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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Connections

The kids have started individual visits again. These individual visits began last year before Jelly Bean's Hospitalization and the incident in February that caused visits to stop.  The purpose of this time with Mom is to allow her to re-connect with her children since she hasn't lived with them for 2 years.  One of the "theories" as to why this case had not progressed to return home was because Mom wasn't receiving enough time with her children and therefore could not bond with them. (In reality, she has trouble juggling all four of them at once and was not able to bond with them at family visits.)
Two days a week the kids will alternate 2 hours of alone time with Mom. I was hopeful that this time around with the direction of the team and the family therapist she would really try to use this time to connect.

Mom has a lot of work to do where attachment and bonding are concerned.  If the court could ruled on termination based only on "where the children feel love from" we would be in adoption proceedings. Mom's own attachment and trauma don't allow her to connect to her kids in a way that they understand. And because of her defense mechanisms she does not see that they don't connect to her.  She also seems to lack a desire to learn about her kids as she often does not remember details about them such as their favorite colors or likes/dislikes in food. It is my opinion that this individual time should be used to learn these types of things. But as we all know is that my opinion is never heard and no one cares (until a bunch of professionals get in a room months later - say the same thing I did and then its a brilliant idea.....)

On Jelly Bean's first individual visit her Mom took her to see a movie... That's right a movie where you sit side by side in silence. Did I mention that Jelly Bean was grounded?

And yes, the caseworker was aware that this was the plan.

So the kids come home from family therapy and tell me their Mom is taking them on their visit to a movie Saturday. She wants to take them to see Girl in Progress. A PG -13 movie about a Hispanic single mother and her daughter. Which the family therapist apparently explained to Mom what PG-13 meant when Little Mama said to her "My foster parents don't let me see movies rated PG-13 or R".

I had sworn to myself I was going to stay out of the movie thing. If she thinks movies are the way to connect to her kids so be it. If she would rather spend the 2 hours a week she gets alone with her child not speaking to that child then I was going to let that speak for itself.  I realize she's attempting to provide fun for her kids but I just want to shake her and say - You can take them to a movie every weekend if you get them back.  Fix whats broken, build the trust, BE A MOM. All Mother's want their kids to have fun but parenting isn't all about fun.  The majority of the time it is hard, uncomfortable work. Sadly, her children understand this and when they see that she can't handle or attempt the mundane parenting they see me and my husband do they continue to reject her efforts.

But of course I couldn't let it ride when I pictured them coming home from seeing a movie with their Mom about a hispanic Mom and Daughter with a rocky relationship where the Mom chooses Men and the daughter trys every angle to get her Mother's attention. The desire to not have to pick up the pieces of a trigger like that won out over the potential to document more poor parenting choices.

So I texted the case worker. After explaining a little she texted back that she agreed it wasn't an appropriate movie. It will be interesting to see what they actually end up doing.

2 comments:

  1. I think you might be being a little hard on the mom. I know you don't approve of all of her choices, but it doesn't sound unsafe. And I don't think it's fair to expect her to plan her visits around whether the kids are grounded or not, not at this stage of the game. I agree that movies might not be optimal for other reasons, but that the kid is grounded with you doesn't seem like a good reason to expect it to be off the table.

    -Rebecca

    P.S. The visits are only for two hours. Are the kids allowed to go to mom's house? If not, I could see why going to the movies might be tempting.

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  2. Rebecca,

    I understand what you're saying, however I feel the need to come to the blogger's defense. Do you happen to be a foster parent? If you are, you can imagine, or may have already experienced, the frustration of working a concurrent case plan with a bio parent who is unable to provide emotional support to a child or children. In that case, surely you know what it is like to not have anyone IRL to talk to about the fears and anticipation of always having to pick up the pieces of your children when things go awry during visits. This is a place where the blogger can come to give voice to the thoughts she may not otherwise share.

    To say she is being too hard on the birth parent says to me that you probably are (a) not a foster parent yourself and (b) do not have the 'full' back story as presented on this blog.

    Of course, I may be wrong on both accounts, in which case I humbly suggest you think twice about posting it here, where support, and not second-guessing, is needed most. I'm sure the blogger has enough people telling her that what she feels is invalid and wrong. I'd like to hope that if readers think she is in the wrong, and it is not dangerous to the children or the case, that we would respectfully keep our comments to ourselves. Especially if neither the (a) or (b) above are true

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