Screaming for Mommy

I am Mom. Or Mama. I have been for three years for Little One and I have been since day one with our new kids. I wished in some part that they would just call me something else until they really felt it. Just like writing me notes that say “I love you” or telling me that they love me. It just feels like they know that’s what they’re supposed to say, so they say it. Kind of like going on a first date and the guy tells you that he loves you and calls you wife. You may really like the guy but it would be a little awkward. I would rather they wait until they feel it. One of the ladies at church says that she thinks they do feel that way. Which is great, but I am not convinced. After five years of being in care, these kids know what to say to make people angry and to make people happy. I’m not so naive as to think we are seeing true behavior after only one month. Especially without any counseling.

I try to ask them how they are doing and if they want to talk to me about anything. But really the only time they cry/scream for their mommy or daddy is when I discipline them. I haven’t figured out if it is a learned behavior, that it has gotten them out of things in the past or extra attention/sympathy, or if they really miss their parents every time that I discipline them. I try to talk to them, like “What would your mommy say if you did __________ ? Do you think she would react the same way?” For instance we had some physical hitting today. So I asked the culprit “Do you think mommy would want you to hit your sister? What would she say if you did?” And another time someone was being disciplined for playing somewhere unsafe that I had already warned repeatedly. “Do you think daddy would want you to be careful? What would he say if he saw you somewhere unsafe?”

I don’t know if I am getting through. They nod their heads but I don’t see any larger reaction to it. My blood pressure goes crazy when it happens, though. You are already pissed because they are doing something you told them not to repeatedly, discipline them properly and then they have a fit and call for their parents. Ugh. So tough! I cannot wait for in home counseling!

Any pointers? I may be totally off my mark here.

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4 thoughts on “Screaming for Mommy

  1. It sounds so familiar. I did what you are doing and over time it works. I also made sure to talk about Mom during non stress times for us both so that if it was really a missing mom issue they knew they could talk. I wish you well.

  2. Without knowing more information about the children, I would be cautious saying would Mummy want you to hit your sister. Only because, sometimes that’s where the children have learned the behaviour in the first place.
    Our learning tells us that regardless of how children come into care, they still have a bond with their biological parents, and I’m guessing for these little people who’ve been moved around a bit, they may still feel like they need mommy and daddy because they haven’t had time to really bond with you yet.
    It will come. It takes time, lots of time.
    Hang in there. Consistency and tonnes of patience is the key.

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