Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Little Venting Does a Body Good

I have noticed twice in the last week people posting on about foster parents being called Mom and Dad. It really pisses me off that they do this and let me explain why. THEY ARE FOSTER PARENTS! Temporary until adoption becomes the plan. Young children do not understand this and by letting (b/c I know it just comes out of their little mouths) them do this confuses them when they either go home or end up in an adoptive home. My kids lingered in foster care for 6.5 years, they were all extremely young when they entered and called ALL of their foster parents Mom and Dad. I know the FP meant well, I adore the couple that kept them the most and know they really loved the kids. This is part of the reason my kids can't grasp that I am different, they have had 12-15 Moms so what makes me so special? I have tried to explain they have a Mother, they have had Foster Mothers, and I am Mom. SO what lady, I called them all Mom and they said they loved me, they all left. I believe Foster Parents are a very special person in a child's life, they can be the one that saved them, helped them through their pain, been the first person to really care about them or show them attention, they are heroes but they are not their Mother until the plan goes to adoption. They have the role of Mother and they do all kinds of crap work to help the child but is being called Mom the reason they do it? No, they do it to make a difference in a child's life. Being called Mom doesn't make the job easier or more fulfilling so please consider that when a child calls you Mom. Please don't feel I attacked it's just me opinion and it is something we are having a hard time with.

The other thing is our damn bus driver. I have told him, the school has told him, and the county office has told him to move Cyr to the front near him to protect other children and he won't. He is the same idiot that said he couldn't report a violent child b/c her Dad was yelling at him at the bus stop. He decided to allow my children to be assaulted instead.

Done, I feel better now so thanks for listening.

I forgot to add...who is from Cumming, GA? We are neighbors so please speak up!


Momofmany said...

As a foster and adoptive parent. I see your point but respectfully disagree.

I was in care briefly as an older child and the foster parents gave me several choices, from their first names to mom and dad. I went back and forth.

For us, we have done the same with older kids and with the younger kids. All eventually chose to use mom or auntie.

Also many kids don't want to feel out of place at school and have to explain why they don't call their parents "mom" and "dad"

I think the answer lies in reworking the foster care system to reduce the number of placements children have and the number of times in and out of care

Tudu said...

Momofmany, you had one key word in your comment, you were an older child. I believe that makes a difference b/c they can be reasoned with and have a better understanding of roles. I was talking about younger children coming into care, from say birth to even up to 5yrs old. I fostered teens for MANY years and have the pleasure of maintaining those relationships with many of them, they all understood my role. I can relate to the school and other privacy issues, there are creative ways to work around that. Children can feel a part of a family w/o calling someone else Mom.

Momofmany said...

Yes but at the same time. If a younger child comes into a home where there are older children already. The younger children will generally follow the example of the older children and call the foster parents what they hear the other kids saying.

We had one child who was about 5 who got very upset when we tried to redirect him to calling us something else besides "Mom".

He knew who everyone was in his mind and could explain that as well.

I believe that your kids would still have a lot of the problems they have due to the simple fact that they were moved so many different times. The system needs to look at those issues and work harder to find permanency rather than have kids languishing and being moved so many times.

Innocent Observer said...

I have to respectfully disagree as well. Your kids are going to know you are different, not because of what they call you, but because of what you show them.

Our fosters never called us Mom and Dad, and if I had it to do over I wouldn't have done it that way. Kids deserve some sense of normalcy and family and I think calling the adults Mom and Dad (or even Auntie) contributes to that. Especially when they are younger.

Lorie said...

I can see both points. I pretty much knew my foster kiddo was going to be adopted and was adopted before this was an issue for us, however, I think if the child does have a RU plan and/or the case has not started towards parental TPR, maybe using "momma xxxNAMExxx" until adoption...or the case changes to adoption, would be healthier in the long run for the child. Otherwise I can see Tudu's point, how does a child especially one who is struggling with attachment issues, differentiate between an abusive parent, a foster parent and a forever parent if they are all called MOM. I think after a lot of loss and hurt, they would disassociate with the word all together, which could take years to repair. But as with all foster and adoption issues, it's complicated.

FosterAbba said...

We let our kids decide. All of them have chosen to call us by our first names.