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Adoption Family FAS Parenting tips

When Your Child Publicly Hates You – Parenting tip #40 (Part 2)

I ended Parenting Tip #40 (Part 1) like this…

Next I will tell you how we handle the publicly declared accusations and hate mail as siblings and parents. God speed and until next time…

Public hatred {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So how do we deal with public jabs, attacks and innuendos?

How should we react or address twisting of the truth, stretching, shading or outright lies? Should we react at all?

Should we counter lies with the truth? Should we acknowledge any accusations, stories or public defamation?

This is tough because such public attacks are not only hurtful, but they undermine the entire family dynamic. When a child publicly lashes out, other family members and friends who read it are affected. This type of bitterness damages relationships, casts shadows, and breaks down communication within a family and has no value.

Let’s first look at the WHY.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Why does the adult child publicize their hatred of the parent? Is there any benefit to them?

  • They have bitterness in their heart that must get out. Bitterness not only blackens the heart of those who carry it, but it must fling it’s slimy sludge all over anyone within arms length and with the Internet, it no longer is limited to arms length.
  • With the lack of maturity that is needed to deal with and eradicate bitterness, those wallowing in dark thoughts think it will make them feel better to lash out at those that they think are the cause. They are mistaken. It will only grow the more they feed it.
  • Bitter people don’t want to suffer alone – they must make everyone else suffer as well. Those who listen to and believe the bitter person’s irrational accusations have a propensity for the darkness as well. Misery loves company, so we should not be surprised when those we thought were friends pat the offender on the head and say, “You poor baby.” It speaks to their hidden darkness and draws it out.
  • Bitterness is poison that needs to grow and destroy by its very nature. Just like happy people who must share their good news, bitter people feel the compulsion to share their misery.
  • Those who are bitter often have a difficult time identifying the root cause because of pride. When there is mental or emotional damage, their pride (self protection and narcissism) takes over and common sense and understanding are not present. “I must feel rotten, and it can’t be anything I did, so it must be “such and such’s” fault. (which usually, MOM = Such and Such)
  • To publicize their bitter thoughts, they are seeking approval. Since there will always be others with emotional issues, they will always find someone to “like” their words. People who are immature, gullible, bitter themselves or given to gossip and disloyalty are their best allies.
  • Those who are hurt often want to hurt others. It is a tough cycle to break.

 

How Should We Respond?

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

So what do we do as parents of these kids? Should we do anything?

It is very hard on a parent when they love a bitter child who is caught up in their own foolishness. Unrequited love is painful but when you add foolish behavior a desire hurt others, the whole enchilada is difficult to digest.

Have you ever read the verses, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” (Prov. 26:4)

Uh huh. With foolishness, you CAN.NOT.WIN. God said so.

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

But we are to warn the unruly, and comfort those who struggle mentally, being as patient as possible. It is our responsibility as friends or family to warn or loved ones when they are on a destructive path, but not to be surprised if our warnings go unheeded. It’s the combination of pride, foolishness and bitterness that builds the impenetrable wall.

Lose the Old Habits

I used to think that if I could just talk to them, explain, make them remember what really happened, remind them of what they were like to live with, what they did, why we did what we did…that it would all be better. Um. No. It doesn’t work. You can talk all day until you are blue in the face and you will NEVER change them.

Now I only give advice when asked and don’t spend a lot of time doing it – that way I know that I have taken care of my responsibility (but I don’t expect change).

Dump Them into God’s Lap

Only life’s consequences and God’s hand can change them. Period.

I used to spend hours on the phone with some of my kids trying to talk sense into them. They would hang up and go right back to the same behavior, belief system and bitter living. I would stress over our conversation for hours or even days – long after they had already forgotten about everything that I said.

It was a waste of time and only caused me to be emotionally drained and sometimes even discouraged.

I don’t do it any more.

I sleep much better.

Dealing with Hate {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Learn to Ignore

I do my best to ignore it all (once the kids grow and go) and focus on the kids who are good to me – the kids who love me and bring me joy.

And I wait. I wait for the others to come around. I wait for life to throw them enough curve balls that they finally remember, that they finally realize that all the things that drive their bitterness are not real or at least had nothing to do with us, those of us who tried their best to do what was best for them (and were trying to survive). I wait for God to get a hold of their heart.

Guard Your Heart

Does it hurt? Yes. But I do my best to set it aside. I’m getting pretty good at it after years of practice.

The fact that I’ve seen radical changes in many of my kids makes all the difference – I’m seriously blessed to see the maturity and loving nature of most of my kids who have had so much to overcome. This progress has filled in the holes created by past and present hate and bitterness.

Find Your Happy Place

The fact that I’ve had an armful of kids and grandkids (and a DH) that have ALWAYS loved me has carried me along and kept me whole (kept me from the depths of despair and maintained my sanity, for the most part).

Family Selfie {Mom of Many}

  1. We know God has endured pain and hurt from His people and still has remained faithful and loving, giving us a great example of what his power can do to help us achieve or endure.
  2. We need to cling to the good things/people in our life. To feel fortunate gives us the fuel to get through the tough times.
  3. The children who know and express the love of God make it worth enduring the ones who do not.
  4. To not go on the defensive and counter the attacks allows the door to our home to stay open – we need to maintain our hope that they will one day walk through it. Hope goes a long way.

Hang tight. Patiently wait. Pray God will work. Watch out the window. Keep the door open. Accept them when they do finally walk through. Reassure them you love them. Keep the lines of communication open. If they make things right, start new. Remember we are all imperfect and forgiveness should be immediate when asked for. Hope. Always hope.

SUGGESTIONS:

  1. Buy the book Boundaries by Townsend. Learn to set boundaries that set you free of the pain.
  2. Join the Mom of Many mailing list and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff. If you need support, a strong shoulder or a listening ear – M.O.M. is here.

Have you ever been hurt by your kids? What did you do about it? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

 

Val @ Mom of Many

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

Categories
Adoption Family FAS Parenting tips

Are you an overprotective mama? 10 Ways to Know for Sure – Parenting Tip #35

Are you an overprotective mom? {Mom of Many}Let’s take the umbrella test…

  1. Do you know your child WELL?
  2. Do you have their best interests at heart – are they your priority?
  3. Do you take the time to get to know your kids’ friends?
  4. Are you a good example?
  5. Are you involved in EVERY part of your kids’ lives – school, faith (church), home, outside activities, hobbies, friends, etc.?
  6. Do you know the adults WELL that are responsible for supervision when you are not around?
  7. Do you pay attention to what is going on in your family, with your kids, and those they spend time with?
  8. Do you talk to your kids – and listen?
  9. Do you supervise well and watch for issues that need to be addressed?
  10. Are you consistent, available and faithful?

If you answer “Yes” to these questions then I’d say you can trust your mama instincts. Too many times I let others’ opinions influence my decisions negatively. It took me years to shut out the whisperings and follow my own mama bear instincts. If you have no one to support you, and you believe your are doing the best you can, then go find someone that you respect, has experience, and can get in your corner.

Stick to your guns.

We don’t like it when people criticize our parenting. But then we stress over their “advice”. We know that if others criticize us then we must be doing something wrong – um, no. Not necessarily. We need to confidently hold our own if we truly feel we are doing what God has appointed us to do. We need to reek of confidence when we deal with our kids too. Why do we cave when our kids throw a fit over our parenting? We need to drip of confidence in order to get our kids to take us seriously and have reason to trust us.

You are not your kids’ friend.

Make it clear that you are the Mom and you will make hard decisions when needed. Let them know that no matter what, you will always look out for them and choose what is best, ALWAYS – even when they don’t agree. If you are a good mom, and if you are reading this I’ll bet you are a stellar mom, then trust your intuition. Ask God for guidance and then do what you think is best – even if others disagree – even if your kids throw a fit.

Learn, grow, ask questions, seek advice.

Keep your eyes peeled, consider, evaluate, follow through. Your kids are counting on you and if they don’t agree, do your mama thing anyway. I do believe we ought to listen to them and consider their wishes, if they present it properly. But remember: they need your guidance even if they don’t want it or appreciate it.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)God is your umbrella and you are theirs.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.”
~Erma Bombeck

Val @ Mom of Many

MomofMany.net

Categories
Adoption Educating Our Children Family FAS Parenting tips

“He will never learn to tell time.” Parenting Tip #29

 

There is Always Hope

When you parent special needs kids and take them to doctors, psychologists and Neurologists, often you will hear discouraging news.

  • He will never learn to tell time because of his low IQ.
  • Get him velcro shoes because he’ll never learn to tie.
  • He will always be behind a year or two.
  • With his limited abilities you won’t be able to teach him like other kids.
  • He will never be capable of living on his own.
  • He will never hold down a job.
  • He will never see you as his parents, attach to you, or feel a part of your family.

I always accepted those statements as a challenge.

I walked out of evaluations with the attitude, “Bet me.” You guessed it – they did learn to do those things, and went on to learn all the basics.

All kids have potential {Mom of Many}

Be careful of IQ (It doesn’t mean I Quit)

Another one of my kids who was assigned a very low IQ during their younger years  has his own apartment and job at a grocery store. Others who had a rough start have jobs, drive cars, have relationships and speak intelligently – so much so that you need to get to know them before you know they have any disabilities.

Over-educated?

A few years after a depressing evaluation, I took one child to be evaluated at a children’s health center because I wanted to know if there were any programs that would help me with some specific issues. They had a great reputation in our county.

All kids have potential {Mom of Many}

He was in in fourth grade and tested at a 6th grade level with a Kindergarten ability. They couldn’t explain how he knew more than he was “able to learn.” When I explained that I taught him at home, they told me that I had “over-educated” him and that there were no programs for a kids like him.

Hmm. So I took him home and continued teaching him until I knew he had all the basics.

Another one of my kids desired to live on his own when he turned 18. It was hard for him to watch his siblings go off to college and talk about their futures. Since I was concerned about him being out on his own, we found a supervised living program. After a few months he lost a lot of what I had taught him (personal care, housekeeping, etc.) so he moved into the dorms where he could be closely monitored.

He graduated from their college three years later and is doing fabulously.

FASD and Other Labels

Some who live with after shocks of maternal drugs and alcohol use (they are adopted, BTW) have learned to compensate using other skills to fill in the gaps.

  • Those who had trouble remembering information in subjects like grammar and history relied on memorization to get them through the tough subjects.
  • Homework folders and assignment pads helped with daily assignments and teacher communication.
  • The younger kids had older kids as partners to help with daily activities like chores and outside activities.
  • They used check lists, sticky notes and had accountability partners.
  • Our home was structured with a consistent schedule, rules and expectations.
  • We were always nearby and consistent in supervision and follow through.

We have taught our kids to live in spite of “labels”. FASD, OCD, ODD, ADHD, ADD, PTSD, TMI, EMI, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyslexia, Asperger’s, APD, PCE, RAD, etc.

Never, ever give up on your kids, accept doomsday predictions on their future abilities, or let numbers set the bar. It is good to seek evaluations but use the information as a tool, not as fact that limits your reach.

Shoot for the moon, but be content if you only reach the stars. It’s an amazing place to live.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many community and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.

MomofMany.net

 

 

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Adoption FAS

This Woman’s Story Sounds So Familiar…

Monday, December 13, 2010, 5:59 PM – a story from a fellow adoptive mom…

The local caseworker told us early on (when they were threatening to charge us with neglect for not picking up our RAD daughter from the teen shelter after her two weeks were up) that DCFS “does not want your other kids. We don’t want Rob [either]”.

Yet we were repeatedly and relentlessly threatened with the loss of our other children and they actually filed a petition asking the judge to make them wards of the state (although not to take custody of them), then tortured us for over a year and a half by making sure the judge never ruled on that petition. I have heard horror stories about familys who were destroyed when DCFS pulled their other children as punishment for refusing to take back their very troubled RAD child/ren or in response to wild tales of abuse cooked up by the “problem child”. In those cses, the other children were severely traumatized and never the same by the abuses they suffered in foster care (often from the child/ren who the parents had been trying to protect them from in the first place) and by “the system” in general.

It totally destroys a child’s sense of safety to be pulled form a family where there is *not* a problem, especially when they have just gotten free of a troubled sibling and are now dumped back into a home with him or her – most often one where the [foster] parents are clueless and thus unable to stop the abuses.

I found myself searching for a source for cyanide and wondering how many peach pits it would take to cook up a fatal batch myself so I could take brownies with poisoned frosting to my first “visit” if they pulled my other kids – so all of us could die together and be safely in the hands of God instead of in hands of DCFS (state child protective services) — that’s when I began looking for a safe house for my children to go to during every court hearing and pulled the last one of them out of the public schools.

DCFS in IL is notorious for being cowardly and pulling children out of the schools instead of visiting their homes. I’ve heard terrible tales of how parents panicked when their kids didn’t show up after school and didn’t find out they were in DCFS custody until the next day. Most of those cases I’ve heard of were those where the kids were pulled in retaliation, not for actual abuses. And we have fostered 3 dozen DCFS wards, so I’ve heard those parents’ stories too. I have a friend whose 9 year old son broke his arm at a Little League game. The next day, a (particularly nasty) neighbor called CPS, telling them that his father had hit him with a baseball bat in the backyard. They pulled the child from his classroom in the middle of the school day without even talking with his teacher, his Little League coach or either of his parents. It took them almost a week to get him returned to their home. The poor child began wetting the bed and has severe separation anxiety and all of her children had trouble sleeping for months afterward.

At the very least, you should talk with your other children’s schools – principles, teachers, guidance counselors, maybe also bus drivers – and let them know what’s going on and what the dangers to your other kids are. Ideally, most of those people already know because you’ve had to explain to them why your children have been a little odd in school during your troubled child’s latest bad spell. I’d include any after school caregivers, coaches, scout leaders, etc. It helped us greatly that our school principal knew what we’d been going through so he was able to sit in on the CPS investigator’s interview of my 6 year old (they just couldn’t do it in our home?) and served as a buffer for her if the questions got scary and kept a leash on the CPS guy so he didn’t intimidate her.

This was early-on in my RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) daughter’s ever-escalating accusation history, so they had not yet threatened to take the other children away. You cannot assume that DCFS/CPS will behave in a reasonable fashion. It seems there is no limit to what kind of stunts they will pull just to prove their power over everyone and immunity to the consequences of their actions.

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FAS

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome series: Living with FASD

Here is an article that does a pretty good job of explaining some of the difficulties that those with FASD encounter: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome series: Living with FASD.

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Adoption FAS Links

Eva and Rick’s Incredible Journey

Wow. Check out this story about a single mom and her adopted son with FASD. It will give you a good look at some of the things our family has lived through  – a journey not many can identify with or even try to understand.

“He wore out his welcome in a few months wherever he went and had survived at least 13 homes by the time he came to live with me. One of his “homes” was the psychiatric ward of a county hospital where he stayed for three months when he was two. Immediately preceding this, he visited his birth mom and returned in a catatonic state. He wouldn’t stop rocking and staring into space. His foster parents couldn’t break his trance and after a few hours took him to the emergency room. When he was discharged, they refused to take him back.

All of the placements ended because of alleged abuse in the foster home or because Rick was no longer wanted. Because of this I expected him to have an attachment disorder but when he was 5 a pediatric neurologist diagnosed him as having possible Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and prescribed Ritalin. My medical dictionary and other research didn’t tell me much; just that it was a cause of mental retardation. Rick didn’t look like the photos and had none of the physical characteristics. I dismissed it. I was in denial. I figured a secure, stable, loving home would work wonders for my Ricky.”

To read the rest of this article go to: http://ninezeroproject.blogspot.com/2010/05/eva-and-ricks-incredible-journey.html

Categories
Adoption FAS

Chicago Tribune – FASD Misunderstood by Courts

Click here to read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a young man diagnosed with FASD that is presently in the court system. It will give you an idea of what deficits those with FASD struggle with – these issues are life long because of brain damage in utero caused by the birth mother drinking alcohol during her pregnancy.

World wide interest has been sparked by the story of the little boy who was sent back to Russia by his adoptive parents. His special needs that were too much for the family to handle.  Many FASD children are sent here from Russia to American adoptive families, often without the families being aware of the extent of their special needs.

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Adoption FAS

A Plea for Help From an Adoptive Parent

I have a friend on my adoptive parents Yahoo email group who is in dire need of a solution to her family problem. She’s in the place we were months ago with no solution in sight. She has one week. I am asking prayer for her and her family as well as any input you all might has as to a solution. Below is part of her story from her blog, Adoption Drama…The System. She lives in Michigan. The comment in red with brackets is mine.

Michigan’s Post-Adoption Support Fails Youth, Families, and the Community.

I am an adoptive mom and a professional in the foster care system. I cannot sit back and watch the post adopt system fail our children. The children that are in adoptive homes today and those awaiting adoption. At the time of adoption, some children qualify for Michigan’s Adoption Subsidy support – medical and/or financial support. The concept of this support is to provide adopted children and their families with the support they need to meet the needs of the adopted child that were present prior to adoption. These needs are considered prior to signing of the adoption document. A family has to option of submitting documentation after the adoption is finalized to add other conditions that were present before adoption but not diagnosed until after adoption. No where in any of the support, does it say there is a limit to how much they will cover for the qualified condition.

My son is 16. He came into foster care when he was 4 and adopted when he was 5. The conditions he lived in prior to adoption have had a lasting impact on who he is and how he operates in society. Its like he is miss-wired because of the abuse he suffered (prenatal drug exposure, severe physical abuse and neglect). His behaviors started around age 6 and became out of control at age 12. Things continued to escalate and he went for residential treatment at 14 1/2 years of age. Well in the first facility, things got worse and he acted out more, placing more people in danger. He was moved to another residential program and spent the last 1 1/2 years there. He’s completed their program but not without incident. Their program has not addressed all of his behaviors or needs, but has touched the tip of the iceberg.

FUNDING HAS STOPPED. Despite the fact that he has not addressed the initial needs that placed him at risk or a danger to himself or others, FUNDING HAS STOPPED. It doesn’t seem to matter that the need hasn’t stopped – the qualifying need that got him adoption subsidy. But all they can say is, “FUNDING HAS STOPPED.”

The reality is that if he makes any of the same choices he made prior to going to residential treatment, he will go to prison. The reality is that he has lived in a very structured program of 2 years and they are just open the door and send him on his way. No transition back into the community, even though programs exist to help him transition back and be successful. All this because FUNDING HAS STOPPED.

Where is the adoption subsidy support that is suppose to help him get the care to address the needs without a limit? Without a limit doesn’t align with “Funding has stopped.” Helping him be as successful as he can be given the past he was dealt, isn’t a part of their plan. Where are my son’s rights to care and treatment from adoption subsidy?

The transitional program costs money. If I had the money, I’d pay for it myself. I don’t have the kind of money the program costs. I want nothing more than for my son and the other adopted children in the same situation and the foster children with the same struggles that are waiting to be adopted to have a chance for a successful future. To be given the opportunity to use the “support” from adoption subsidy they were promised. As adoptive parents, if we don’t pick them up when funding ends even though the need has not, the state threatens to file CPS neglect charges on the parent. Yet, Adoption Subsidy it the one who is neglecting their need and the agreement to support the treatment of that need. [If we bring them home and a child is hurt, we will be charged with “failure to protect. This is a lose/lose situation for the adoptive families.]

Please help me help my son and others in the same situation. Our funding is scheduled to end on 3/19/2010. Coming home places me and the other children in the home at risk due to his violent and sexual behaviors. He has threatened to kill me and tried once before. I love my son dearly and want for him to have a chance of being successful. Home and back in the community is not where he belongs right now.

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FAS

Consuming Alcohol During Pregnancy

November 23, 2009

A new study from Perth’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research has found evidence that the amount and timing of alcohol consumption in pregnancy affects child behaviour in different ways. 
 
The study has just been published online in the international journal Addiction. Lead author Colleen O’Leary said the analysis was drawn from a random sample of more than 2000 mothers who completed a questionnaire three months after the baby’s delivery, and were then followed up when the child was 2, 5 and 8 years of age. 
 
“Mothers who reported what we would classify as heavy drinking in the first trimester of were nearly three times as likely to report that their child suffered with anxiety and/or depression or somatic complaints,” Ms O’Leary said. “Those who drank moderately during that first trimester were twice as likely to report those types of behavioural issues for their child. 
 
“Exposure to moderate or heavy levels of alcohol in late pregnancy increased the risk of aggressive types of behaviours in the child. “This research suggests that both the timing and the intensity of alcohol exposure in the womb affect the type of behaviour problems expressed.” 
 
In this study low levels of alcohol did not increase the risk of harm to the baby. However, the evidence clearly shows that the risk to the baby increases with increasing amounts consumed. “It should also be noted that in this study moderate exposure is classified as drinking 3-4 standard drinks per occasion- that’s about two normal glasses of wine-and no more than a bottle of wine drunk over a week.” Heavy drinking included women who were drinking the equivalent of more than a bottle of wine per week.
 
Note: I just received a letter from an adoption agency that placed one of my kids in our home for adoption, saying that their birth mother consumed 40+ ounces of alcohol a day and was addicted to cocaine during her pregnancies. She had been referred to rehabs many times but didn’t go. Why do mothers do this to their children?  This is one disability, FASD, that can be prevented. Not only can the child’s future behavior be affected by the mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy, but there can be physical and mental damage as well.
Categories
Adoption FAS

Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Borderline Personalities, Etc.

OH MY, OH MY! I just ran across this today – very interesting reading for those of us who have experienced difficult children through adoption. Click here. Here and here are other sites that speak of these disorders.

This is an excerpt from an article on Answers.com:

  • The key characteristics of a sociopath include: (1) having no conscience, (2) inability to treat others as human beings, with feelings and rights and (3) inability to learn from experience, from life. One result of this last is gross immaturity, though it may be hidden unless one knows the person well. A sociopath behaves as if he/she were the only person in the whole world and as if everyone else just existed for their benefit and had no existence in their own right. (4) Sociopaths treat other people as toys and hanker after the power to control and hurt their ‘nearest and dearest’. (5) Many are monumentally self-important: they may pretend to be millionaires when in reality they are sliding towards financial disaster. (6) Habitual dishonesty.
  • He will charm his way into your life and heart, then take complete advantage of you – your emotions, your finances, your intellect. He will make you think you are the crazy one. Your friends will see right through him. He will isolate you from your friends and possibly your family. He cannot hold a job and will probably commit crimes – theft, fraud, forgery, and spend time in jail or prison. He will abuse drugs or alcohol. He may abuse you.