Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Little Liars at Work

My little devils decided it would be funny to tell the Family Therapist at the program that all I do is lay in bed and watch TV. One kid spoke up and defended me claiming that I do sit on the computer sometimes. Great! This happened after I called Ava on the carpet for lying about wetting herself in the closet and I pointed out to the therapist that Ava pokes her eyes when she is fake crying so it looks real. Now I look like an uncaring and lazy Mom. She began asking how I manage to give them quality alone time. I explained it is difficult but I manage. It is not at the mall or on vacation but we are very aware of who needs what and that they get it. Yes, it is in the laundry room or at the kitchen table while we are fixing dinner but they have access to me constantly. Who's to say that the conversation in the laundry room is less important than the one she has with her daughter at the mall?

This week she asked Ava and Patches what their goals were. Patches' goal was to let her brother get in trouble instead of protecting him. WTH? When I asked her to explain, she gave me some story about how she doesn't tell on him and he "always" steps on her book bag when she is in her room throwing a fit. Let me break this down for you, she hasn't had a fit in many, many weeks, her book bag is supposed to be in the closet unless she is doing her homework, and she hasn't been allowed to throw a fit in room since we discovered they were locked in their room and this caused them to have have PTSD flashbacks. What it boils down to is that this happened in MARCH. I am sure they were feeling so sorry for her b/c she told them I was watching TV downstairs and he was torturing her upstairs. Gimme a break! I tore her story apart and she smiled. She agreed she just couldn't think of anything to make as a goal when they asked her.

Ava's wasn't much better. She has to write about her feelings when she gets mad at the kids. That goal makes no sense for this child. She doesn't get angry, they do. She torments them by waking them up at 5AM after keeping them up with her chatter until way after bedtime, she ruins their favorite clothes by sitting in the mud, smearing her lunch on them, and writing all over them with markers, she shoves them off the swing, empties all the shampoo out before they bathe, steals their new toy and hides it under her bed, or talks through an entire movie they were dying to watch. At no time does she build with any visible anger to write about. She smiles and ignores authority but never screams or attacks. This goal is silly and doesn't apply to her so she has yet to write anything about it.

13 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Wow, you really don't know what a therapist will believe or not, I guess. Hang in there!

Wendy said...

OMG, and this is a PROFESSIONAL? Lord have Mercy, they will chew her up and spit her out and she won't even realize it. Sad, sad, sad.

Alyssa's Mom said...

OMG, I must really be the most evil of mothers! My little darling goes to bed at 8:00pm. She is in the 4th grade. I tried letting her stay up until 8:30pm. No way - WAY too cranky!

AmyAnne said...

Okay, these people are nuts. And for what it's worth? Austin goes to bed at 8:15 during the school year.

Angela :-) said...

Excuse me for a moment, but wtf?! What is she thinking? If my kids aren't in bed by 8 (ages 2-9), I'm irritated. They start waking up before 6 AM!

Angela :-)

Lindsay said...

I hope there is at least one more therapist there with some oversight. It really doesn't sound as if the one you have understands the manipulative behaviour your kids are capable of. Or indeed that she has even noticed she is being manipulated!!

skirbo said...

Given my current circumstances, I'd probably tell her to go educate herself before she ruined any more kids and take mine out of her program.

Geesh. Are you required to be there? Because it does sound like a waste of time and I think I would be rather vocal about it.

Sarah

Christine said...

Oh my. I must be the meanest mom in the world. My kids start going to bed at 7:30 and some sooner if they misbehave or have a bad day. And all of my kids ages 6 and up do at least three chores a day.

I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading. :)

Tudu said...

This is the woman in charge of the other therapists, that's what is so frightening. My kids saw them coming a mile away, they had no idea that I would be able to hear some of what they are saying in the family session. I hope this will keep some of it down, here on out. It's funny to see Ava turn on the tears for them, they suck it right up while all of us are holding back laughter. I don't think Patches will intentionally try to hurt the family but she is enjoying their sympathy. Ava is the one I worry about and I do not think I will trust them with my other children for a bit. They were great for respite but I don't think we will see any real lasting changes.

Marthavmuffin said...

I hope she didnt make that awful comment about their bedtime being too early in front of the kids! Stupid woman. Every parent has the right to establish bedtimes for their kids and research shows most kids DO NOT get enough sleep and their learning and behavior suffers.

Lisa said...

There is no reason for kids to be up past 8 pm. With our busy families, and all of the challenges we face in a typical day, they NEED to be safely tucked into bed by 8pm. There is NOTHING kid-friendly on tv at night anymore so that's no excuse and when they're tired, they just annoy the heck out of each other (and us) more than usual anyway. That said, you need to RUN from these people as soon as you can reasonably get away without raising any red flags. These therapists should know better - but they don't. Who loses? Our whole families, not the therapists. I really don't think there are many true therapists out there who can 100 percent understand our kids and all their issues. This situation (no matter how well intentioned the professionals are) will steadily go downhill if you don't nip it in the bud now. Your kids' behaviors are pretty obvious to you right now, but were they always? How long did it take for you to see them for who they are and not just what they wanted you to see? If you needed time to figure this all out and you lived with the kids 24/7, just imagine how long it will take for someone who only sees them a certain amount of time a day/week.

We all want to find some program that works and helps heal our kids, and we keep plugging along, looking for that (elusive) perfect program/therapist/psychiatrist who "gets it" right off - I honestly don't think I'll ever run into that right person, although I will keep looking and trying to help my kids, as I'm sure you are. Sometimes, we have to take what we can use and toss the rest - consider it respite while it lasts and let it help YOU. I would also be very careful what I tell the therapist from this point on - if you say too much (trying to "educate" her), she may think you're exaggerating to make the kids look worse and you'll seem defensive. Face it, you can't win.

Parenting the Hoovers said...

Hi, I'm a parent of six children adopted from foster care (two are still in the process). I have a blog as well, www.parentingthehoovers.blogspot.com. Seems like we have a lot in common. If it's okay, I'm going to link your blog on mine.

As for therapists, I've given up on them. It's a crock. Our therapy experiences also ended up being more about MY parenting than about my children's behavior. When people ask me if my kids are seeing a therapist, I now respond, "Yes. Me."

Glad to have found you!

ania said...

Umm....I just think you're so gifted at what you do.

I can't help but leave these notes!! You probably don't remember what the post was about half the time you see my comments.