Older Child Adopt-Do they ever really love you?
P is 9 1/2 and has been with me for 3 years. The intent is to adopt, but she we have taken steps backwards. She yells and screams at me, today was "Get a Life" about 4 times because I didn't bring her Ipod down from upstairs. I get, "you are so stupid, you don't remember anything.," not in a joking manner. I'm trying to revise my thinking and tell myself to not to look for her to love me but just to respect me. Anyone else have it fall apart after three years???
Congratulations. She is treating you just like a Mom. I would say it's very normal preteen behaviors. Not that it can't indicate some angst, but honestly it sounds like stuff that comes out of my daughters mouth daily. She was adopted at 6 by me. They are feeling out life. Taking control and dealing with hormones.:loveyou:
I only have adopted daughters, but I have a 16 year old biological son and my brother has a 15 year old daughter and a 9 year old daughter. This behavior is completely typical of them. I would take it as a great sign that she is comfortable with you and feels secure enough to yell at you. :clap:
Ok, just giving my opinion. But this is one of the major reasons I will only work with little ones. MY bios are 14 and 12 and have never spoken to me like that. Yes, I get attitude, but not disrespect.
I've heard kids push hardest right before adoption to test your commitment, so that may be it. But not confronting this behavior that is obviously giving you so much grief is only a pass for her to keep it up.
If this child is only 9, I imagine this behavior is only going to get worse. Unless you have signed yourself up as therapeutic or are willing to deal with troubled behavior, I would really consider what you want the next 10 years of home life to look like.
Again, just my opinion.
Fostering since 2010. Family has grown to 1 loving husband, 2 biological teens, 2 adopted boys, and a fostered Pumpkin.
I do believe that it's very common for older kids to talk that way, but it should not be allowed to continue without consequences. You should acknowledge whatever is upsetting her, but let her know that disrespectful words and attitude toward you will bring immediate negative results for her. What that looks like is up to you, but I'd think being sent to a boring room with nothing fun to do or added work are both good options. You should sit down with her at a time when neither of you is angry and make a chart, together, of inappropriate behaviors and their consequences. That way she will have to make a choice and decide if it's worth saying the angry words she's thinking or not.

On the upside, angry or hurtful words does not mean that you aren't loved, just that they lack self control. I've said some horrible things to my mom over the years from about the age of 9 on, and seriously regretted them. You might also look at what kind of friends she is spending time with. If her friends generally speak about and to their parents disrespectfully, then you need to distance her from those kids.

-J
Oh, I wanted to add that you need to be careful how you speak as well. If she hears you talking about others or to them in that way, she may just be modeling behavior. I've heard adults chatting with friends saying all kinds of insulting, profanity filled, things about someone else. Then they wonder why their kids talk that way to them. Be careful of negative self talk, too. If you are constantly saying out loud things like, "I am SO stupid. I can't believe I did that" then your child may think that's acceptable to say about you.

-J
I have four children adopted from foster care, home at ages 5,9,10, & 14. They have never spoken to me like that. Neither have my other birth children. Three of my kids are grown and out, one more graduating soon. We have had plenty of teen and preteen angst, hormones, we've had RAD, step family situations, have dealt with all sorts of issues. They have talked back plenty. They have been disrespectful. But they have never gone anywhere near that extreme. They do seem to love us very much, and they are loved deeply as well. This behavior is very disturbing to me, and I would have the child in counseling. She has no concept of boundaries or respect. Did she used to act much better??? Something seems very wrong and worrisome, I hope you get some help and things get dramatically better.
Love = respect. You should expect to receive both from P. That being said, I think it very possible she is trying to push you away, testing you, etc. both because of the adoption situation and because that's what teen and preteen girls do with their mothers (BTDT - you can read my old threads with similar angst about my own P).

If I remember correctly you guys had some manipulation issues before? CPS wasn't convinced you could say no to P? Have you been to therapy together and/or does P have any diagnoses? There are a lot of great parenting techniques out there - and perhaps some good suggestions on how to handle P's outbursts - but they are so specific to the type of child you have that I would hate to suggest any without more information.

To answer your original question though - YES, an older child can absolutely grow to love their adoptive parent. Love requires trust, however, and a lot of our kids need help learning how to build that after the trauma they have faced. I would urge you to not give up on P or your relationship but to seek out more supports for yourself as you navigate these painful waters.
controllnmychaos said...

If this child is only 9, I imagine this behavior is only going to get worse. Unless you have signed yourself up as therapeutic or are willing to deal with troubled behavior, I would really consider what you want the next 10 years of home life to look like.
Again, just my opinion.


I am just a nip-it-in-the-bud kind of person. I agree with other posters that you should seek some help. You definately don't want this to grow into something uncontrollable. I really didn't mean you should find her another home after 3 years, sorry if that is how it sounded. I'm just of the mind that if you know you are not going to be able to handle living with a FC's issues, it is better to either get a handle on them or realize you are over your head before you sign the papers. Your whole family is living this life, and your home should be as happy and conflict-free as possible.
Fostering since 2010. Family has grown to 1 loving husband, 2 biological teens, 2 adopted boys, and a fostered Pumpkin.
older kids come with older kid baggage that sometimes you cannot nip in the bud. it's there. you can prune it back, train it to your desires sometimes, but it's too late for bud nipping.

the thorns have already taken over the bloom.

but yeah, she needs some consequences for being so disrespectful. since you are so forgetful, perhaps you will forget to take P to her next class or lesson. maybe you'll forget to buy her a treat next time. maybe you'll just decide that disrespectful kids don't get cool stuff like lessons and treats. it's okay to put down the limits about behavior.

it's also okay to parent any way you see fit. i know that you're feeling under the microscope. the bottom line is that you need to decide what is fair for YOU. you've always been more than fair with P. it's okay to say this is the end and mean it. it's okay to say you won't be putting up with this crap any longer. it's okay to say here are the consequences for your behavior. and it's even okay to keep on doing it until P gets it.

yes, you'll get backlash. it's the way of RAD and PTSD and bipolar and ODD and every other thing i can think of. and it's okay to hate the backlash and wish you had never put on the brakes. BUT--in the long run you'll both be happier if she understands that there are limits.

limits never mean loss of love and affection. it's okay to have them.

just keep trying. you really can do this.
Wow all of the above is awesome advise and this should be something you think about and parent from knowledge and the heart! Hard balance to work out for sure!

I know in the past I have let some behavior go that I wish I did not and felt like "nina" got me, but I am trying to learn and not let it happen again. I know a big thing for me is making sure you make a rule, STICK TO IT, lay out the consequence and make sure you give it once that rule is broken. Making sure they know what to expect is a big thing that I have learned from parenting and from the classes. I wish you all the best!
My DD2 (aged 15) is very volatile in her language. I frequently get called names eg. You stupid ****ing b****, or "I've had lots of mums, and you are the worst of all, you are a s**t mum" and so on and so on. In her case, I know it's not because she's maliciously trying to hurt me, and she certainly loves me.

I think when dealing with behaviours, you have to try to work out why they behave like that. In DD's case, she lives in a constantly stressed and fearful state. She's a little hedgehog - prickly on the outside, extremely vulnerable on the inside. She pushes me away before I can reject her. She's improved over the years mind you, and we are in therapy at an excellent centre which provide me with a wraparound support package as well as DD's therapy work. Until she begins living life in a less stressed state, and until her fear levels reduce, she won't stop her behaviour no matter what consequences are imposed. Negative consequences increase her stress levels if anything. Her former FP's tried consequences, but they wound up with DD exploding every day, and dealing with a lot more violence than I have dealt with in her. I don't just allow her to say as horrid thing as she likes, but I don't heap on punishments or negative consequences either...and I know my way has led to a more peaceful life, and led to DD being able to be more loving towards me in other ways

Whichever way you deal with it, therapy and counselling is a good idea though. We couldn't live without DD's therapy or my counselling. A good therapy centre should give you counselling as well and recognise that you can't help a child without helping the parents as well
None of my bios talked to me that way and my older AD(who was 7 when placed) she does not talk like that BUT she lies she will look you right in the eyes (with you catching her doing it) and tell you nope I did not do it. She seems to have no love for anyone,not even herself. I wonder if she will ever be able to love anyone. That is one reason I really wanted to adopt only younger children,but we did not want to split up the sibs(4 of them). It has been battle after battle with her for the last 6 years, and it has not gotten better even with therapy.
I wish you the best and hope you have better luck than us!
I would not allow any child to talk to me with disrespect. I do not talk to them that way and they will ot talk to me that way. I would have a talk with her and let her know there will consequence(?)
I can't speak for older foster children on a big scale, but we did raise my husband's teenage sister, and I have children that are that age and I'd never allow them to talk to me like that. It does not matter that they have a hard life, being mean and rude isn't going to make their life any better and learning respect and self control is going to go a lot farther than being allowed to treat people like garbage just because they are sad or hurt or tired or whatever else.
mythreesonsjmo said...
I can't speak for older foster children on a big scale, but we did raise my husband's teenage sister, and I have children that are that age and I'd never allow them to talk to me like that. It does not matter that they have a hard life, being mean and rude isn't going to make their life any better and learning respect and self control is going to go a lot farther than being allowed to treat people like garbage just because they are sad or hurt or tired or whatever else.


I think that is an excellent point. Respect starts at home. If a child can't even show it to their parents, what are they going to do to a teacher, employer, or police officer. You as a parent may be tolerant, but the world outside will not be.
Fostering since 2010. Family has grown to 1 loving husband, 2 biological teens, 2 adopted boys, and a fostered Pumpkin.
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