In-lieu of the support of a local meeting (which I don't have at the moment, for numerous reasons), I'd love to ask those here to hold my family in the Light. I'm a single mom to three very high-needs foster kids, and we are again hitting some very trying times. I've been working hard to drum up all the resources I can for my five year old son, who has started feeling secure enough (I'm told) to start really blooming with some very trying behaviors. Things have been challenging enough lately that I've had to start considering whether I'll be able to continue parenting all three kids. I believe that they are supposed to be here, and wish to make it work.

I know I have good parenting skills and am consistent, firm, creative, and loving. When a kid is losing control, however (hitting people/animals, grabbing/throwing things, ripping trim off of cabinets, scratching cars with rocks, etc.), there is only one of me. I have to stay with the kid who needs monitoring, and then I have a three year old and an eight year old, each with their own problems. We are working on the theory that at this point the other two kids could read together, but considering they also are a) kids and b) kids with their own issues, this sort of idea doesn't always work.

I don't know that I'm looking for advice as much as support. I'm a teacher, and am gathering as many supportive/diagnostic/nutritional/emotional supports as I can for this kid who is struggling so mightily. (He also has cognitive delays, language delays, and possible sensory disorders, which all complicate things.) School will start in a month, and the consistency of that will help notably. We have structure to our summer days, but it does vary some from week to week, and that's hard.

These times are when I am tempted to land back in a traditional Christian church, though I know I don't belong there and can't really go back there in clear conscience. I am tired, and worried, and aching, and would love to read words of encouragement and wisdom from Quaker sisters and brothers.

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I can relate to the feeling of needing to attend to one child while the other two get kind of left to fend for themselves...I have three little ones, and I stay home with them full-time. I try to remember that it will never be perfect, and that just because things appear to be "falling apart" doesn't mean that I am doing something wrong, or even need to change anything. It just is.

I used to be the head teacher of a school for children with severe behavior problems...and the behaviour you described was par for the course for pretty much every student we had. So many of them seemed so damaged, with all of the learning disabilities, delays, etc...that come along with a troubled beginning in life. I often wondered how any of them would function as grown-ups. Well, through the magic of facebook, a few of them have found me, and all appear to be fully-functioning, active and energetic young adults! One joined the military, and just returned from a tour of duty. Another is going to college. Another, despite going through gender reassignment throughout adolescence after a very troubled childhood (that's a lot of stress, changes and social stigmas!)...seems to be one of the most open, loving and functional people you could imagine.....I remember having to hold her in "therapeutic hold", while her eyes would glaze over and she would swear, thrash, etc.... Now HE writes beautiful poetry and lyrics to songs...write loving notes to his friends..lives on his own and is working.

It sounds like your little guys might need a one on one situation. I am surprised the foster care system does not offer in-home respite care for children with severe behavioural challenges. The school I worked at used to send "counselors" into homes to spend time with the kids, etc... many of them foster homes. I know that's advice, but just in case there might be some avenues that you could pursue service-wise that you haven't thought of, or haven;t been offered to you...feel free to PM me to see if there is something I know about where you could get some literal physical support. There are a lot of "hidden services" in that big web of public schools, foster care system, DHS, etc...

Rebecca
I feel over distance I can't say a lot that would help, but am holding you in the light. Hang in there, sounds like you're doing a grand job.
In Friendship
Frances

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