“1. We're about to start officialling fostering- what advice do you give to my 14 yr old daughter (who's always been the spoiled baby) in how to make this work? She's thinking its going to be a blast- younger sibs to play with yada yada...
2. What, out of all the sibs you have (foster & bio not respite) do you find the hardest to deal with?
3. How are you doing since the whole Frankie thing happened? Did it change your perspective on blended houses?”
1. It’s hard to say exactly what would help your daughter since I don’t really know her or the foster kid. I also don’t have too much experience with spoiled 14 year olds which I am very thankful for, but I’ll answer as best I can. At one point one of the social workers gave me here phone number so I could call her if there were problems and would talk to me occasionally and see how I was doing. I never ended up calling here but it was comforting to know that I could. Unfortunately most social workers are incredibly busy and might not be willing or able to do that.
As for what you can do, my parents would very good at asking me how I was doing and making sure that I was ok with everything, which helped a lot. I would also recommend that if things aren’t going to work out, like if the kid isn’t getting along with the family, don’t draw it out for a long time, the worst experiences I have had doing foster care have almost always come from kids who didn’t want to be at our house. Usually in those situations the kid will lash out at the parents and throw fits, etc but sometimes they will start picking fights with the other kids, which is definitely something to look out for.
For the most part, just listen to her and take what she says into consideration. Obviously that doesn’t mean do everything she says but sometimes just honestly considering her problems can make the whole thing a lot easier on her, or at least it helped me.
2. The hardest was by far Ann I mentioned earlier that sometimes kids who don’t want to be where they are act out and sometimes even pick fights with siblings to try and get moved, well she was one such kid. I had a very hard time with her and we ended up fighting a lot. I’ve had problems with other kids to be sure but none of them would make issues just for the sake of making issues. I remember at one point, I was talking to some one about some prepackaged fruit cups which my mom had bought for my lunches, they were for lunches not just for snakes something along those lines. She came from across the room and started yelling and arguing with me. It was very obvious that she didn’t care about the fruit cups and I hadn’t been talking to her or even speaking to everyone in general. Those kinds of problems are in my experience the worst by far.
3. Frankie was an interesting kid. I actually didn’t have a huge problem with him personally. Although he was kid of annoying and unreasonable I sort of expected it from him, he never seemed to me to be 15 years old. He always seemed to be a lot closer to 8. He would through tantrums and get angry at everything and everyone but himself, but I was already expecting that kind of behavior so I wasn’t ever disappointed or hurt by him and when he argued with me, which wasn’t even that often, I was able to keep my cool and leave before anything got bad. I had the feeling, fairly early, on that things weren’t going to work out, with the way he was acting. By the time thing were getting out of hand it was clear that he was going to be moved out.
The experience didn’t really change my perspective on blended households much. Some times placements just don’t work out, it can be sad but that, in my opinion, is the way it is.