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Melissa in Australia

Advice sought on punishment for child

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I wonder if you could figure out some wonderful, safe toys that they could play with only while you were in the bathroom, something so compelling that it would distract them from all mischief. Perhaps that would be play dough time or something. Just brainstorming. I would say a playpen, but perhaps they could climb out. Or maybe they couldn't if their motor skills are delayed.

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no- one throws sand in the other's eyes at least every second day. they the 3 minutes on the chair plus not allowed down to the sandpit for a length of time is having an effect though-

 

I have twin brothers, it is within the range of normal for twins to harm the other one when the get mad- their case manager agrees  that it is within the realms of normal 3-4 year old behaviour.

 

 

Then I guess I'd go for removing the sand until they can manage without doing that...it seems like not so much a punishment as a prevention.  I'd be trying to get them to "use your words" to express upset, rather than fists, sand, etc. And maybe with your large family you could have one twin watched by one person and one watched by another whenever you have to do things like use the toilet.

 

  

 

I'm sorry you don't have therapists in your area.  Realizing that, I used to have a bunch of good adoption parenting type books which are now mainly given away or put away, but if I can think of some of the ones that might be most helpful to you, I'll post.  An excellent in person therapist would be great, but at least books can be a help.

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I'm sorry, but constant supervision is the only thing I can think of at that age. They cannot to be trusted around anything valuable or vulnerable. I agree with the poster that said their emotional maturity may not be that of average 3/4 year olds.

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The last one I posted is 

When Love is Not Enough : A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD - Reactive Attachment Disorder Paperback â€“ April, 1997  

 

I am not sure if it is now considered out of date. It is out of print, apparently.  But it was extremely helpful for many people I know at one time.

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You may have already done this, but I suggest you contact the person who has been advising you as soon as possible. They may want to change the approach in the light of this latest incident, e.g. ideas both on how to prevent these incidents and what you should do immediately following a problem like this.

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Another helpful technique that you could try without help is floortime by Stanley Greenspan. You could google it and get a book I think.

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Jeez, I wouldn't advise trying for separate placement of twins. That they still have each other is a blessing (and I am not religious!).

 

I agree that this is probably an issue where their behavior cannot be assessed as a typical 3/4 year old level. You might treat them more or less as twin 1/2 year olds. This means not being alone with other babies, or family pets, or other vulnerable things/creatures. They just don't have the emotional maturity for it yet, right?

 

Let the bird go free :)

Not here in Australia, as it would be torn apart from butcher birds and other preying birds. You were joking though, right?

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Oh, in a more general way.  I'm not a huge caging birds as family pets person, but I agree that letting them go (like letting a family cat go free) would be problematic.

 

What I mean in general is that with these new additions to the family, there might not be room for vulnerable pets, in the same way that it is hard to have a puppy at the same time as a toddler (much less two children who are somewhat traumatized).

 

Any way that you can reduce the challenges for them, to ease this transition, the better - the same way you would't have valuable crystal sculptures around a baby, or dangerous chemicals in the bottom cabinets.  They just need more accomodations than a 3/4 year old normally needs.

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Thank you everyone for all your advice.

 

 

 The bird looks like it will be alright. It is sitting on its perch preening itself. It is now removed to the shed. it was  up high, out of reach of the twins, in a huge 1.5 meter square cage, but they could still reach it with the broom handle.

 

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I'm sorry, but constant supervision is the only thing I can think of at that age. They cannot to be trusted around anything valuable or vulnerable. I agree with the poster that said their emotional maturity may not be that of average 3/4 year olds.

their everything is not the average 3/4 year old. they are around 18 months delayed in every aspect of development. they do get mostly constant supervision. except a few moment s here and there, just like any other child. There is always the odd few seconds when eyes are not on them.

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Then I guess I'd go for removing the sand until they can manage without doing that...it seems like not so much a punishment as a prevention.  I'd be trying to get them to "use your words" to express upset, rather than fists, sand, etc. And maybe with your large family you could have one twin watched by one person and one watched by another whenever you have to do things like use the toilet.

 As their language skills progress they are using words way more instead of fighting and screaming, but they are still siblings who have grown up together  with occasional fights.

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Maybe a few minutes of a "work off energy" type of activity would be better than sitting for 3 minutes or a good thing to do after sitting for the 3 minutes?  I'm thinking jumping jacks or running laps.  Not so much as a punishment, but more as a "reset" after a behavior that you do not want them to continue.

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I wonder if you could figure out some wonderful, safe toys that they could play with only while you were in the bathroom, something so compelling that it would distract them from all mischief. Perhaps that would be play dough time or something. Just brainstorming. I would say a playpen, but perhaps they could climb out. Or maybe they couldn't if their motor skills are delayed.

 

Usually I get one of the other children to watch them but there is nobody else at home this week, apart from ds17 in the early morning and evening ( he is working this week). I usually make sure they are on an activity before ducking to the toilet or something.

 

 

 II will not use  a playpen because they were locked into cots ( before removal)  and then a  gated tiny room  ( in foster care) for just about their whole existence before coming here. That is the main reason they are so delayed.

 

 

I realize after reading through my posts again that I might have given the impression that they are badly behaved all the time. This is not so, but rather they can play happily together for hours in the sandpit.

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OP, please research attachment theory. This is not a punishment issue. These children have a damaged ability to attach and trust. Typical parenting approaches are not appropriate or effective. Do not leave them alone with pets. Period. Constant supervision. This is not a behavioral issue and you cannot treat it as such.

Yes.

 

From your one other post, it seems like these kids have been to hell and back.

 

You can't leave them alone at all and that sounds rough.

 

I wonder if you could rehome the bird temporarily.

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Maybe a few minutes of a "work off energy" type of activity would be better than sitting for 3 minutes or a good thing to do after sitting for the 3 minutes?  I'm thinking jumping jacks or running laps.  Not so much as a punishment, but more as a "reset" after a behavior that you do not want them to continue.

Great idea-  atm they cannot run or jump though. We are working on jumping with OT at the moment

mostly they get a hug and a bit of a friendly chat about what they did and are then set up with a different activity.

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If the sand in eyes is a big enough problem maybe they could wear swim goggles...both as protection and as a reminder to care for each others eyes.

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I am really, really hesitant to post this.  Please, no rotten tomatoes, but have you ever thought about investigating "holding time"?  I don't know if it fits your parameters or not--it is not physical punishment, but it is physical.  I used it several times with my adopted child when she was about 18 months old and exhibiting oh, I can't even remember what behaviors, but something that made me think she wasn't attaching.  It produced miraculous results in our case.  It would be difficult to do with one without someone there to watch the other twin, though.  It may have fallen out of favor with adopted kids since then; I haven't kept up since we're so far past those early stages (she is 15 now and solidly attached).

 

I did something similar with Hobbes (not adopted) when punishments made him feel pushed away (I felt) - he was upright, not tipped back like a baby though.  I do think that specialist help is needed in this case instead/in addition.

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Is there a multiple birth society in your area. If you adjust for delays the problems you are having are probably not that uncommon with twins - one creates chaos while you are dealing with the other.

 

Also am I right in thinking they were removed from a bad family environment and placed in a bad foster environment, then placed with you?

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Is there a multiple birth society in your area. If you adjust for delays the problems you are having are probably not that uncommon with twins - one creates chaos while you are dealing with the other.

 

Also am I right in thinking they were removed from a bad family environment and placed in a bad foster environment, then placed with you?

yes to the second question

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OP cannot flip out on two traumatized foster kids. If Op cannot manage the behaviors and special needs, then this is not the right placement.

 

OP, you need professional help. I implore you not to continue on as you have. Call your caseworker and get a referral to a therapist who specializes in kids in foster care. Continuing on as though these children are in need of punishment is very damaging to them.

 

 

I agree that even though they've made significant strides while in your home that you need professional help. Another forum to look for parent guidance is http://www.conductdisorders.com/

 

You really need to remove all pets from the home unless you can supervise them 24/7. Also they shouldn't EVER be left alone with other young children.

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the sandpit is absolutely essential in their therapy for their gross and fine motor skills. They have made so much progress in these areas once we built the sandpit and it was with the direction of their Occupational Therapist.

 

Gosh!

 

Everything you face sounds like such a Catch-22! 

 

Maybe your OT can advise you.  Does he or she know about the sand throwing?

 

Maybe the goggles idea would work.

 

I'm so sorry you've been left alone to deal with this.  It sounds very, very difficult.  I hope more hands and eyes will be back soon.

 

The Beyond Time Out book was extremely helpful, and entirely within what was allowable from the POV DHS of two states in USA. I cannot say for where you are, but I'd guess also allowable for there.  And it is spot on for what you are directly asking, namely, what do you do when  putting the kids in a time out on a chair or elsewhere isn't working.

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Or lab safety glasses. I don't know if they go small enough for 4 yr olds, but they're fairly inexpensive in bulk (when I bought for our co-op, they were about $1.50 USD/pair if purchased in quantities of 12). They have the front/side protection, but don't need to be water tight to the eyes, so would probably be more comfortable and less likely to fog up. And at that price, replacing them when they get scratched would be fairly painless. The ones I found even came in a rainbow of frame colors.

 

Also, are they throwing sand at each other or are they throwing sand and it just happens to hit the other twin? Either way, it may be worth it to set up a small box of sand and give them a place that they are allowed to throw, show them where it is,let them try it out and redirect anyone who is throwing, one at a time, to that area instead of to the chair (or, if needed, set up two reasonably far apart!).  Focus on an appropriate place for the "throwing" behavior. This is a strategy I've used a lot with preschoolers of varying needs-redirect the behavior to an appropriate place, calmly and without any sense of punishment. If the behavior is serving a need, the need is still served. If it isn't-if the goal is the reaction of others, this takes that away and usually the behavior lessens without issue and without becoming a power struggle.  If the goal of throwing sand isn't throwing sand, but the reaction of the other child, this may just lead them to find a different way to get the other to react, but it's worth trying, anyway.

 

 

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Foster care is so often a catch 22 situation. You are working in parenting traumatized children, often with other delays, and have to work within the rules of DHS whichay or may not fit the best interests of the kids at the moment.

 

Sounds like they have made huge progress. I an sure the lack of age appropriate language and motor skills makes things more frustrating for them as well.

 

Hopefully you can find some online resources and books to help you out and get you some support.

 

Also try to take time to take care of yourself. If possible hire someone else to cook, clean, or do the things you are struggling with as you need to be eyes on with the kids all of the time.

 

Sounds like you are doing a great job in a very tough situation.

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Okay, I have to say that I'm thrilled with the support you have gotten on this thread.  I so often don't share because of worry of being judged and hearing ideas that are inappropriate with "these kids" (some of which I might be tempted to do just because sometimes I feel so incredibly desperate for SOMETHING to work.  I'm so incredibly embarrassed and saddened by some things we *have* tried). 

 

PLEASE do not do anything that looks like the holding therapy you may have seen on certain movies.  And the best thing about Nancy Thomas' book is the detailed descriptions of the symptoms of RAD.  You will find yourself in trouble with DHS if you employ much of her stuff.  And it is not promoting of attachment, but of control (which has a place, but)...

 

Instead, TODAY, get The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis.  Every time you have a few minutes, watch another video or read another post at empoweredtoconnect.org.  Use the study guide (even if you're not "that kind of Christian").  If there is a place near you that has the simulcast this weekend, try to move Heaven and Earth to get there (again, even if you're not "that kind of Christian" as most of these are held in churches here). Purvis' videos are half price from TCU (Texas Christian University) until the 15th.  This really helps see that this is not permissive in the least.

The goal for all of this is nurture and structure.  Purvis is firm but not punitive.  Nurture and structure are a dance.  Kids need BOTH (which sometimes gets lost in some methods). 

 

Other resources to get as you have time:  Dan Siegel (btw, he has good videos on YouTube also and a blog on his website).  I would start with No Drama Discipline, but the other books will be helpful in time.  Heather Forbes' materials are really good for help understanding exactly why there is an issue, even 4 years later.  The second and third books are better help for individual situations.  Bryan Post also has some good videos on YouTube (esp the lying one).  And DEFINITELY look up Christine Moyers on YouTube for therapeutic parenting.  

 

It will take time to get through even part of that.  So here is my recommendation:

 

1) For the most part, you have to keep doing what you're doing.  You have made amazing progress and have a good pulse on the situation.   Therapists help, but the majority of the work is done by mamas day in and day out.  

 

2) You'll need to tweak what you're doing though.  They may need the sandbox, but they likely can't be in it together at this time.  One can swing while the other does the sandbox with you.  This helps with attachment also.  When you're able to supervise within armslength, they can be in the sandbox together for a SHORT time.  Short is key!  You want them to have the experiences of playing together without the big blow up at the end.  So if trouble happens at 5 minutes, you MUST get them separated back out at 4.  They have to stop having the experience of being inappropriate.  They NEED the experience of being appropriate.  

 

3) Line of sight supervision is simply a must.  I *know* that is hard, almost impossible.  And you may have to employ some other helps also.  We have an alarm between the kids' rooms.  We have a baby gate up in the hallway to help me know when someone goes back there.  One child has a spot (a  home-base, of sorts) where he is anytime he doesn't have permission to be anywhere else. Only one of my children has complete freedom of movement as age would suggest.  At six months, even two years, we passed supervision of children off very deliberately (and I would have cried had I been left with them for a week!).   One boy had to sit with his back against the bathroom door with his fingers underneath (we made it a game) so I could potty.  Usually, giving them something specific TO do will buy you a minute.  

 

4) Punishment will NOT work. Nothing you can do (even if you could put them in their rooms for 20 minutes or spank them even) will feel like "enough."  And it won't work as a deterrent.  These things simply do not work because the children are not misbehaving by means of poor choices.  They are acting out of fear.  They are recreating their abuse.  They are creating chaos because they still feel that chaos.  They are showing you how they feel. Mostly, they need empathy.  A LOT of empathy.  The discipline definitely needs to be secondary to that, and usually not immediate because people can't learn when they are in a state of fear, excitement.  

 

Do you have facebook?  There is a group called Parenting with Connection.  The families represented are almost all foster and adoptive families.  A lot of international adoption and foster care. These people are AMAZING.  There is some venting, but much of it is very helpful.  Lots of scientific and therapeutic parenting help on there.  Lots of empathy.  Lots of nurturing.  

 

I was a very nurturing mom to start with.  Very strict but very nurturing.  I was on the floor with my kids almost all day of every day.  I held them.  We did regression therapy (rocking, "if I had known you when you were a baby...," lollipops as bottles, etc).  I pet them.  I used having a baby in the house to remind me how much touch and talk there is with infants, especially when you have preschoolers and young schoolers who are rejecting you, at least sometimes.  

But I was NOTHING like what I've learned for those "in the moment" times.  I'm still not great (IMO), but I'm so much more capable. 

 

Mostly, mom, you're doing beautifully as evidenced by their progress.  If you aren't keeping notes, start now.  I'm so thankful for the monthlies I had to write about my children because it shows me how far they've come.  And it shows how far *I* have come.  

 

It is so incredibly hard.  You are doing some very tough work, work most people can't do, won't do.  So many foster parent boards I've been on where other foster parents say that they wouldn't "live like that" (certain behaviors, certain interventions).  SOMEONE has to "live like this."  And my kids have progressed so incredibly much because of it.  They have a chance at life now.  They got to stay together (as their 9th home, we were their last chance to stay together as siblings).  

 

Great job mom!  I'm sure you don't hear it enough.  But you should.  Please know they will continue to progress.  It may not continue as quickly, but it will be awesome, amazing.  Promise. 

 

Keep up the good work.  Tweak as you can.  If you need to vent, cry, ask someone who knows, etc, please PM me anytime.  Really.  

 

 

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OP, When you post here about your foster twins, be sure to find out whether the people making replies understand things like RAD. I never did until another hiver posted a bit a few years ago about her child who has severe RAD (I forgot her name...she used to post a lot, but isn't here anymore.)

 

A lot of people will give you sincere advice about dealing with difficult children, but they do not understand in the slightest what the twins' issues are. They will accidentally give you poor advice. Find foster/adoption sites to ask questions. Pamela knows what she's talking about, but a few of the posts on here are not accurate. I can tell by reading them that they think they're helping but honestly don't understand the issue.

 

I know I don't understand the issue, so I'm not going to give any advice other than to be sure you take advice from someone who does know.

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I really think an online forum for people with challenging parenting situations would be priceless for you. I remember my entry into the attach -china yahoo group, the cathartic feeling of having people understand what I was up against and what I was trying to accomplish and then to hear them say, "You are a great parent." There is nothing like it. I think sometimes the feeling of isolation you get when other real-life parents do not understand anything you are doing is worse than dealing with challenging children. Get yourself some companions on the journey, and your life will be improved immeasurably.

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Hugs to you! Please find yourself some respite this week. You are going to need to take care of yourself because you are working so hard at being a great mom. 

 

My only advice is to continue to get them excerise. Have they ever been swimming. I know for some kids it can be very therapeutic, but for others scary. I am not suggesting you do it on your own. Just something to ask the therapist about next time you talk. 

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I don't think that a punishment is going to help.  

 

I would instead prepare their environment so that it is very very difficult for them to get into trouble.  

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Melissa, no advice, as any problems I have had pale in comparison to what you are going through. But I wanted to say that I am in awe of your persistence and generosity. The love and care of all the foster parents on this board is amazing.

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I haven't read through all of the replies but I wanted to offer a HUG! I have a child from foster care that has been with us for over a year now and has Reactive Attachment Disorder. Im not saying that is or isn't what you are dealing with, but it is one of the most difficult things my family has ever dealt with. The book When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas has been a HUGE help as well as getting him in with a therapist weekly that specializes in attachment disorders for theraplay. This book gives many useful techniques for disciplining kids with attachment disorders, much different than anything we were used to with our "normal" kids. Things have to be done much differently with him. The best thing, even though it is so hard, is that he has to pretty much be with us at all times. If not, then we are basically setting him up for failure. 

 

 

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You may have already done this, but I suggest you contact the person who has been advising you as soon as possible. They may want to change the approach in the light of this latest incident, e.g. ideas both on how to prevent these incidents and what you should do immediately following a problem like this.

 

 

In the very different jurisdiction where I was a foster parent, reporting such a thing was required. Any violence or destruction by the child, any injury to the child.

 

Luckily I had an excellent attachment therapist to work with. I cannot imagine managing such a situation without an excellent attachment therapist.

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A few posts from blog.  It just is a different life.  Sharing mostly to show my humanity, mistakes, etc.  I wish I had not made so many mistakes AND that I had progressed more than I have.  I saved a few more posts for myself to review too :)

 

 

Time In: https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/ob-scared-for-a-moment/  (Melissa, one HUGE positive about doing Time-In whether it is sorting laundry, fixing supper, reading beside each other or to them, or whatever is that you won't have to limit the time like you do for a time out.  The idea isn't time out in the same room, ya know? That gives you a lot more freedom to tailor it to them.)

 

My son has since been dx'd with RAD: https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/ob-they-seem-normal-to-me/

 

Nurturing: https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/ob-babying-older-children/

 

Yep: https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/if-hes-not-he-cant/

 

Before Bryan Post's lying video: https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/oh-the-lies/

 

Secondary Trauma: https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/32/

 

Behavior is Communication: https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/behavior-is-communication/

 

Discipline Reminders (link on this one goes to some good ideas): https://hfamcourse.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/discipline-reminders/

 

BTW, again, it will take you time, Melissa, to get through these sorts of things and even longer to implement them.  NO ONE expects you to read 5 books and 7 blog posts and 33 articles and watch 15 videos TODAY or this month or whatever.  Please don't expect it of yourself!  Just do the best you can.  Implement one little thing at a time.  Get good at it.  You can add the next thing in a week or month or whatever :)  

Again, you're doing GREAT.  Obviously!  Hold on to that!  Those kids would not have been able to make so much progress if you weren't doing really really well!  And you'll continue doing well and better as you go.  Six months is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things and yet look at what you've accomplished!  And the boys are obviously *very* capable of healing, learning, etc.  They will continue to do that also with your help.  Your story is just beginning.  It will be amazing.  

 

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The yahoo group someone may have referred to is attach-china. They also have a website attach-china.org that links to the yahoo group. 

 

 

That one might be good too, but is not the one I had meant--definitely no china in the title.  

 

The one I had meant had a focus on very serious problems in attachment/ adoption. It was not just about RAD, some of the children had severe autism or ODD or FASD or various other problems--sometimes multiple problems at once.  It was geared to being a support and help finding forum for people with children where an adoption might fail if there was not suitable help.  It was best used to stop from getting to that point rather than to try to pull back when already at the precipice.  And one did not have to have a child with RAD etc. or already be an adoptive parent to belong. Some of the long term participants had many adopted children each with a severe problem and could be a tremendous help.

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Sometimes experienced adoptive parents that you meet on various forums are an amazing help, even better than many therapists. They leave me with a feeling of awe, like how could any human being have so much insight? There are some really wise people out there who are willing to help others.

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I just want to clarify my earlier comment about "formal" nurturing. This can help even a kid like my daughter who had my almost undivided attention day and night. My suggesting it does not mean I think nurturing is lacking.

 

I called it cuddle time and did not start it until my child could handle sitting on my lap for an extended period without screaming. I would set a timer for an hour and put her on my lap and then try to interact as much face-to-face as possible for the entire hour. I ignored the phone or any other ordinary interruptions. Because she was somewhat resistant I had special toys that were used only in cuddle time. I did this almost daily for a year or so, and it was very helpful. It is like nurturing on steroids. Very hard to do even with an only child, though.

 

Anyway, that was what I was attempting to suggest. I respect the OP and am in no way thinking that her nurturing is lacking. I was more thinking that these children due to past neglect might benefit from a formal time in addition to the all-day nurturing that they are already getting. It could be that they either are not ready for this or don't need this. I just found it to be a very effective tool for my child.

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So, in other words, no punishment whatsoever.  There aren't any other fair punishments for four year olds except the ones you can't do.  Good luck.

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So, in other words, no punishment whatsoever.  There aren't any other fair punishments for four year olds except the ones you can't do.  Good luck.

 

What was the point of this post?  Sounds awfully sarcastic and unsupportive. 

 

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Hi everyone. I am having some difficulty with coming up with an acceptable punishment for the twins. I have constraints put on me because I do not have Guardianship ( DHS has) and they come from a very troubled past- so no physical punishment and no punishment that involves them being put somewhere like a bedroom (no time out), no punishment that could be misinterpreted by the child as a rejection etc....

 

At the moment what I am doing is I have a chair that I put near me and they have to sit on it for 3 minutes. I have a 3 minute eggtimer that they can watch to see when their time is up. they use this chair for things like trying to smash windows, slamming their brother's head in the door on purpose and throwing sand in to the other twins eyes on purpose ( a deliberate and ongoing occurrence). I need some sort of punishment for really big misdemeanors. like today... the twins have been told a million time to not whack the cockatiel cage with sticks. All sticks have been removed, whacking the birds resulted in sitting on the chair, they have been spoken to kindly, and sternly etc. today I was trying to fix the washing machine ( outside laundry with the cockatiel cage just outside the laundry door) the twins were right behind me. twin 2 said look at the bird being silly. I glanced over and saw the bird lying on its back slowly turning in a circle. I managed to flip it over and it crawled up to its perch. I spoke to the twins in a kind but firm manner and asked them if they had done anything to the bird. no response. I said that the bird looks hurt and if it is hit with a stick or banged it will hurt the bird. as I did not see any stick around and didn't hear any noise I could not be positive that either of the twins had done anything. I went to the house and washed my hands and heard a banging sound- look out the window and twin one has the broom handle in the cage and has pushed the cockatiel up against the back of the cage. I think the bird is going to die. it is now sort of half laying half sitting on the bottom of its cage. the bird belongs to ds19, he loves that bird, and has had it since he was 5 years old. AGH! Twin 1 has spent 3 minutes on the chair, while he was on the chair he chucked his regular tantrum but once off he thought the whole thing a joke.

 

 

It is behaviour like this that I need a punishment for. 3 minutes on a chair isn't doing anything at all. The bird has been temporarily moved to the shed. But there are other similar things happening that cannot be removed, shifted, changed etc.

 

I have not read any of the other replies. Being honest and trying to speak in love here (my BFF has had foster experience for tenish years and it is through her that I have gained my own experience from which I am speaking): Your twins need an evaluation asap to determine if there is anything else going on emotionally/mentally and to help you come up with appropriate punishments.  For now, the bird should be taken to the vet and then removed from their access.  They should not ever be left alone with it. It sounds like there is much more going on with them than just typical boy behavior (which is honestly totally normal in foster situations where backgrounds were tough! no judgement here, honestly! just :grouphug: ).

 

Second thing: Time-outs on the chair should not begin counting until they are silent.  If they sit in the chair and scream for 20 minutes, fine. Start over. Make it clear that they must be quiet on time-out. They WILL test you on this one. Stay firm.  They will then escalate. Stay firm. It sounds to me like they need total and complete consistency (no variant at all) and no reaction from you. The reaction you give, good or bad, is the fun in it for them. (Just my outside observation of similar kids)

 

Good luck mama! Lots of prayers and hugs being sent your way!!!

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I haven't read through all of the replies but I wanted to offer a HUG! I have a child from foster care that has been with us for over a year now and has Reactive Attachment Disorder. Im not saying that is or isn't what you are dealing with, but it is one of the most difficult things my family has ever dealt with. The book When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas has been a HUGE help as well as getting him in with a therapist weekly that specializes in attachment disorders for theraplay. This book gives many useful techniques for disciplining kids with attachment disorders, much different than anything we were used to with our "normal" kids. Things have to be done much differently with him. The best thing, even though it is so hard, is that he has to pretty much be with us at all times. If not, then we are basically setting him up for failure. 

 

As I started reading through the replies, I saw this! THIS!!!! Talk to your doctor about it, read up on it! Good luck!

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