This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, March 1, 2010

FAIR Club for Bear

Here's what I'm probably giving Bear for his first FAIR Club assignments in a long time. I'm really excited about my solution. I found out that the latest MP3 player I found him with was a Zune 8gb and worth about $100 (the extra $10 is for tax) - So yea right Bear, Charles traded you a $100 MP3 for your $15 broken screen one! Arrgh! Someone mentioned he may have bought it or traded it for money from trading his meds as drugs.

Bear'll be in the FAIR club until he earns the money (meaning easier supervision). Bear can't complain because of the carrot of getting a new MP3. I won't be letting him earn money without my approval - so no going to the neighbor that's been known to give Bear $100 just for doing some small jobs in his yard. Best of all when Bear finally earns the MP3 player I have something to confiscate for not doing his chores! Bonus!!

Then we can start thinking about a cell phone!


Dear _Bear_,

Welcome to the FAIR Club! The FAIR Club is designed to give you boundaries and additional support while you practice and gain (or regain) the ability to be Respectful, Responsible, Honest and Fun To Be Around (RRHAFTBA). First, we, your parents, want to apologize to you for not making you feel safe enough and part of this loving, healthy family. We are making a commitment to you to help you become RRHAFTBA.

Assigned Seat - As you know this means you will have an assigned seat in the car (_back seat of the van), an assigned seat at the dining room table (2 spaces to the right of the head of the table_), and an assigned seat in the family room (_blue couch on the side nearest the front door_). This helps decrease the number of decisions that you have to make so you can focus on the important ones.
Bed Time - You need to have chores completely done by 8:30pm, and in your room by 9:00pm (Not in the bathroom or wandering around the house). This is to help you get the rest you need (learning to be RRHAFTBA is hard work!). Getting out of bed to get a snack, get a drink of water, or go to the bathroom shows me you still need more time to learn to be RRHAFTBA. Do these things BEFORE bed time!
Electronics- No TV (unless the show is approved by a parent – right then). No video game or computer time while in the FAIR club so you can concentrate/focus on learning to be RRHAFTBA! Phone time will be limited to 10 minutes max per day, and may be removed.
Family Time - You will need to hang around the family a LOT so we can show you by example how to be RRHAFTBA. You will probably be expected to do extra chores and help cook so you can practice being RRHAFTBA. You will need to make lots of eye contact and use a pleasant tone of voice when speaking with others. If you need any help, hugs, or just someone to talk to – ASK! That’s what we are here for.

If you no longer wish to be part of the FAIR Club, you must SHOW us that you are ready to rejoin us a full member of this loving, healthy family by:

  • Being RRHAFTBA! -And following the FAIR club and family rules without complaint or argument.

  • Complete your writing assignment (listed at the bottom of this page). Use neat handwriting, complete sentences and good spelling and grammar. You can ask a parent/adult for help and use a dictionary.

  • Sincerely make amends and restitution to all parties involved (including parents).

Writing Assignment: Because you have been lying repeatedly, your writing assignment is to copy into a notebook (in your very best handwriting) each bible verse listed at the beginning of the “Integrity Study." Use these verses to help you read the Study and answer the questions at the end.

Work Assignment: Families are not fair. We have decided to give you something that you have shown you do not deserve. Given your repeated efforts to get an expensive MP3 player in your hands, we will now help you achieve your goal. You will be earning $110 for a Microsoft Zune 8gb by doing chores for our family (this may include extended family and neighbors). Like your community service, these must be approved and recorded by a parent. When you have completed this FAIR Club assignment, we will use your earnings to purchase you a Zune.

Love, Mom and Dad


GB's Mom said...

Lovely letter! What do you do if you have more than one in the fair cub at the same time?

marythemom said...

Each child has a different assigned seat, and the writing assignments and chores are always individualized to the "crime."

When we have a kid in the FAIR Club they can only participate in family activities, that way no adult is stuck at home watching the kid who is grounded, but the kid isn't having friends over or going out with their friends.

There's links to a lot more details about the FAIR Club in my sidebar.

J. said...

Great letter! I can't wait to see how long it takes him to get to the MP3 player

Melissa said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and have never commented, but I though I would de-lurk now to ask a question.
Does the fair club work with children like your Bear? Is it as effective with him as it is with your other children. I only ask because I have read how you struggle to maintain a relationship with him. Does the FAIR club make him ultimately feel like more a part of your family?
My children are still fairly young but I think if the need ever arises, I would try using the FAIR club with them. Have a great day.

marythemom said...


This is such a good question that it will take too much space to answer here I think I'll write a whole post on it.

Thanks and I'm glad you de-lurked!


SanitySrchr said...

I instantly fell in love with this!! As you know, I've been reading along, but I've never taken the time to read through the FAIR club stuff. I think I shall do that!!! AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME stuff!!

Jersey Guy said...

Does Bear have access to his meds in quantities that he would be able to sell/trade? If so, you might want to dole out the pills one dose at a time and check to make she he hasn't cheeked any.

marythemom said...

Jersey Guy - We've always given meds one dose at a time and try to keep the rest locked up (but we're not great about this). Bear takes his handfuls of meds 3 times a day. We don't check his mouth, and he has palmed or cheeked some meds. As far as we know it's usually been his sleep meds which he doesn't think he needs. The pills I'm pretty sure he took to school to sell, he had the whole bottle he stole out of our room, and a few sleep meds he'd palmed (and one pill we're pretty sure he confused with the sleep meds).