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My foster son is too nice/well behaved.

(23 Posts)
ScarletTrees Thu 08-Dec-16 01:56:24

Foster son is 11. Over the years I have dealt with very difficult children (obviously through no fault of their own) and they have all been older than 8.

11 year old I currently foster has had a tough life (obviously don't need to say everything) but neglect, etc. and is showing no signs of this. Is that strange? In all my trainings I have been told I will face this this and this and it has never been wrong in every child I have fostered. I'm just surprised and is it bad that it makes me sceptical?

Or can children genuinely show no signs of previous neglect, etc. although it was at an age they would clearly remember?

OlennasWimple Thu 08-Dec-16 02:00:44

I strongly suspect that he is on best behaviour because he doesn't trust you yet. Give it time and be prepared for the outburst, would be my advice

(DD is adopted, and is an angel with everyone else for this reason, but a terror for us...)

DefinitelyNotAJourno Thu 08-Dec-16 09:55:42

How long has he been with you?

It can sometimes take a wee while for the child to feel comfortable enough with you before they feel they won't be rejected for bad behaviour.

ScarletTrees Thu 08-Dec-16 10:14:04

That's the thing, I have experienced that a lot before, but it normally comes out by now.

He's been here 4 weeks.

DefinitelyNotAJourno Thu 08-Dec-16 10:24:38

It's taken me much longer before, three months in a teenage girl.

Or, perhaps he's just a nice lad smile

Currently have a 7yo girl who spent the first two months in best behaviour, but it's relaxing into things now and a few interesting behaviours showing.

Helsinkimorning Thu 08-Dec-16 18:58:38

Honeymoon period...

mum2tots Sat 31-Dec-16 15:34:30

Honeymoon period or avoidant attachment pattern style

neolara Sat 31-Dec-16 15:36:19

Did he have someone earlier in his life with whom he developed a secure attachment?

toptoe Sat 31-Dec-16 15:37:42

If he had someone like an aunt or a neighbour who showed him love and care he may have had just enough to know he can trust some adults.

Passmethecrisps Sat 31-Dec-16 15:40:10

Within a school environment young people can take a term or more so show the behaviour they have evidenced before.

Sometimes they never do as the behaviour may be symtimatic of a previous placement/environment

Wherehasmydevilcomefrom Sat 31-Dec-16 15:49:12

I was neglected as a child and I have since been told by people who knew me then that I was one of the nicest, quietest kids they'd met.

However I was hiding a lot of stuff and no one knew then that I was being neglected but its left me now in my 20's with issues and I'm on medication and having counseling as a direct result of the neglect and not facing up to it sooner.

I think I would have liked somebody to ask me how I was feeling etc, to talk to me at my own pace and help me realise it weren't my fault and that it weren't normal. Of course this may not be what your Foster son wants but it nay be worth trying.

Goingtobeawesome Sat 31-Dec-16 15:53:22

Or could be so happy and grateful to be somewhere safe that he is able to be the lovely boy he is.

1970sCarpet Sat 31-Dec-16 16:32:02

I was neglected as a child. I lived alone with another sibling from age 8-14yrs. I always won prizes for best behaved, most responsible girl, neatest girl bla bla Bla. Hardworking and very compliant, perhaps too compliant.
Eventually school found out how we were living but it didn't change our circumstances, although teachers looked out for us.

I grew into a very timid, nervous young woman with low self esteem and desperate to please. It is with great difficulty that I've managed to overcome some of this. The point of this is, neglect doesn't always manifest straightaway, and it can be different for different people.

Just carry on loving and caring for your foster child, but perhaps lookout for things such as lacking assertiveness, confidence etc which you can help instill. Good luck.

Gallavich Sat 31-Dec-16 16:33:53

It could be his self protection strategy, or it could be that he's genuinely a resilient child.

pinktransit Sat 31-Dec-16 16:36:54

I'd also say honeymoon period. I'm just over a month in with a 16 yr old girl with what sounds like a similar background. She's been very good mostly , but it's only been the last couple of days that boundaries are beginning to be pushed. I'm guessing I'm in for a rocky few weeks until it settles down but mostly I'm happy about it - in my view it means she's feeling secure enough to be moody and difficult, which is a good thing overall.

Blueemeraldagain Sat 31-Dec-16 16:46:02

I teach in a school for students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. We have a high number of students who are in care. Whenever they change carers (reasonably often, poor souls) we (the staff at school) have to go a period of "oh, they never do that at home" (never? They've lived with you for 3 days!), "oh, maybe it's not the right school" (really? Here's all the evidence of the academic, social and emotional progress they have made despite a nightmarish beginning), "oh, they are so helpful at home" (yes, they are terrified you will be the 5th, 6th, 7th adult to reject them) etc.

It's the honeymoon period.

I'll quietly admit that when reality hits and the carers start working with us I allow myself a moment of private smugness.

allmixedupreally Sat 31-Dec-16 17:12:55

Maybe he has just decided to numb himself from the pain.
Maybe this is his character and a positive calm environment brings out the best in him
Maybe he has been so neglected that he cannot connect to his own real emotions - so you see this as compliance

I remember moving placements at the age of 13 - from foster carers who were polar opposites to my new carers i.e from abusive to very caring, open and understanding - I also remember being acutely aware that adults - fc and SW around me were eager for me to blow up - or show my "true colours" and even to the point of encouraging me or making it known to me that I could in their house as they had seen everything before as they had fostered so many teenagers before me. It was almost as if once I had "blown up" they would see the real me and we could start living.
Well within a few weeks I staged a "blow up" just to get it over and done with - and from there the relationship just went downhill.

OzzieFem Sat 31-Dec-16 19:21:09

Why do fostered kids get moved from carer to carer? I thought the idea was to place them in a stable environment, not keep moving them around. I know some just don't gel together, but thought some were fostered for years .

Blueemeraldagain Sun 01-Jan-17 02:33:58

Some are fostered long term, possibly most (I don't know the stats). The students who attend the school I teach at are quite... disturbed (for want of a better word). They can lie, steal, damage property, school avoid, verbally and physically abuse. This leads to placements breaking down.

OzzieFem Sun 01-Jan-17 10:00:21

Are most of the placements which break down because the foster parents are not fully informed of the child's problems, or the foster parents are not adequately trained to deal with these situations?

Reason I'm asking is that there was a thread earlier where foster parents had specifically stated they did not want any child with sexual problems fostered with them, as they had their own children to protect. The LA (or agency, not sure which) gave them an 18yr old boy? with these problems but did not inform them of this. with result of two small children being sexually abused. /Foster-parents-sue-social-workers-placed-teenager-home

From what I can gather it's even worse in North America, but from a different viewpoint.
www.canadacourtwatch.com/Brochures/UnderstandingTheRisksOfFosterParenting.pdf

Just looking at a few of these reports it's not surprising there is a shortage of foster parents. I have nothing except admiration for those people willing to take on emotionally vulnerable, physically and mentally disadvantaged children for what is peanuts against what it would cost the govt to keep them in care. I know I couldn't do it.

picklemepopcorn Sun 08-Jan-17 11:15:25

Ozziefem it is intense and draining sometimes, and foster carers can simply run dry. I asked for a placement to end because it was very challenging, the level of care needed was becoming hard to sustain. They had suggested putting film on the glazed furniture/Windows to prevent breakages, locks on my BCs doors etc. I had a couple of incidents where I felt I was losing my ability to react therapeutically, when a child was physically aggressive. I think I was too close for the children. The relationship was too intense and personal. They felt safe enough to attack me in a rage. I had loads of training, and knew what to do, but couldn't always do it. So I had to ask for them to be moved. I'm still grieving it, to be honest.

jules179 Sun 08-Jan-17 11:18:08

A month in seems far too soon for him to trust you to see anything difficult if that is a worry for him. He is possibly on best behaviour because he is worried about rejection if you see anything that isn't 'perfect'?

OzzieFem Mon 09-Jan-17 02:40:24

picklemepopcorn Honestly I don't know how you can take on physically aggressive children. It's all very well to say the kids feel safe enough to attack you in a rage but what happens if you or other family members are injured? Would you be compensated by the got dept, or left to get on with it?

Truly I can imagine the feeling of satisfaction one can get by successfully fostering a child but the heartbreak when it fails must be devastating. I have nothing but admiration for you. flowers

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