First, a few years into working with children with behavior problems stemming from trauma, I began to notice how some kids developed a sense of hopelessness in very rigid homes/group homes. The more difficult a child’s behaviors were, the more restrictive the consequences would become; and eventually, the child would have no privileges and no areas of success. Once this happened, they had nothing left to lose and their behaviors would often escalate.
Category: Foster Parenting
When my daughter first moved in with me as my then foster daughter, I was her 17th home. After just a few weeks, the testing began. It felt like a 24-hour a day attack; she was very determined to push me away. Even though I had every reason to be emotional, angry, frustrated, doubtful and full of fear, I quickly realized that my “rights” to these feelings were not doing me any good. I would imagine my girl getting on a daily roller coaster ride and I knew that I had to refuse to get on it with her.
The classic Christmas song, “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” may be bring up sentimental images of Bing Crosby and falling snow, but for a foster child, the longing for “home” is very real. As foster parents, we often feel a lot of pressure to try to make the holidays as “normal” as possible for our families while also considering the needs of the traumatized child who is living with us. Here are a few practical ideas for foster families during the holidays: