Grumpy and I are doing a course at the moment on reparative parenting. It’s a pretty full on course for foster and kinship carers. It covers attachment issues, how these influence behaviours and how to deal with the behaviours. It’s a 9 week course – a total of almost 25 hours – and we are in our second week. At the moment we are only talking about attachment and behaviours. Next week we will go into how to deal with the behaviours which will be handy.
There was an interesting analogy used today. Everyone has a bucket.
Trauma and attachment disruption in early life can leave holes that leak.
Things that can fill up your bucket is love, hugs, kisses, kind words and support.
Caring for someone who has a leaky bucket makes you feel like everything you do is never enough. You are constantly putting things into their bucket but it never fills up. Everything just leaks out.
However, holes can be fixed. It’s not quick and simple – kind of like in the song “There’s a hole in my bucket”. Things that help to repair the bucket are understanding your child and minimizing retriggering of their trauma experiences. While working to repair your child’s bucket it is also important to make sure that you ensure your bucket doesn’t get leaky by managing your own feelings and accessing support.
I felt this ‘it’s never enough’ feeling this afternoon. It helped to be able to visualise a leaky bucket when this happened.
We have had issues finding an extra-curricular activity that can cope with Chatterbox’s ‘issues’. We have been told that she wasn’t taking ballet seriously enough when she was in a four year old class. We have been asked to attend activities with her when the whole idea is for her to get used to having other responsible adults in charge. Last year I finally found a brilliant dance group that is for kids with special needs. It is run by a teacher who works in special ed. Chatterbox was only able to start this year as they are very careful about when they introduce new students and they only introduce one at a time. She has been to four sessions now. She loves dancing and I love having an hour and a half to myself!!
Today we were playing in the park with Giggles while she was at dance. I left my phone in the car and Grumpy later realised that his phone was on silent still from when we were at our course. When we got back in the car I realised I had a missed call. There was no message though so I didn’t think anything more of it. Then when we were waiting outside to pick Chatterbox up, Grumpy realised he had a missed call and message on his phone too. The message said that we needed to come back as Chatterbox was being disruptive and was impacting on the rest of the group. As there was only two minutes left of dance by then we waited and I talked to the leader when it was over. She talked very sternly to Chatterbox and told her that next time I will have to wait outside so that they could get me to come in and make her sit with me if there was an issue.
It is so discouraging as she loves dance. She loves to be independent and go to dance by herself. However, as she has been going for a few weeks she now needs to start to test how far she can push them before they will snap. It happens the same way with everything. I feel like no matter how hard we try she can’t accept positive experiences until she has pushed all the boundaries and attempted to sabotage her own joy.
Her dance teacher is very sensible luckily. She has told me that she won’t let Chatterbox go home if she is mucking up, but will make her sit with me in the room. She also said that Chatterbox will not be able to control her. This is all very positive. As is the fact that Chatterbox was very subdued all the way home. In these situations she would normally be completely hyped up for hours so I think that her dance teacher was actually able to get through to her.
Maybe this experience has helped her to make a hole in her bucket slightly smaller.
I can only hope so.