Rosa came with her 3 gorgeous children. I wanted to scoop them up right away and smother them in kisses but figured since it had been awhile, I should wait. It was obvious right away that they were nervous, the clinging to their mother's leg was the only clue needed.
We took them out to dinner and laid out the expectations, as we always do. Her kids looked at me as if I were speaking in Spanish. Every one was fine and did very well. I was, however, manipulated by her 2 yr old that allowed me to take her to pick out her ice cream. She asked so sweetly for a cupcake that I HAD to get it for her. I knew right then she has a talent I will teach her to use to exploit her mother. By the end of the weekend she had the head tilt and batting eyes in motion while she asked her mom, "Please!" She captured all our hearts instantly.
I watched Rosa with her kids all weekend. She is a very good mother considering she had no role model as a young child. A few years as a teen just doesn't count. She lacks consistency, imagination, and confidence. Those are things she can learn. She is gentle and caring with a ton of patience. She carries a lot of guilt for things that she did with the best of intentions. She wanted them to have a father, unfortunately, the one she chose was and is a severely attachment disordered young man. This does not make a good mate or father. She did the best she could to make up for it by being their caregiver, bread winner, and their personal maid. She fears the children will reject her if she is too strong with them, not understanding it is what they crave.
She listens and asks lots of questions trying to get this parenting thing right. I arranged for her to get a Psychological Evaluation for her son with our therapist's office. I do not think he is full blown RAD but their are many signs of attachment issues there. I think she will be able to do this, she is so much stronger than she thinks. The confidence will come. She feels she did this to her child and the reality is she did but it was not intentional and it was not her fault. I think the world of her for asking for help and seeing all the effort she is willing to pour into him to help is quite moving.
She has made a few simple mistakes that probably seem odd to the school but we will both be meeting with them in the AM to explain the new changes in her parenting style and to ask for their support. She is trying to understand how to work the consequences and is still needing some redirection in that area. I hope one day she can laugh at all this. My kids have ODD and when I tell them to make sure to stomp up the stairs, pull their hair out, and beat holes in their walls, they refuse. She thought she would try it and told him to continue rubbing his face into the floor and he gave himself a lovely rug burn. I mentioned I took my son's shoes away for throwing them at me and he wore flip flops with socks for the first winter he was here. She sent him in slippers. She struggles every day to get him to school so I suggested arranging with the school to bring him "as is" and let him finish there and to follow through with everything you say. He refused to put on his shoes this morning and she threatened to find other shoes for him and ended up with High School Musical pink shoes. Won't kill him but I am sure they are thinking she is nuts b/c they didn't support her and let him go in stocking feet all day. She needs their support, I hope they step up and they to understand her situation.
Her son is aggressive, violent, angry, and would greatly benefit from some Risperdal or any mood stabilizer. I see my son in his behaviors. He hits, doesn't understand intentions, and rarely smiles. He doesn't present himself as a happy child. He makes little or no eye contact and is superficially affectionate. Both of her older kids fight for her attention by claiming boo boos and being scared of things at night. She is torn and exhausted.