother quite deliberately whilst in a temper as for the brother he 'is managing playground interactions with more success'. He has his own carpet spot with an exclusion zone... He is loving and kind (as long as not in that stressful playground). They are both birth children with all the advantages that confers but an edited write up and good photo would hide much...
At seven the young woman above didn't know how to be clean, couldn't have friendships, couldn't use cutlery. She got shit care choices for most of her life and how much more your boys have. They have that PP too, it should be used in them measurably!
Good reading for teachers and training www.theyellowkite.co.uk have other resources that can help train teachers (good use of PP+).
Asked school this week I want some feedback of how PP+ is used or will instruct LA not too release any more funds.
That link looks REALLY useful - will read in more depth at work. Thank you
And if it's any consolation, OP, I was on my knees
again last week in despair at DGS's school behaviour. He got two serious sanctions within a week (3 and you have a HT meeting) - kicking stones (which hit a pupil's head), play fighting (hit other pupil in the groin), throwing tomatoes at break AND lunchtime , generally being silly, not settling, etc etc. parents EvenIng was a ten minute character assassination, he had 'behaviour' written next to his name on a risk assessment sheet on a school trip. In nursery he stood on another boy's head. I could go on. and on
And yet he is, in most situations, a totally lovely, helpful little boy. Yes, emotionally/socially immature sometimes, but still within the boundaries of 'normal' development for a boy of his age.
I find the behaviours very difficult to deal with; I was labelling him myself, but sometimes it needs a step back, a million strategies up your sleeve, lots of praise and appreciation for what they DO get right. Easier said than done - I've just signed up for counselling again to get my head back in the right place and deal with the negative emotions that surface. We all want to be proud of our children, it's only natural, but those of us walking a different path have to discover different gems within ours.
Didn't mean for that to be so long, sorry. Basically, you're not alone!
Feel in a better place today.
Anyone know when PP+ funding hits schools, I.e. When they'll get the next lot? I know last year theirs was spent on academic intervention (which in fairness has worked wonders), but I think it could be better spent on targeted training... I'm fairly sure they'd get the intervention even without the PP+ and that they're just putting that funding in the pot which I know is a no no.
Also, if I wanted to check what schools were allowed to spend the PP+ money on, would a virtual head be the person to talk to? Their SENCO is good but have had meetings with her before and she's basically not totally up on PP+ (I had to tell her about it, she thought I meant just the 'normal' PP
Thanks for the support all. Means a lot.
I was assuming it would be September - would make sense (not that THAT always counts for much).
DGS got another red card today so that'll be us in to see the
ineffective Head shortly. Feel like a)keeping him off for the rest of the term and/or b) changing school.
Sorry to hijack your thread SirSpam; I thought we'd turned a corner with him but looks like it was a dead end.
There was another thread fairly recently about PP/PP+ which I'll have a look for later on the laptop, it had some good links. Or do a search on my username and it should come up amongst the other crap.
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