I have a few pictures of activities to post, but decided to share honestly how the days since the wedding have been instead. I know there are people who think blogs should be all happy and sunny. Well, that's not this blog this time, so if you're looking for something happy, go elsewhere. If you are looking for the real deal "this is the reality of adopted kids" with a lot of details withheld to protect the not-so-innocent, read on.
After the wedding and after the guests left, it got quiet around here. And we've had some not so good behaviors. In fact, lately they've been pretty horrible. There hasn't been enough room to write everything in the planners! For one child, this has been the way it's been most of the year, not so much for the other.
Here's one example. This happened right before the wedding. K comes to me and says a girl in her (4th grade) class in having "girl problems." I ask her what kind. She didn't know. So I decide to turn this into a teachable moment because you moms know you can't wait until they are 12 anymore. I explain a little, and she is looking at me like I'm making it all up. So I give her "The Body Book." I explain that the pictures aren't to be laughed at, they are to help her understand. And that because it is a personal matter, the book is to stay in her room, and she is free to ask me about any of it.
The next day she sneaks the book out and starts showing it around on the bus. When they arrive at school, she gets off the bus chasing girls trying to make them look at pictures of pubic hair. (The book covers every part of puberty for girls 9-13 or so and has detailed drawings of how to insert a tampon). Why they didn't take the book and call us right then I don't know. I guess they told her to put it back in her bag and take it home. But she LOVES shock value. So it went to lunch with her. She got caught and tried to tell them she'd brought it to help the girl who said she was having girl problems. Yeah, they didn't believe that for a second either. So Rick went and got her and the book. They didn't suspend her, we decided the teacher had been through enough and it was almost time to go anyway. And we did have to personally pick up the book.
I let her know that I was very disappointed that instead of this being something that she and I could discuss together, she decided to make it ugly. She is the only child I know who can turn "The Body Book" into porn.
She started out strong the first two weeks of school, but then reverted back to bullying--actually physically assaulting kids! I think something needs to be done, and I've said that. If it was my child being hit, I'd certainly want something done.
She did finally get sent to the office one day when the teacher had had enough. But then the next day she was right back at it. And the teacher had to e-mail because there wasn't enough room in the planner to list it all!!
She's also been very manipulative and coerces food from kids. She tells them she won't be their friend if they don't give her their snack, candy from treasure box etc. Thing is, who would want someone for a friend who threatens them? That's what I don't understand. Why don't they just tell her no and report it? Are they afraid of being physically hurt? She had such a bad week last week she had to leave before the Halloween party on Friday.
I have seen her be nice, so I know she can be nice and that she understands the difference. I don't know if being nice isn't getting her the attention and shock value she craves or what. She swings both ways here at home. Today she was very cooperative in doing a few jobs around the yard so got some privileges in return. But other times this past week she has just glared at us. I try to give her a new start everyday, but that doesn't always happen because of the severity of the meanness and rudeness at school. And because I'm human, and it annoys me when I try to do something special with her and then she turn around and acts out at school.
The thing is, the other twin was doing really well until this week. He didn't start acting out right after everyone left. There was a week's gap. Then I guess math started getting hard so he just started talking, walking around, distracting people etc. It has spiraled down the last four days. He has started acting like he doesn't know how to do stuff he's known how to do for years.
Don't know what's up with that, but his privileges got cut to match the behaviors. Like, since you can no longer remember how to do your after school job, I will have to help you. But that means you are not acting like a fourth grader anymore so will have to go back to an earlier bedtime. (And honestly, I need the break!!) Once he gets into trouble he'll go into super pout mode about it and make it ten times worse before it gets better. So we will see if he can turn this around. I hope so because there are only the three youngest at home now and it gets boring for Jasmine when the twins lose privileges, and she has no one to do stuff with.
I know we've just had a wedding and friends visit. And I know we are coming up on holidays. But they go through spells of this kind of behavior throughout the year. They have been cut back to activities where Rick or I can watch them. For example, they can go to gymnastics class because parents are allowed to watch through the window. But they cannot go to a birthday party because that's a drop off situation at their age. And I'm not in to setting through birthday parties anyway. The thing with The Body Book caused a serious lack of trust that is going to take a while to turn around.
So, that's how our week has truly been.
How about you?
And how do you handle kids being manipulative and mean?
How long do you give a restriction or consequence for?