Friday, April 22, 2011

Lessons need to be learned

As a mother with many children that have come from troubled pasts, lessons abound to be learned.   That was made very, very clear yet again this weekend.  Now, I am not going to blame anyone but since our "situation" happened, we have had to contend w/ major PTSD issues and some other RAD behaviors.  However, our kids know for a fact I don't let them blame any wrong doings whatsoever on any of their disabilities.  (though frankly, not many know all their dx's).  I expect them to take full responsibilities for their actions.  The past few weeks have been a bit rough here though we've tried to get back to normal.  Well, someone stirred up that pot yet again last week & so many of my children were re-traumatized.  Still, no excuse.  We taught them better than that.  We taught them morals, responsibility, love, pride, trust, etc.  Until this evening, there was only one of our kids that still had issues w/ those things.  Or so I thought.

Alex has a past that I will not go into detail on.  Some of his history will remain private.  Just know it was horrifying.  We had worked for years turning his issues around and with fantastic success.  Last week, my RADish took a turn in the wrong direction.  Those w/ RAD kids know this happens.  Just very hard when you see so much progress for so dog gone long and it is taken away in an instant.  I'll cut to the chase.  When something goes missing in this house, typically, all will suspect Alex.  Now that may sound terrible but you would have to understand the track record here.  Yet still a huge step forward compared to years ago.  This weekend, Irina had money missing.  Shockingly, Alex had a brand new book from the book fair along w/ other trinkets from there.  Problem w/ that...Alex had NO money to purchase said items.  Irina, Yana, Bojan, and myself started asking questions to Alex.  Of course, the lies have to come.  He can't keep them straight & we'll call him on it.  You have to remain calm even though you know he is blantantly lying to you.  He couldn't keep anything straight.  Saying a boy gave it to him. Then it was a girl. Then two people.  The list goes on as the story & the lie got bigger.  I told him to stop.  Not say a word and listen.  Told him I would contact the teacher Monday to get the real story & that he had to find the book he bought.   He was not allowed to do anything but locate that book or go to bed.   The screaming, the wailing of tears of how he is the victim here.  Doesn't help w/ the girls adding their 2 cents worth.  Anyhow, this continued for a l-o-n-g time.  Finally, he came downstairs and stood in front of the couch.  He said I did it.  I said "did what?" Alex proceeded to tell us how he stole Irina's money.  This was a huge step as this is the first time Alex ever admitted to taking something that wasn't his.   His punishment is to work it off and Irina is his supervisor.  He will get paid for his work & it will then go directly to Irina.  He can not keep the book either.  Was purchased under false pretenses.

I do think Alex learned a lesson but I still think he has a long way to go. I also think that his PTSD reared it's ugly head again after this past week due to our "situation."  We did everything in our power to NOT let this happen.  We had documents in place.  We did our homework.  Told the kids what to say... you know... ask to call your parents immediately.  One of them DID ask.  Anyhow, I'm just frustrated by all that has transpired over the last few weeks and the damage it has done to the kids by dragging up their past.

So, that brings me to the next child.  The unexpected one.  The one who rarely ever gets in trouble.  The "goodie two-shoes" at school.  Even one of the girls' friends today said "but he NEVER does anything wrong."  Well, that all changed the other day when we went to the store for Max.  I won't go into detail but Max & Bojan were looking around electronics.  Bojan asked to go around the aisle to look at books.  He's 12yo so Warren said fine.  Warren went around the corner to check on him & first words out of Bojan's mouth were "I wasn't going to steal it."  He had it under his shirt.  It was obvious his intentions.  I can not even begin to tell you how we felt.  This child does not have RAD.  Not that that would make a difference but a part of me has gotten accustomed to Alex doing certain things due to his RAD/ FAS issues.  Bojan was clear out of left field. NEVER expected it from him.  Never.  So, so disappointed.  Really am.  We didn't even have the words for him in the car.  He too is punished for a very long time.  No, don't know how long yet.  But stealing in this home is unacceptable.  period.  I do not care who you are or where the stealing took place.  So, Alex & Bojan are having to work off their debt.  Though Bojan didn't officially take the book, those were indeed his intentions.  It was obvious.  So, we treat it as such.  I told him he's getting older & I have a decision to make as to what I allow him to do.  I said you just blew all the trust you'd built up over the years.  I lost the trust I had in you to do the right thing.  Alex due to his background did steal as a survival technique back in Russia.  Bojan did not have that background or that issue to contend with.  So the why of all this is really bothersome to me.  I want to understand why he did it.  All he can come up with is I wanted the book.  Bojan has never seen any of us steal.  Bojan has grown up knowing right from wrong.  We are still trying to piece together why in the world he thought this was okay.  We are just really torn. 

Now, some would say why post?  I think it is important for others to know that PI kids do have serious issues that follow them for years.  We always have watched Alex like a hawk just due to his previous experiences.  Never had a problem w/ him in a store...ever.  Bojan has always known right from wrong.  Is the only one not effect by FAS or FAE.  Blows my mind he would do something of this magnitude.  It hurts b/c we've always taught him better than that.  I have heard other parents talk about this issue and always cringed hoping I would not have to deal with such things.  I think what hurts us as parents is we constantly teach them right from wrong. 

wow, I started this back on March 25th.  Bojan and Alex are done being grounded.  I can honestly say I don't think Bojan will ever even think about doing something like this again.  And, after talking to many parents about this of "normal" kids, I've found out this is not uncommon & most kids once caught...ends it right then & there.  I think that is the case w/ Bojan.  One gentleman told me his brother was Bojan's age when he tried the same kind of stunt.  His Dad made him go to court & sit & listen to cases all day long.  Kid never did anything like that ever again.  I guess bottom line is all kids need to learn right from wrong. In some children, such as in kids w/ RAD and FAS, this may take longer to learn as their brains are wired differently.  As parents, we just need to stick to our guns and make sure we are constantly setting examples and constantly teaching right from wrong.  I pray that this was one of the last teaching lessons we will need.  However, with 10 kids eventually, and most w/ mental health issues, reality is we will most likely have to address this again.  Just wanted to share how we handled it and where I think we are.  Hate posting posts like this but then again, this is real life.  It is something we must address and handle.  I do believe we did that.  You just never know and that's the hardest part. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. I hate this FAS I really thought my daughter had learned a lesson when I found her lighting a small candle in her room. Lost the nintendo for a whole week. Now 4 months later I catch her with the lighter I just brought in from lighting the grill. She was trying to light a golf tee! Ugggh it is exhausting.