Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Because Foster Kids Lie

Posted by Mandy at 12:43 PM

.. about everything. Even when it doesn't matter. And I knew this before, so why am I so stunned?

Our "big brother".. age 6... has begun the art of lying. Oh wow.. if there were awards given out for lying way too good to be so young, he'd be the winner or at least runner-up.

Lies range from "I didn't do it" to "I don't know" and "No I didn't, he's lying!"

Why hello, reality! I wondered when you'd show up!

I am SUPER thankful to have friends that have done all of this before. You know, the ones that you call, totally frustrated with no idea what to do, and they giggle. Yeah.. you read that correctly. Giggle. I think it's a mix of "Yep... now you see what I've dealt with all of this time," and "No biggie.. here's what you can do."

Thankfully, my best bud Brandy, over at Sugar and Spice has pretty much dealt with IT ALL with raising her crew and fostering several. She directed me to a WONDERFUL blog for anyone dealing with foster children, especially those with Reactive Attachment Disorder called Welcome to my Brain. I sat and watched like 10 of her videos the other day... priceless!

So, what I've learned so far from all of my buddies is this:

1. Never ask them "why." They don't know why.

2. Never ask them "did you." Because they'll lie. And you'll fight... and it gives them power.

What TO do:

1. State that you know what happened. Tell them what they did, and tell them why you don't appreciate it. Or, skip that step. They know you know.. move on. Typical discipline doesn't work. Time outs just make them feel pushed away, punishments feed their anger and resentment.

So - enter "restitution's."

Big Brother has learned that for each "wrong" he does to someone, he must make it right.


The other day I was painting one of our hallways. He watched me do it. We chatted happily the entire time. I turned my back to put the paint trays away and when I looked up he was running his finger down the wet wall. He saw me see him... he acted as if nothing had happened.

I WANTED to scream.. and yell.. and punish. I was furious. Especially after some incidences the previous day. Instead, I heard my friends' voices in my head and did what they recommended.

I said, "I know you just ran your finger across that wet wall. Now I have to repaint it, and that makes my night a lot harder. You can sit right here in this chair and think of something you can do to make my  night easier."

I said it in a nice voice - not firm, not harsh. Not the way I FELT like saying it. He was obedient... he sat for 10 minutes quietly. I asked, "Have you thought of something or do you need help?" He said he could think up something...

10 more minute passed. He finally came to me with his idea.

"I'll clean up the table after supper.. I know you don't like to do that job. And, I'll draw you a picture to say I'm sorry."

Wow... two restitution's! Good job, Buddy!

That was that. I never brought it up again.

This is just one incidence... we've had a few that I've handled wrongly, by asking if he did "it" or why he did "it." Let me tell you.. that DOES NOT WORK. This does work.

Today was his first day of school here - he is in Kindergarten. I am a bit nervous to see how he does... mainly because I have huge fear of not handling problems the right way with him and making things worse. This is a whole new ballgame. This is not like parenting your biological children... parenting an abused, neglected, traumatized child presents challenges like nothing I've ever experienced. Again, SO thankful to have friends that have been there and done that.. or are there, doing it now!


Christine on Tuesday, 04 January, 2011 said...

Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this. Love this.


Anonymous said...

Wish I could have read this when I fostered. Keeping it tucked away though b/c I'm pretty sure eventually we'll be fostering again.....and it will probably help with my own biological brood. God Bless!

lana on Wednesday, 05 January, 2011 said...

way to go... so encouraged by this for you and will SO use this method

Perspective RAD on Wednesday, 05 January, 2011 said...

brushing teeth, and now putting on Deodorant have got to be the two most told lies in our house. I give him that "really?" look, and he smells... I mean, he smiles....lol

Nina @ Momma Go Round on Wednesday, 05 January, 2011 said...

WOW! There are not words for how lucky any foster child is to have a parent like you. I lose my temper far too often with my own kid. I can't imagine the completely childish behaviors and thoughts that would go through my head if I had to deal with situations like yours.


Brandy on Friday, 07 January, 2011 said...

thanks for the linky! even though i don't blog anymore. ;) i love reading it all, makes me feel like part of the journey.

and he'd definitely only be a runner up. i have first place at my house. bwahaha.

Megan on Wednesday, 12 January, 2011 said...

LOVE this! We are actually starting classes to become re-certified this week. I will have to keep all of this tucked away... and definitely share with our other friends who are beginning this process as well.

Praying for the continued transition!

Anonymous said...

hey.. first time writer of any foster things.. my 15 year old has been with me two years//I've known him for 5... He's always had the "perfect, too good to be true" behavior, but now just found out his enormous talent for lying...school stuff, missing classes, etc..and other stupid things,, I see him studying so many hours each day with effort,he's pretty great at home, we manage at home I think great. I got angry, so didn't handle things like Mandy wrote, but at least he admits he lies, doesn't understand why, and wants to stop... no other signs of RAD,or other things... any advice? I believe in first dealing at home in home, before going to a more serious treatment, and afterall, I realize he's also a teenager breaking borders... I will add that love , patience, talking and listening is my talent, and he gets plenty of each... thanks to all

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