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!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New FAIR Club assignment

Alternate Title: Family Swap
On Thursday Grandma took the kids to Bl0ckbuster to rent a couple of movies. Bob deliberately picked a PG-13 movie (the Vamp1re's Ass1stant) and she and Bear watched it. Kitty warned Bob that it was PG-13 and I would not be happy (Kitty apparently watched the last half of the movie because it was raining, she was bored and there was nothing else to do). The good news is they kept a young neighbor child from watching it and 11 yr old Ponito didn't watch either.

I do not allow my kids to watch PG-13 movies.

OK, that's not totally true. I rarely allow them to watch PG-13 movies, and if I do it's because I've previewed the movie first and then we watch it together. Most of the time the movies are ones that are part of a series we really like (like Harry Potter - which started as PG) and/or books the kids have read (and therefore some of the drama has already been processed). There has to be some redeeming factor (a moral or something that makes me glad I watched it).

That weekend we also watched P*rcy Jacks0n: L1ghtening Th1ef. Truthfully both movies were very violent with lots of drama, but the Vamp1re one was also very dark and gruesome. What upset me most though was knowing that Bear watched the portrayal of the main character's family. They were distant and controlling - all the things Bear is constantly accusing us of being. The boy complains about his parents and their demanding expectations (they want him to do well in school, go to college, get married and have a family, they also forbid him from hanging out with a boy who desperately wants to be a vampire, talks the main character into skipping school, throwing rocks and breaking street lights, and attending a Goth circus at night when the main character is grounded - can you imagine?! What horrible people these parents are!).

So new dilemma. What to do with my rule breakers? Hubby asked if I would have allowed Bob to watch the movie if we hadn't adopted. She is 13 now. She's read the book (not something I'm thrilled about either, but I can't go with her to the library and control what she reads). And the answer is... maybe. I tend to believe she can handle this type of stuff. I probably wouldn't have previewed it, but still would have wanted her to watch it with me.

But that's not the point. The point is that she broke the rules, both of them did. Whether it should be a rule or not. Whether they agree with it or not.

So FAIR Club time. They came to work with me (not popular by the way). I was struggling with what to give them for an assignment and started thinking about a topic that's come up often around here. The kid's think I'm too strict, and that another family would be better. I tell them of all of my blogger friends who are stricter than I am, but all they know is what they see on TV and from their friends.

Here's what I'm always telling them most of my friends do:
  • Home school

  • Enforced homework time

  • Little to no TV

  • G or PG movies (if any) - (making them watch Veggie Tales *grin*)

  • Only Christian music

  • Dinner at the table every night

  • rarely if ever eat out

  • only provide highly nutritious meals/ no sugary high fat snacks

  • make kids wear uniforms or more "appropriate" clothes

  • chores!! work on farm or at parents' company

  • game night/ family actiities

  • Not to mention Reiki, family therapy, neuroreorg...

So I read out loud several Household Manuals for Wife Swap trying to "find a new family" for them. Most of the people there are extremes so it was almost impossible to find a "good family." We finally found one, the Drago family. LOL she was easy going, didn't make her kids do chores. I was a little freaked out that they'd found someone who wasn't totally whacked.

Then we watched a clip. Let's just say I found out what the lady's freaky thing was (reborn dolls, check them out -they're kind of creepy). Didn't seem to phase the kids though so we talked about why our family has the rules that we do especially regarding media and movies. We talked about how the kids in our family are different from other kids and sometimes things that don't bother other kids bother ours. This led to a discussion about the family in the movie and whether or not they were good parents.

We talked for over an hour. The kids were quite willing to participate when they realized it meant they didn't have to do a writing assignment. Our final talk was what should happen when they disagree with a rule. One of my biggest points was that sometimes they might not know why the rule was there. They know if they have a problem with a family rule that they should tell me and it might change, but NOT to go ahead and break the rule.

Did it work? I don't think they'll never break another family rule. I know they'll watch movies I don't approve of the minute they're out of my sight, but Bob might have a little more insight into why I approve or don't approve movies, and Bear might be a little more aware that I'm keeping an eye on him, and just maybe he'll realize I'm doing it because I care about him and not just because I like to make rules to torture him. Maybe

Another favorite quote: "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."


GB's Mom said...

Probably on of the most productive hours you have spent in a while! Good for you :)

Anonymous said...

Did grandma get a time out for breaking the rules? She must know you don't allow PG-13 movies, and if she doesn't it's YOUR fault for not telling her! (sorry)

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Ummm...yes...the dolls are CREEPY!

marythemom said...

Purple - Grandma claimed she didn't look. She also says she can't keep up with all our rules. *sigh* (Truthfully I thought about giving her a time out when I found out about this!)