As anyone that has transitioned a hurting child into their home knows, there is normally a honeymood period, followed by acting out and various difficult behavior. I knew to expect this, so today's event weren't terribly surprising.
After all morning in court about an hour from home, I had gotten back to town and was on my way to the local courthouse to pick up some signed orders, when I received a text message saying that Lil Sis had just choked one of the other girls at the daycare. Having never dealt with such behaviors, the daycare provider was at a loss about what to do. So, I told her I would come get her so that I could try to deal with the issue.
Apparently, Lil Sis did not want to play the game that the other girl was trying to get her to play. The other girl doesn't take "no" very well. When she insisted that Lil Sis play her way, Lil Sis lashed out & choked her.
Spending 5 years in a home with rampant domestic violence, it shouldn't be surprising that she was completely bewildered as to why I would tell her that this was not an acceptable way to behave. Naturally, this had led to multiple conversations, between Lil Sis & I, over the course of the evening about how this is inappropriate behavior and how we should "use our words", etc.
It also led to some interesting insight into some of her manipulative behaviors. She started what I refer to "howling". Everyone has seen it in some form. It's that loud sobbing that children do when they are wanting attention, sympathy, or to just get there way, but when there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. I know that my theory on this is unpopular with some people, who often accuse me of being cold. However, I believe that, when children are able to express themselves in words, adult tolerance for tantrums should diminish respectively. This is especially true when a child can turn it on & off at will.
Now, I will clarify that I believe a child has a right to feel whatever they feel. If they are sad or upset, they are free to cry. But tears are quiet. Loud howling, on the other hand, is far beyond acceptable behavior, especially for a 5 year old. I let her know firmly that the fit will not work to get her what she wants in my house (the previous foster family confessed that it often worked in their home). Her response was to attempt to make herself vomit. I told her very calmly that, if she did make herself throw up, that she would be expected to clean it up. The fit stopped immediately & she looked at me shocked. Apparently, most people cave on that one, but this was not a hill I was going to die on, because it would have set the tone of behavior for the future.
I was able to get a list of counselors that work with children. I can't wait in the CW to get around to helping me get her into counseling. At the rate she has been doing anything else, we would be waiting for years. After all, this child has been in care for 6 months & doesn't even have any of her important documents. NO birth certificate, social security card, medical card, etc. These things are not difficult to get and, IMO, for a CW to allow a child to be in care this long without so much as requesting them is inexcusable. In any event, I have ordered the birth certificate & medical card. Once the birth certificate comes in, I can get her a social security card & get her tribal enrollment taken care of.
Honestly, this is part of why I swore I'd never do foster care again. I get very tired of doing their jobs for them. It's not that I mind doing things for the kids that need to be done. It's that I believe the neglect on the part of the CWs to do these things reflects the attitude that these kids are merely numbers, rather than human beings that should be a priority. But...that's another vent, for another post...