Too much alcohol this weekend, oh dear. That stuff has a lot to answer for. Also meant lots of waxing sad and lyrical about the Blueboy, whose behaviour has returned to its most disturbing over the past two weeks. Always this time of year, very odd… Some good advice from lovely people who I’m sure think we are pretty useless, but who never really see what we have to put up with. I don’t know how it differs from ‘normal’ parenting, I just know it does. There are no doubt many, many similarities but somehow, when people tell you about their own children, it hardly helps at all because you know that those children are not suffering from the effects of trauma, abuse and neglect in their early years and have a functional (at very least) attachment to their parents.
This is where the message boards at Adoption UK come in. Only those people (and our handful of adoptive parent friends) reeeally know. And it is staggering how similar so many of the behaviours on there are to Blue’s.
The advice from Family Futures (and most adoption professionals) is generally to be calm and loving and playful, whatever the situation. And that does sort of work. It is the only way of bringing a dysregulated boy back from the brink, although it is not completely effective once he’s really gone. And when the challenging behaviour is so relentless, it can sometimes make you feel a bit of a sap. If you are getting punched, kicked and verbally abused because you ask a child to turn off a computer, or come down for tea, or put his socks on – when, if ever, should you stop being loving and playful and start trying to employ ‘normal’ parenting techniques like consequences, targets and times out?
Sorry to be a bit gloomy. We do love him, and we do have moments – even whole days – when things seem to be turning a corner, but, at this particular moment, we are just at a bit of a loss.