Author Topic: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt  (Read 1046153 times)

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LB

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5700 on: November 16, 2012, 07:56:07 AM »
Wow, I'm not really sure how I messed up the quotes...

NM, fixed it! Amazing how much difference one little space can make.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 07:57:51 AM by LB »

CuriousParty

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5701 on: November 16, 2012, 10:02:26 AM »
Parent-Teacher conference for my oldest son was tonight.  My lovely child is failing math mostly because he's not turning in work.  I asked him if there were any concepts he didn't understand and he said that there were a few that were giving him trouble. I asked him why he hadn't asked me for help and he said that he didn't know if I could help him.  His teacher pipped up that there were tutoring options.  I looked at her, then looked at my son and said "Son'sname, have you ever told your teacher what I did for a living for ten years?".  He looked sheepish and said "Math Teacher".  His teacher laughed, but my brain hurt.  Umm, honey, I have a master's degree in math, taught 7th grade and community college for 10 years.  I think I can help you with Algebra I.  UGH.

Yes, it is ironic and funny.  But you know what?  I can kind of get where your son is coming from. 

He's having trouble with MATH!!!  The very subject that his Mom obviously "gets" with no problem at all.  The fact that it seems easy to you doesn't help his self esteem at all.  The fact is that it is probably quite embarrassing for him and he fears that it would also embarrass you that he doesn't seem to 'get' math.

You might get farther by saying "You know, Honey, your Dad always had a really hard time with math (or something similar if this isn't true).  I get that not everyone finds it easy.  But I'm your Mom and I also happen to be a pretty darned good teacher!  I really can help you with this if you'll let me.   And I love you for you.  It's okay that you don't have the same comfort zone with math that I do.  I'm sure there are things you could teach me about too.  So let's get to work on this -- together!"

I've had that discussion with him, though without the Dad part.  My ex-husband disappeared 10 years ago and hasn't been heard from since.  Actually, it goes more like this: "I know not everybody finds math easy.  I taught students who had a hard time with math for 10 years.  I'm really good at breaking things down for people who find the concepts difficult. I'm also good at finding different ways to explain things, so if one way doesn't work, we can try another." I taught in an inner city school.  Most of my students had a hard time with the subject.  I also taught a lot of college-prep classes at the community college, so I'm very familiar with students who have a rotten time learning math.  I think that's what frustrates me the most.  If he's having trouble with math, that's fine, but that's also the exact type of student that I specialize with.  When I tutor, I advertise for students with math anxiety or a feeling of helplessness when it comes to learning math. I think I'm just frustrated that I can't seem to get through to him that it's okay not to be good at everything, and that this one topic is one that I'm really very good at helping with.  This is the child that was reading Victor Hugo and Leo Tolstoy at age 11, speaks and writes fluently in formal Arabic and is conversationally fluent in Spanish, French and Portuguese. He's very bright, but more language oriented.
I'm going to suggest one other point to consider, from my own experience, just in case it's helpful.

I am a language-oriented learner who struggled with math and am a child of a math-oriented father.  Despite his love for me, thorough understanding of the subject, and willingness to break everything down, my father could not teach me math.

Not because he wasn't a good teacher, and not because I wasn't a good student.  Because, at the core, he was always my father and I was always his daughter, so we never could get into a pure teacher/student set of roles.  The parent/child roles took up that space. (Eventually a high school boyfriend helped me out.  Apparently the boyfriend/girlfriend roles took up other space.  Ahem.)

In my opinion parenting and teaching are each remarkably difficult jobs and very different roles in a child's life.  Often parents can also be teachers for their children, but in my experience when a big learning obstacle appears it can be really helpful to separate the roles.  With this in mind, maybe looking at another person to tutor your son would be helpful.  Not because you don't have the teaching/tutoring skills to do the job, but because for this particular student you're not the right teacher (because you're already his parent).  I also wonder if this is why he's been reluctant to ask for help, even if he couldn't articulate it this way.

Good luck!

snowflake

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5702 on: November 16, 2012, 12:38:11 PM »
I keep having these conversations with my neighbor that make my brain hurt.

My husband and I foster (no we aren't angels, so no need to comment on that.)  We have a 1 year old.  He was previously in a foster situation for a year.  (His mother has some problems and asked for help when he was young.)

Neighbor's gems:

Her: Well you don't have to worry about him waking up at night at that age.
Me: He sleeps through the night half the time and I'm glad that he does.
Her: But at that age all you have to do is tell him you are there and he'll be comforted.
Me: We'll just have to wait on that.
Her: Children just calm down when they know their parents are near.
Me: He thinks I'm some random stranger who he has to live with.
Her: Well just tell him you're his parents!

and

Her: He must be a happy baby now that he's in a safe home.  (She doesn't know what the last home was like or whether it was safe or not.)
Me: He's adjusting.  He misses his last family.
Her: Oh no, babies automatically know when they're in a better home.
Me: Babies normally prefer their parents no matter what.
Her: Just tell him that you are the parents now!

and

Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.
Me: He's nervous.  We're hoping he eventually is comfortable enough to let us know his needs.
Her: Tell him he has no reason to be nervous!

It's hit the point where I see her and my brain starts to hurt on instinct. 

LB

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5703 on: November 16, 2012, 12:57:33 PM »
Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.

 :o

Is she saying she should have tried putting her kids in foster care so that foster parents would make them obedient?

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5704 on: November 16, 2012, 12:58:18 PM »
Her: Well just tell him you're his parents!
Huh? At 1 year old?  I don't think his brain can process that input yet. :o

Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.
Should have tried what?  Farm them out as foster children so they will appreciate her more?  That makes no sense, but that is what it sounds like to me. :-\
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gramma dishes

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5705 on: November 16, 2012, 01:03:37 PM »
I keep having these conversations with my neighbor that make my brain hurt.

My husband and I foster (no we aren't angels, so no need to comment on that.)  We have a 1 year old.  He was previously in a foster situation for a year.  (His mother has some problems and asked for help when he was young.)

Neighbor's gems:

Her: Well you don't have to worry about him waking up at night at that age.
Me: He sleeps through the night half the time and I'm glad that he does.
Her: But at that age all you have to do is tell him you are there and he'll be comforted.
Me: We'll just have to wait on that.
Her: Children just calm down when they know their parents are near.
Me: He thinks I'm some random stranger who he has to live with.
Her: Well just tell him you're his parents!

and

Her: He must be a happy baby now that he's in a safe home.  (She doesn't know what the last home was like or whether it was safe or not.)
Me: He's adjusting.  He misses his last family.
Her: Oh no, babies automatically know when they're in a better home.
Me: Babies normally prefer their parents no matter what.
Her: Just tell him that you are the parents now!

and

Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.
Me: He's nervous.  We're hoping he eventually is comfortable enough to let us know his needs.
Her: Tell him he has no reason to be nervous!

It's hit the point where I see her and my brain starts to hurt on instinct.

If this is an inappropriate question, please let me know and I will delete this post entirely.  But if the child is one and he's already been in foster care for a year, that means probably from pretty early infancy.  We know babies bond at an early age.  May I ask why they would move a toddler that has already bonded with another family?  Is the purpose to keep the child from attaching too much to any one couple so that they can someday be reunited with their birth parent?  I've never understood this.  I'd like to know the reasoning.  But as I said, this question may be inappropriate and I do understand that you may not want to or be able to answer.

ladyknight1

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5706 on: November 16, 2012, 01:34:23 PM »
I keep having these conversations with my neighbor that make my brain hurt.

My husband and I foster (no we aren't angels, so no need to comment on that.)  We have a 1 year old.  He was previously in a foster situation for a year.  (His mother has some problems and asked for help when he was young.)

Snip

My biological family fostered children for many years. I salute you, it is a very tough thing to do.

amylouky

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5707 on: November 16, 2012, 02:08:10 PM »
If this is an inappropriate question, please let me know and I will delete this post entirely.  But if the child is one and he's already been in foster care for a year, that means probably from pretty early infancy.  We know babies bond at an early age.  May I ask why they would move a toddler that has already bonded with another family?  Is the purpose to keep the child from attaching too much to any one couple so that they can someday be reunited with their birth parent?  I've never understood this.  I'd like to know the reasoning.  But as I said, this question may be inappropriate and I do understand that you may not want to or be able to answer.

I don't know the specific reason why snowflake's little one was moved, but I have seen this happen. Generally it is not to keep the child from attaching too much. That may have been the reason in years past but nowadays (Thank God!) the system seems to be a little smarter about infant/child attachment. When we were fostering (closed since adopting a year ago, may reopen soon!), we were what is known as a "concurrent" home. Meaning, we would get placed with children on the basis that if reunification wasn't successful, we were already approved and willing to adopt if necessary. At least in my state, most really little ones are placed in concurrent homes unless it's strongly suspected they'll be going back to their birth families.

I know of a family who had a sibling group for about a year, then the mother was diagnosed with a usually fatal form of cancer. They did move the sibling group (after a transition period).. heartbreaking.

Another family that I know had a newborn for four months. The grandmother then got permanent custody of her, and she was with gma for three months, when gma decided that it was too much. In that time, the original family had taken placement of a group of three older children that had varying issues.. developmental delays and emotional issues. It wasn't a safe situation for the now-7 month old to return to, so they placed her in another foster home.

There are a lot of things that can happen to cause a child to be moved, even the little ones.

PeterM

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5708 on: November 16, 2012, 03:27:51 PM »
Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.

 :o

Is she saying she should have tried putting her kids in foster care so that foster parents would make them obedient?

I'm wondering that, too. I can't help but feel it would've backfired on her if she'd tried it, and I can just imagine the conversation she'd be having with Snowflake now.

"I put my kids into foster care so they'd come back more obedient, but one of the foster parents told them 'We're your parents now' so now that I have them back they keep acting up and demanding to go back to their 'real parents!' Can you believe it?"

Elfmama

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5709 on: November 16, 2012, 03:33:25 PM »
Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.

 :o

Is she saying she should have tried putting her kids in foster care so that foster parents would make them obedient?

I'm wondering that, too. I can't help but feel it would've backfired on her if she'd tried it, and I can just imagine the conversation she'd be having with Snowflake now.

"I put my kids into foster care so they'd come back more obedient, but one of the foster parents told them 'We're your parents now' so now that I have them back they keep acting up and demanding to go back to their 'real parents!' Can you believe it?"
I rather suspect that it's the other way around. "You should be thankful you have good parents, Rotten Kid.  Maybe I should farm you out to foster care and you can learn what bad parents are like.  THEN you'd mind me, I bet!"
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violinp

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5710 on: November 16, 2012, 03:40:57 PM »
Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.

 :o

Is she saying she should have tried putting her kids in foster care so that foster parents would make them obedient?

I'm wondering that, too. I can't help but feel it would've backfired on her if she'd tried it, and I can just imagine the conversation she'd be having with Snowflake now.

"I put my kids into foster care so they'd come back more obedient, but one of the foster parents told them 'We're your parents now' so now that I have them back they keep acting up and demanding to go back to their 'real parents!' Can you believe it?"
I rather suspect that it's the other way around. "You should be thankful you have good parents, Rotten Kid.  Maybe I should farm you out to foster care and you can learn what bad parents are like.  THEN you'd mind me, I bet!"

Unfortunately, I can imagine some parents threatening to do that to their children.  :-\
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


greencat

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5711 on: November 16, 2012, 03:44:10 PM »
Her: He's so obedient.  He must be very thankful for you.  I should have tried this because my kids are not obedient at all.

 :o

Is she saying she should have tried putting her kids in foster care so that foster parents would make them obedient?

I'm wondering that, too. I can't help but feel it would've backfired on her if she'd tried it, and I can just imagine the conversation she'd be having with Snowflake now.

"I put my kids into foster care so they'd come back more obedient, but one of the foster parents told them 'We're your parents now' so now that I have them back they keep acting up and demanding to go back to their 'real parents!' Can you believe it?"
I rather suspect that it's the other way around. "You should be thankful you have good parents, Rotten Kid.  Maybe I should farm you out to foster care and you can learn what bad parents are like.  THEN you'd mind me, I bet!"

Unfortunately, I can imagine some parents threatening to do that to their children.  :-\

Was just about to post that my mom did threaten me with how awful foster care was when I threatened to call CPS on her...you don't really realize how dysfunctional your childhood is until you have normal peoples' experiences to compare it to!

Wulfie

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5712 on: November 16, 2012, 03:47:49 PM »
Was just about to post that my mom did threaten me with how awful foster care was when I threatened to call CPS on her...you don't really realize how dysfunctional your childhood is until you have normal peoples' experiences to compare it to!

I don't remember where I heard it at but I think the best response ever to a child threatening to call CPS because Mom or Dad would not cave to their SS demand was "Go head, they can't make me take you back. "

snowflake

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5713 on: November 16, 2012, 03:55:18 PM »
If this is an inappropriate question, please let me know and I will delete this post entirely.  But if the child is one and he's already been in foster care for a year, that means probably from pretty early infancy.  We know babies bond at an early age.  May I ask why they would move a toddler that has already bonded with another family?  Is the purpose to keep the child from attaching too much to any one couple so that they can someday be reunited with their birth parent?  I've never understood this.  I'd like to know the reasoning.  But as I said, this question may be inappropriate and I do understand that you may not want to or be able to answer.

Not inappropriate, but I don't want this thread to turn into a side-tracked discussion.  I'll just say that as much as I like fostering, it does take a whole lot of energy and resources and there are lots of reasons why people decide to stop.  The last family had some events beyond their control and decided they were going to stop fostering.  This is not uncommon. 

As for what she meant about foster care making kids obedient, I'm not completely sure what she meant.  I think she might have meant that fostering instead of biological kids might be easier.  She has these odd ideas going around in her head and just doesn't filter them.  A few months ago, I would ask her what her comments meant and no amount of explanation made sense to me.  So it's anyone's guess.

That's why my brain hurts when I see her.

gramma dishes

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5714 on: November 16, 2012, 04:26:22 PM »
Thank you for responding, and I agree that the actual discussion should not be side tracked by my question.