Archive for October, 2016

Teaching the Teachers

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

We’re in the 5th week of school already and it’s been an absolutely rollercoaster.

The first two weeks were brilliant. Half days only and then, wollop, in to the full week of full days from week three. The first full day ended in disaster. So did the second day. And the third, fourth and fifth. By the first weekend after a full week of school I was a wreck, never mind Pickle!

The second week wasn’t any better and, by Wednesday pick up, I was on the verge of having one of the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had. Pickle has been hitting, pursuing, pinching, poking. I felt uncomfortable about it because I didn’t think, for a moment, it was her instigating it and I was worried that she wasn’t being taken care of. I stepped in pretty quickly and talked to the teacher about strategies, I’d told her some of the history to try and gain some empathy and understanding and I’d sent them a 56 page document about adoption, trauma, anxiety, starting school and how adopted children cope differently and present their feelings differently. The school, as of now, are slowly catching on. But it’s taken a while and, regrettably, I now feel I didn’t do enough to make them understand before she started. The trouble is you don’t want to have to go in to things in such detail if there’s no need for it.

You want your child to be treated the same and you don’t want them singled out as different. But, you know what, they are. Fundamentally they are different and they need to be treated differently. Our children are fragile and vulnerable. Not in a way that means they can’t look after themselves and they’re not independent. But they’re vulnerable to other situations and feelings that other children may never ever experience. Our children are special. They’ve fight hard to survive. They’ve fight hard to overcome their fears and learned to love and be close to people again. That can all be undone in a heartbeat if you don’t have the people, who are with your children for 7 hours a day, onboard, on side and totally on the same page as you, the mother, father, adopter, expert.

School will not damage my daughter.

The “sunshine” board

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Otherwise known, by me, as “The Humiliation Board”.

I hate it. It’s a sun at the top and a dark black cloud at the bottom with varying degrees of grey cloud between and the children, if they’re deemed to have done something “naughty” their photo (yes, not just their written name) gets placed further and further down the board. Public humiliation and shame. No positive incentive. Just punishment. For fidgeting. Not listening. Not being quiet. You know, those “punishable by death” crimes we’re all guilty of. These 4 year olds are being punished for being just that, FOUR YEARS OLD!

Pickle, in the first full week got put down the cloud system and, eventually, got sent out to the deputy heads class to “observe good behaviour”. Another form of humiliation in my opinion. And these children are 4 years older so, to me, it’s utterly useless.

One Sunday evening pickle had a meltdown.. She was screaming that she hated birth mother and birth father. She said that nobody loved her when she was a baby and that nobody cared about her. I tried to reassure her that they did because she was with a foster family. But that doesn’t always work so I just held her as close as I could and promised I wouldn’t go away.

I went in to school the next day and told them they weren’t to use the board and they weren’t to send her out at all that day. I’m not sure if they took that on board but it had to be said.

This sunshine board, and the other punitive goings on in this school, basically feeds that child’s image of not being worthy which then feeds in to the feelings of “that’s why I was left behind” or “that’s why nobody loved me, it’s my fault’.

Pickle just needs to feel protected and safe.