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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

critical stages and can damage be reversed?

Posted by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 3:17 AM
  • 13 Replies

I'm not sure if this is even the right forum to ask this question in it really isnt a school type question but it involves a school age child. A good friend of mine is looking into fostering a child and possibly adopting. I have taken some child development classes and I know there are critical periods where certain needs should be met and if not they can have lasting effects on the child. She has met the child she will be fostering and read a little about his background he was being raised by a single mom who was a drug addict so she neglected him, never gave him attention, and belittled him, called him names and told him she wished he had never been born stuff like that so of course his self esteem is shattered he feels worthless and unwanted. He says he hates his life and calls himself names now like says he is fat because that is what his bio mom used to tell him (this makes me want to cry just typing it poor little guy) anyway he is 7 and in the 1st grade he was held back last year and of course bio mom told him he was stupid so heartbreaking any advice on things my friend can do to help this child recover from the emotional abuse he has suffered and probably physical abuse as well but my friend said she wasn't sure if the bio mom was physically abusive

by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 3:17 AM
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frndlyfn
by Gold Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 4:04 AM
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I would suggest to get him into some intense therapy and activities that can boost his self esteem.  7 years is a long time to endure that kind of pain but it can be overcome with hard work from the fostering parents and others around him.   She will need to prove to him that she will not throw him away no matter how bad he may act and keep a firm but gentle hand on guiding him through life.

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:16 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm going to be honest and say no. The child will probably make tremendous strides with your friend's love, support, and stability. The damage, however, is done and while it can be worked on, it will never truly go away. There are years ahead of heartache and insecurities. It doesn't mean that the child can't/won't grow into a successful member of society, because he just may, but the road will be much harder and his ability to maintain personal relationships less. Your friend is in for a very challenging, yet potentially very rewarding experience.

LilliesValley
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:20 AM
I think most kids can overcome these things, its difficult and they need a loving person to take care of them. I think its great that your friend is up to this challenge.
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coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:25 AM
My in-laws fostered a boy (about 40 years ago) and he blossomed in their care. He was returned to his mom, he didn't want to leave my ILs, but to this day, he is still close to my MIL. It can be done but will require a lot of work. Your friend has an amazing heart to do this.
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SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:58 AM
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As someone who adopted from foster care, I think you need to understand that every child is different and has a different level of resiliency. There is no one size fits all, nor does love always cure everything... But very real healing is possible at any age.

I'm not sure why you're making this post on behalf of someone else. If your friend is so far into the process that she has been matched with and actually met her child, then she has been through a lot to get to this point... Including training specific to the needs and issues that are common to children who have been in foster care.

What she will need is the support and love of family and friends, not people who are questioning her desire to be a mom to a child who desperately needs a family. I would really encourage you to make yourself available and to have her back, because she will likely deal with things that are hard and heartbreaking.

I hope she can also find a support network of moms who have dealt with foster care and those specific issues, whether online or IRL. There are things that just make more sense to those who have been there. If she is interested in joining CM, there are some great foster/adopt groups here.
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MsLogansMommy
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

 

She is my best friend and she is not a member of any mothers groups she asked my opinion and I didn't have an answer for her so I thought I would ask on here to hear opinions from other people on things that she could do to help him

Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

As someone who adopted from foster care, I think you need to understand that every child is different and has a different level of resiliency. There is no one size fits all, nor does love always cure everything... But very real healing is possible at any age.

I'm not sure why you're making this post on behalf of someone else. If your friend is so far into the process that she has been matched with and actually met her child, then she has been through a lot to get to this point... Including training specific to the needs and issues that are common to children who have been in foster care.

What she will need is the support and love of family and friends, not people who are questioning her desire to be a mom to a child who desperately needs a family. I would really encourage you to make yourself available and to have her back, because she will likely deal with things that are hard and heartbreaking.

I hope she can also find a support network of moms who have dealt with foster care and those specific issues, whether online or IRL. There are things that just make more sense to those who have been there. If she is interested in joining CM, there are some great foster/adopt groups here.


 

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM
1 mom liked this

That information was missing in your OP. It was phrased in such a way that I couldn't tell your friend had asked for help, or even if she was aware of your concerns. I'm glad to know that this is an open conversation, and that this is a response to her asking for your help.

As for what she can do to help him, I think she would want to start by talking with his current foster parents and service prociders... Is he receiving therapy? Can she speak with the therapist? They are going to have the greatest insight as to how to help this child, along with other, more experienced foster parents, which is why I would suggest a support group for her.

I have heard many families have positive results from attachment therapy, which is working with the child and the long-term caregiver/parent to develop a healthy and secure attachment. Perhaps she could start looking for an attachment therapist now, as well as a support group for herself... It will likely be a long road to healing for this little boy, and I doubt that anyone can say right now how far he can/will go. But having the support of friends and family will be huge for both of them as they embark on this new journey together.

Quoting MsLogansMommy:


She is my best friend and she is not a member of any mothers groups she asked my opinion and I didn't have an answer for her so I thought I would ask on here to hear opinions from other people on things that she could do to help him

Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

As someone who adopted from foster care, I think you need to understand that every child is different and has a different level of resiliency. There is no one size fits all, nor does love always cure everything... But very real healing is possible at any age.

I'm not sure why you're making this post on behalf of someone else. If your friend is so far into the process that she has been matched with and actually met her child, then she has been through a lot to get to this point... Including training specific to the needs and issues that are common to children who have been in foster care.

What she will need is the support and love of family and friends, not people who are questioning her desire to be a mom to a child who desperately needs a family. I would really encourage you to make yourself available and to have her back, because she will likely deal with things that are hard and heartbreaking.

I hope she can also find a support network of moms who have dealt with foster care and those specific issues, whether online or IRL. There are things that just make more sense to those who have been there. If she is interested in joining CM, there are some great foster/adopt groups here.





frndlyfn
by Gold Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 12:02 PM

BUMP!

Barabell
by Barbara on Feb. 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM


Quoting mjande4:

I'm going to be honest and say no. The child will probably make tremendous strides with your friend's love, support, and stability. The damage, however, is done and while it can be worked on, it will never truly go away. There are years ahead of heartache and insecurities. It doesn't mean that the child can't/won't grow into a successful member of society, because he just may, but the road will be much harder and his ability to maintain personal relationships less. Your friend is in for a very challenging, yet potentially very rewarding experience.

I am going to agree with this. The damage can never be reversed or go away, but in the right environment, the kid could become a productive member of society and a happy adult.

I'm also going to agree with the other reply that how things progress does depend on the child. There are too many factors that go into this that it would be really hard to predict any outcome. My sisters and I were raised in the same environment (my parents really tried hard to make sure our parenting was pretty equal), and yet the three of us are completely different.

bleumonster
by Gold Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 1:56 PM
3 moms liked this
I have fostered and adopted. There is no black and white, hard and fast answer to that question. It depends on a lot of factors, including personalities of all involved, what professional help is available etc. The short answer is yes it can be overcome. However not in every case and the percentage may be somewhat low. If she does this, it will be a hard road, one that seems like you take a step forward and then a half step or more back. It is an exhausting, frustrating journey with lots of pitfalls but a sweet reward.

When my kids came to me they were terrified of spilling the milk. I will never forget that first night when the youngest spilled his milk and I had two sets of terrified eyes watching me. They flinched when I calmly got up, got some paper towels, cleaned it up and refilled his cup. Now that same boy is a confident, happy young man of 11 who calls me mom.


Quoting frndlyfn:

I would suggest to get him into some intense therapy and activities that can boost his self esteem.  7 years is a long time to endure that kind of pain but it can be overcome with hard work from the fostering parents and others around him.   She will need to prove to him that she will not throw him away no matter how bad he may act and keep a firm but gentle hand on guiding him through life.


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