Monday, May 23, 2011

Personal update: It has been a challenging couple of weeks

Our family has been providing foster care for four years. Just over three weeks ago we got two brothers, ages 2 and 3. They have been a lot of work. Janine is carrying the majority of the burden since I go off to work during the week. The weekends have become very unproductive for me.

These boys are highly energetic and are quick to cry when they don't get their way. They are not bad kids, but it has been fairly stressful. Yesterday the three-year-old thoughtlessly slammed a door on his brother's fingers and didn't seem to understand why we were disciplining him.

They are frequently up at six in the morning and hard to put to bed at night. And the brothers are frequently up during the night, sometimes multiple times.

Our son enjoys having them around, most of the time. The three-year-old has trouble sharing. Our son is happy to share some of his toys, but the older brother is used to having his way and often wants all the toys. We have been making some progress in getting him to share, but there has been a lot of crying.

It has been a growing experience for us. We tell our girls that this will help them be better mothers. That when their own children have difficult times they'll have the skills to handle the challenges. I think they also understand the importance of developing good characters from the start and not trying to fix things later.


Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

Hang in there! I've done foster care for years, and every time I forget what a disruption it is to the household when you introduce kids who have not had the same (read: any) boundaries, expectations, etc. But then months/years later you can look back and say, "Hey, remember when E. used to climb up and sit in the middle of the table to eat?" Even better when you can say that to E. himself, while praising what a little gentleman he is now.

Something I try to remind myself of at 2AM when I'm changing sheets for the 5yo who really really should be potty trained by now...

Henry Cate said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

We did survive.

In some ways this was our hardest placement. But it was also one of our best. The brothers went back to their parents! This was one of the few times where the parents had their act together enough to get their children back.