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Know the Fight

When dealing with anxiety it is important for parents to know the battle that you are needing to fight. It is very easy to attempt to fight every battle that comes along. Battles are part of every day activities of parents. It may be over food or what TV show to watch, but Children are great at figuring out how to drive their parents crazy.

It is important to know what battles are worth fighting, and what battles need to be a forfeit. You want your children to do what you say when you say it, but some times it is not as important for them to concede every time. There are times when we have to say, it is ok. It is ok that the house is not perfect or that they eat only the meat of their plates.

As parents we have to decide is every little thing important or do we need to allow things to happen that may not be our way. We need to know what to do and what not to do. We need to realize that certain things can be left off. It is important to know what fights we need to take and which ones we need to let go.

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Daily Chaos

So to let you know how crazy and chaotic our life really is. Today my mother showed up without letting us know. I love my mother but everyone knows that we deal with Chaos on a daily basis. When I got home this morning I found that JJ, my autistic son, had written all over the walls. He got the magic eraser and had to scrub the writing.

My Girl got angry about something and flipped into one of her bipolar manic fits. Following getting her calmed and napping. The day seemed to be calming. When the kids woke up I heard the front door open. JJ yelled Mimi is here. I suddenly hear the dogs going crazy and my Grandmother screaming. I come in the living area to find that the dogs have taken off and jj is running down the middle of the street chasing them. Furthermore, my other two boys were chasing him and there is a neighbor outside next to his motorcycle and his two big dogs.

I get outside and am really not sure what to do to take care of the problem. I went back in and got my keys and shoes and took off in my car. Finally, got the the dogs and the kids back home. I reiterated to the boys that I do not want them to chase the dogs. The dogs are not important. About that time is seems that things were going to get better, when I hear it.

Manic M and JJ decided to fight over the remote. OMG really. My mother packed up my Gma and left. Sorry, mom but remember call before you show up. Our life is Crazy.

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Communication

Communication is the worst right. Everyone hate having to communicate. Everyone hates having to express feelings and emotions. It’s difficult. But when dealing with parent anxiety, communication is the first step.

Communication is vital. Not only as a parent, but when dealing with the stress of life communication is vital. Communication allows for venting, relegating emotions,  and making preparation to deal with such stress.

Communication is very important. As Parents it is important to talk to your partner, friend, other parent, your parents, or even a counselor. Some one who can help you get a plan in order to figure out how to deal with the stress and anxiety.

Sadly, it is sometimes difficult to communicate. In many cases it is difficult to find someone who will listen but not try to take care of the problem. For us, I am the communicator and she is the non-communicator. So when I am trying to talk about the problems my wife sometimes feels that she has to take care it. She then stresses twice as hard. The goal of communication is not to try to solve the problem for the one suffering anxiety. It is to help each other learn how to better handle the situations that lead to anxiety.

For this reason parents need to work together to help one another succeed in this chaos we call parenting.

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Parent Anxiety

So how do we deal with Anxiety. Anxiety is overwhelming. Panic anxiety disorder is a horrible disease that causes people to be overwhelmed with the problems that they are going through and not able to overcome it. I suffer from a severe amount of Anxiety and it overwhelms me. When something is happening and I can’t get in control of the situation, I am left unable to breath.

People don’t understand what it is like to be overwhelmed and not able to control ones ability to handle what things are going on. When people suffer from severe anxiety they lose the ability act rationally.

As a parent this anxiety causes depression and guilt. It cause bouts of frustration. Especially when you have children that deal with the same problem. Over the next few blogs I am going to try to show ways that we can do to help with Parent Anxiety.

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It is not all about the money

So I want to talk to all of those individuals who think that foster parents do it for the money. I remember when I was younger I heard older individuals complain about certain people who were foster parents and how they were only doing it for the money. I saw families when I in High School who were fostering full time and I wondered how they were able to do that and again people would say, “They are only doing it for the money.”

I have always wanted to adopt and foster. Even when we first got married we did not think we would be able to have biological kids and began looking into fostering, until we got pregnant. I’m here to tell you that fostering is not all about the money.

For anyone who wants to know, the going rate for a regular foster child per day is $23.50 in the state of Texas. Putting said child in day care at at a rate of $22.00 a day knocks out all of that money. It takes almost 2 weeks for the workforce commission to get a child’s daycare subsidy set up. Most of the 17 foster kids we have had were returned home or to a relative within the first two weeks.

Many of the others, it took 2 weeks for the Child Care Services to get on the ball and then two weeks to process it, leaving only about 3 of the 17 actually receiving any kind of foster care paid child care.

USDA website has a Child Budget Calculator that estimates in the United States of America it takes around $32 a day to provide for a child, (Housing, Utilities, Transportation, Child Care and Education, Food, Clothing, Etc). That does not include the emotional and mental expense.

When you look at a foster parent be careful how you judge them. You don’t know their heart. Foster care is not about the small money that is given to off set the cost of raising someone else’s child. It is about the changes that we see.

We have been fostering a low functioning autistic child. He is awesome but very, very hard to handle some times. If it was for the money there would be no way that we could handle him. He has destroyed one sons DS, my daughters nabi, and his emotional outbursts are horrendous.

You might ask, “why do we let him stay, the other three foster placed moved him one, why don’t you.”

Well, here is my answer, when he first moved in with us he was glued to any electronic he could find. There was very little to no verbal skills. He slept on the floor in our room because he could not sleep alone. He could not eat anything. Today he sleeps in his room with the other kids. He can put words together into phases, a little. He talks with words constantly, not just noises. (No conversations yet, but we are working). He does not get on electronics but plays with toys. He has tried several foods and now loves popsicles.

The money for foster care is not worth it, but to see the changes in a child is the only thing that can keep us going.

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Not paying attention 


So today has been one of those days in which my preteen will not pay attention. I told him to put the trash in the box outside. While cleaning it up he began complaining because the dumpster was full. That’s why I said put it in the box.

Later, I said go get your second pill. He went in and came out a few minutes later. I asked if he took his pill. He said that I never told him. Really?

So later he was talking to his grandmother. He was mad at me because I would not set up another free month of Xbox gold. She explained to him that games don’t offer love and appreciate that his parents give. She asked him do you understand. He replied, “But their not going to pay the $36 for the game price.” Did you even hear what she said?

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Letter to a natural parent (from the foster parent)

Dear Natural Parent of my Foster Child:

I want you to know that we am not doing this for your child. Three years ago when we began fostering I felt like we were doing this for your child. I felt like we wanted to foster kids because we knew that there were many kids who needed a place to stay when they were not able to be with their families.

The more foster work that we do, the more I realize that we are not doing this for them. We are really doing this for you. I never thought that I would say this but no matter how much we love your children and the opportunity to help them our main goal is to give you time.

We want you to have a chance to work through the areas that you need. We want you to get your children back. We want to see that you have the chance to watch your children grow up. We want you to lead them and teach them and encourage them. We want you to have a way to provide for your needs and their needs.

Please understand, we are not here to replace you. We never intend to keep you from being the parent that you have all of the potential to be. We also never want you to think that we are doing anything to hurt you or undermine you.

We want to help you and want to give you the chance to make a difference in your children’s lives.

Sincerely,

Foster Parent