Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good Grief I Hate Visits

Posted by Mandy at 9:00 AM

The boys have a once a week visit with their mom... and I'm very glad of that for MANY reasons. All of which would be completely obvious and not worth me writing out.

If I could be SUPER selfish here.. and just vent a bit.. I also completely hate the once a week visits. Why? Well... let me explain.

The day before visits, Big Brother knows is "the day before visits." This sends his brain into Never-Never Land where he begins acting out... lying, sneaking, wildness, and some defiance. None of these things are ever "serious" but when you get lied to about little things oh... 10 times in 2 hours... it becomes a large deal. The day of, amazingly, is usually a great day for us. Even after... we have some sadness, but nothing like I expected in the beginning. The day after... holy cow. Let's just say I'm honestly dreading after-school time today because yesterday was "the day."

It always feels like one step forward, two steps back. As the visit day is farther behind us, things get back to normal. Then, BAM.. here we go again.

I would never want to change the set up... not that I could anyway... I think it's important for them to see their mother as much as possible, especially Little Brother... but I just wish I knew a way to make this easier for me. I don't know how to calm him down, to keep the misbehavior at a minimal during the build-up. I feel like I'm constantly putting him through mental detox or something.

Any been there, done that advice? Is there a way to avoid this up and down of behavior?

Something that I haven't been very good at, that I know traumatized kids need, is to ask "how were you feeling when you did "that"?" to him after an event. I hate it when I realize way after the fact that I keep doing total foster-mom fails... I know the longer it takes me to get this stuff right - the harder it will be for all of us.

Some days I feel so victorious.. like "Yes! We finally got THAT behind us!" just to get smacked with something new... one really hard day... a new behavior that blows my mind... or my own mind going blank when I catch him in a lie or doing something that he knows he shouldn't.

I don't feel defeated, or like this is too hard. In all honesty, MOST of the time it's been fine. But, when he CHOOSES to make life difficult.. he is really good at it. (as most kids are...)


Perspective RAD on Wednesday, 19 January, 2011 said...

Dang girl! I know what you are going through. The visits, the meltdowns, the how long must you pay for this... recover just in time for another visit setback. Not fun! Hang in there!

JoAnna said...

I just found your blog... hopped over from a comment you left on Christy's "Middle Mom" blog. :) We are in Pine Bluff area and have been foster parents for a whopping 3 months now! Our almost 4 year old spazzes about visits also. One thing that has really helped is to get her isolated immediately after visitation (we drop off & pick up) and have a few minutes of one on one time while holding her as close as she will allow. I just go over the basics in a no-nonsense, but loving fashion: She is going back to my house now. She is safe. No one is going to hurt her when she is with us. We are going to eat dinner when we get home. I am happy she is at my house. She has to obey me. Once that is all stated and she has been held & reassured that she is wanted... she calms down. Big time. Its like I can just see the stress and traumatic junk melt off and she is able to look me in the eyes again. All the crazy, loud, obnoxious, wild, defiant behavior stops & we go back to her "normal".

Because she lives in lala land most of the time and can't really have a "I feel..." conversation, we skip that initially and may pick it up again after she's had some food.

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