Who Took the Tomato?

 Chasing Lilly, Foster children, Fostering, RAD parenting  Comments Off on Who Took the Tomato?
Apr 292015

Okay, There were four tomatoes on the counter when I went to sleep last night, and now there are only three. Bruce didn’t take it. It’s not on the floor in the kitchen. I know that there were FOUR! (More about that later . . .)

Reminds me so much of my days with Lilly. Only she would never take something healthy -are you kidding? Everything had to be put up, locked up, or guarded if I wanted to see it again. There were days that nothing disappeared, and then there were times when the thing that I needed most was gone.

How do you accuse your little darling when you have no proof? That is tricky. If there was no obvious evidence, I would do some quiet, behind-the-scenes investigating first. Were there any tell-tale crumbs from the missing cookies on Lilly’s floor? I’d check under the bed and in past hiding places to see if the stolen item was there. If evidence was found, then we could proceed with consequences and/or “In this home, we do not take things from other people.” or “I don’t take your things. Please don’t take mine.” or “In this home we have plenty of food and you don’t need to take things. Just ask.”

In Chasing Lilly, I told the story about the top of my chocolate pecan pie being swiped, and not a shred of evidence that Lilly did it. But she was the only one home! I was so mad! To tell the truth, (and this may not be considered very therapeutic), one thing that helped her empathize was when I took all her shoes and hid them. You’ll have to read about it. She began to experience what it felt like to have things missing, and there was no yelling or screaming going on in the process.

The missing tomato surfaced in the basement by the washer. Evidently, Dunkin’, my trouble-making orange cat had knocked it off the counter and rolled it across the kitchen, down the landing and a flight of steps and across the basement! Care for a salad? 😆 Nealie

Apr 242015

Hi Readers!

In Chasing Lilly, I wrote that we filled out over 300 Critical Incident Reports the first year! Do you think that was fun? Absolutely not. When a child is giving you fits, the last thing that you may think to do is to document some red-flag behaviors. It is so important to do this, though!

Write down and date reports of unusual or harmful behavior, and keep your “circle of people” in the loop. Your circle of people would be other care-givers, therapists, teacher, case workers, –anyone who works with you to help a child. If you don’t, then if something serious should happen, you won’t have the documentation to back you up.

This documentation also brings to light areas that your team can address to help the child. Quite often, you will see a pattern that may not have been evident if things had not been documented.

What to document? Unusual violence, tremors or seizure activity, not sleeping, self-harming, sexual acting out, inappropriate sexual advances, aggression toward others or pets, substance abuse, lying with intent to frame, stealing, etc.

One word of advice is to do the documentation in private. The child does not need to know that you are doing a report on them. How would you feel if the tables were turned?

Be encouraged, because as time goes on, the number of reports will decrease as the child receives healing from the nurturing and support shown by you and your circle. –  Nealie


You’re Right, John!

 Foster children, Fostering, RAD parenting  Comments Off on You’re Right, John!
Apr 172015

Hi Readers,

Last weekend I attended a “simulcast” for one day, to learn about Dr. Karyn Purvis’ work with troubled children. She is changing the way we connect with traumatized children, and it is amazing! Dr. Purvis’ work is re-shaping how we help children heal. I have listed her work on my “resources” tab.

When we had Lilly, we did the best we could with what we knew. If we had used Dr. Purvis’ techniques, Lilly may have progressed and healed more quickly. That doesn’t change the crazy, funny, heart-wrenching story, though, and if you haven’t read it, you should!

To be honest, I was sad on the way home for what we did not know when we were going through it, although we used some of the techniques by instinct, and that was so cool to realize.

There should be rejoicing over this important work, because it will help children now and in the future. Thank you, Dr. Purvis!

Here is  the link to John M Simmons’ excellent blog on this. 😀 -Nealie

Apr 092015

Lately, some people who I care about have been struggling with their trauma children, their health, job, marriage . . . and seem to be drowning.

cat in a windowI know the feeling.  Parenting a traumatized, damaged child (or children) can pull you under so easily. Nobody on the outside looking in knows what you go through, unless they’ve been there. You feel like my cat looks –wanting a way out. You just want to escape! But there is no going back.

In Chasing Lilly, I tell about my struggles and the crazy, desperate things that I did to stay above water. (The swimming pool story tells you that it didn’t always work!)

Some things are imperative if you are a parent in this situation:

1.  Take care of your health. If you die or go to an institution, “ain’t nobody gonna make it!”

2.  Have a support system of professionals, as well as friends that understand. Beyond Trauma and Attachment (BeTA) is an excellent group that has it together. They also have a Facebook page.

3.  Have a relationship with your heavenly father. If there is no God, then don’t look for miracles. I believe that there is a God, and He cares and listens. Many times at a breaking point, prayers were answered. Time and again we have seen this.

4.  Don’t be afraid to seek emergency help through a hospital stay for the child, or a residential admission. You can recharge during those times when the child is away. Visit them, but don’t let it consume you. They are in good hands, and you need some self-care.

5.  Laugh.  Okay, cry first, but then laugh. (Did I ever tell you about 13 year-old Joy stealing the car and driving down an interstate with a 12 year-old friend –at night?) If you can’t laugh, then read my book.

Praying for all who struggle with traumatized children, Nealie