I spent a couple hours taking some online foster-care classes today. I thought we'd be through this stage of the game and wouldn't need to have those hours under my belt to keep up the license, but I was wrong. I need 12 hours in the next couple weeks.
The speaker I was listening to was interesting. His style matches ours in many ways so it was affirming. He's been a therapeutic foster parent for 30 years. I learned a lot. One lecture was on de-escalating tantrums and rages. He said the first thing you do is get their biggest muscles moving (thigh muscles) to make use of the adrenaline.... Check! That's exactly what we do. Our mountain has been very good for that~!!
He talked about letting the kids know that you do take their nonsense personally. First off, they need to know that you care, and they need to know that what they are doing is wrong. It hurts people and they need to make amends. So, if Jack hits Sally then Jack needs to know that you, Sally's mom is very hurt by that. He then needs to do some extra work for you to make you feel better (and I would add make restitution with his sister, as well.) He totally recommended giving the kids work as consequences for a lot of reasons.
Me, oh, my, we had opportunity to try out every single suggestion this evening.... Both children had a bag full of tricks tonight. Steve says he's proud of me for being intuitive enough to understand exactly what they are up to. He's not sure he could have figured it out. We did a lot of work around here and when it was all done and we still had stuff going on we hiked in the rain, and in the dark. Missy is promising with great pathos to be on her best behavior tomorrow. LOL. Poor little girl. She cannot NOT be naughty if she tried. I keep trying to impressed that upon her. She needs Jesus' new heart. All her promises are as ropes of sand...
Well, she's not alone, there are a few of us in this world whose experience mirrors that... The difference is that she STILL THINKS she can be good all by herself. How disappointing to blow it every day.