Last night I sat and talked with the foster mom of the respite girls for quite a while. She is frustrated. She has had the girls for a year and feels like she is getting nowhere. She runs a tight ship. She is consistent. She doesn't understand why she doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. She also thought that maybe it was just her. That she had her expectations too high. I assured her that it was not just her. The girls really showed no respect for our home and property. Sadly two of my girls followed right along with them.
You would think that if you had nothing and then suddenly had things that you would take care of them. However, I have frequently seen quite the opposite. It is as though they don't value anything and don't have the ability to take care of their stuff.
The aftermath of the weekend is broken property. Lamps, toys, clothing shrewn everywhere. I listened to Larissa screaming and crying at what they had done to her stuff. I didn't realize that Michelle and one of the girls had gotten up and were playing in Larissa's bedroom. Larissa was unaware as well. All her Monster High dolls are missing parts and clothing. Dance make-up and clothing are ruined. Larissa was in tears. The girls didn't seem to care..
Not only did they break Larissa's stuff but they also broke her trust. They went into her room and destroyed her stuff. They removed some of her stuff from her room. They broke some of their own items as well. That lamp came from their room. I have been working on their room. Painted the walls, bought new curtains, matching comforters, just got a new rug that I haven't put down yet. I had plans to do some other, more detailed painting and customizing. However, at this time I am going to put what I have in there and move to Larissa's bedroom. I am almost done with Benjamin's room and the bathroom upstairs.
The school therapist talked with Michelle. I talked with Emma. They acknowledged that they did wrong. When I asked Emma how many times I told her that she wasn't following the house rules over the weekend she said a lot. When I tried to reason with them about their behavior they really didn't care and made no attempt to reign themselves in.
I told them that they were grounded. They didn't seem to care....until today when they realized that Halloween and our plans for the renaissance festival are within two weeks. Then I had two screaming, crying and begging kids. I hate for my kids to miss out on our activities. However, we all spent a very long miserable weekend with them and their behaviors. I am not going to back down. Two weeks is going to stick. They will not be doing any Halloween activities or going to the renaissance festival.
In some ways I feel like we are back at the beginning. However, they both were able to acknowledge what they had done and how inapporpriate their behavior was. I hope that they learned something about themselves. I know that I learned that I can't have kids close to their age in the home. We have had many respite kids in the home but they have all been quite a bit younger.
Tomorrow we will continue to pick up all the broken toys. I think that the broken trust will take a little longer to fix.