having difficulty

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by kimrandy1, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 10, 2010

    We are a Fresh Air Fund host family. Each summer, we get a child (and request a girl, since we only have girls in our family!) that is poverty level from New York City that comes to stay with us for two weeks. This is our 4th year, and our child from last year opted to come back and see us again. She's 8, and is going into 3rd grade.

    I just remember last year being so much easier! This year, she is testing us so much more. She has been caught lying, stealing and willfully disobeying us. I've found things that belong to our kids stuffed in the bottom of her suitcase (she has a dresser, so her clothing was all unpacked when she arrived - said suitcase should be empty. I just looked because my youngest daughter was missing her bathing suit, and there it was!). She'll do things like ask if she can eat peanuts in the car (no), and then do it anyway. She needed to be asked 4 times today to stop batting a balloon around while we were at a baby shower, and it was hitting other guests in the head -even after I took the balloon away, she pulled another off of the decorations. I had to take her to sit in the car for a time out.

    I hate giving her timeouts. This is her vacation. She is supposed to be having fun and doing things that are diffferent from her daily life. We are trying to balance "fun" and "educational." For example, yesterday morning, we went to the pool. Then we did a walking tour of the US Naval Academy. Then we did a boat tour of the Severn River, complete with a picnic, and then she got to choose where we ate dinner. That was a busy day. Today, we hung out at home, went to Target and then the baby shower. Now, they are all chilling in front of the TV.

    I have to say, yesterday was easier than today - maybe I need to be busier with her??????

    Anyway, just a vent. I am feeling like I'm getting frustrated with her, and that's not good. Who wants to be a guest in the home of an angry, frustrated hostess???

    Kim
     
  2.  
  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 10, 2010

    She is 8 going into 3rd grade and not as easily impressed by the simple things.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 10, 2010

    What a neat idea. I'm sorry things are different this year. I think an eight year old should still be pretty darn stoked to be on a cool, unique vacation, so I don't think this is an age issue. Perhaps the circumstances in her life at home are beginning to show?
     
  5. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 10, 2010

    Maybe, justme. She has a difficult situation at home - lives with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and mom's in a homeless shelter. She shares a room with an uncle (14), an aunt (23) that aunt's baby (4) and there is another baby on the way.

    Let's hope tomorrow is better. We're traveling to my dh's parents' weekend cottage on the river, then spending the day tubing and swimming and picnicing...with an afternoon at the pool and a campfire before returning home. It should be busy!

    This upcoming week will be busier for us than usual. My older two kids are in camp all week (drop off 8:30, pick up 3:30), so it'll just be her, my 7 year old, & me. I know we'll go to the movies one day, go to the library and see a concert there one day, and my mom wants to take her shopping for school supplies and sneakers to take home, so we'll do that one day. On Friday, we're going to Dutch Wonderland and then on Saturday, we're going to DC, and seeing Mary Poppins, spending the night in a hotel and spending Sunday doing the monuments and such. Monday, we're hosting an ice cream party for her (the girls will invite school friends)....and she'll leave that Tuesday.

    Kim
    Kim
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 10, 2010

    It sounds like such a wonderful time.

    Maybe envy is starting to enter the situation. As great a time as you're showing her, I bet on some level it hurts knowing that YOU and your kids have all this, and she's sharing a bedroom with a teenager, an adult and a child.

    There's nothing you can do about it-- heaven knows, you're doing so much already.

    But I can understand a hissy fit or two at the sheer injustice.
     
  7. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 10, 2010

    I went online and read about the Fresh Air Fund. I think that is awesome that you participate in that program! I can't believe all the activities you have planned.

    Perhaps this will sound harsh, but I would call up the coordinator and have them pick her up. (I taught outside the inner city around here and the students stole and were disrespectful. We always heard that it was not their fault and that they had bad home lives.) It is not OK for her to come into your home and take from your children and be rude to you when you are doing something out of the goodness of your heart. I'm sure there are great deserving kids who would love a vacation...and perhaps this young lady needs to learn a lesson that this year she is not one of them. :2cents:
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 10, 2010

    Yes, I think that is harsh. I understand your reasoning, but I wouldn't have the heart. I realize it's only two weeks, but this little girls needs to be around as much positive energy as possible.
     
  9. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 10, 2010

    I have a young relative from a divorced home. I think it is hard for her to see our family doing things together when hers does not. She asks a lot of questions - like why do my DH and I sit together or hug each other. Maybe, even though she wants to visit your family, it is hard for her to see a close family. I hope things improve.
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 11, 2010

    This reminds me of my sister's friend. She and her younger sister were adopted by their grandparents after her mom was arrested for drug abuse and I think the father was already arrested for something else. They were so neglected that when the grandmother took them, she would often find the youngest one looking in the garbage for food because when she lived with her mom, that is sometimes the only way she found food. Really sad.

    When the friend would come to my sister's house, she behaved a little like how you are describing this girl. My mom has found things missing of my sisters after she has left. My little sister is very giving, so I have also seen this girl kind of manipulate her into giving her stuff. Also, whenever something happens, like if something broke, or someone got hurt, this first thing she always says is "I didn't do it! It's not my fault!" It's like she has to defend herself, even when we all watched it happen and it was obviously not her fault.

    It has to be hard for her to be there with you all. In some ways I wonder if something like this is really good for the kid. But you are giving her some good experiences and she will appreciate them. I say keep her busy, and help her pack (aka check her bags) when you leave.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 11, 2010

    I see what you're saying.

    But I'm not sure that any 8 year old "deserves" the hand that this young child has been dealt.

    Kim, as much as she's driving you crazy: know that when she grows up and looks back on her life, she'll always remember the time she spent with you, and all she saw and did and was a part of.
     
  12. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 11, 2010

    I have no advice but I think what you are doing for her is great. You have so many fun things planned for her and your family. I hope this week is better. She will always remember the time she spent with your family
     
  13. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 11, 2010

    Thanks, everyone, and you're right...I need to work harder to put myself in her shoes. And we're halfway through our time as of tomorrow...I can do anything for another week!

    I think you're also right about "jealousy," if that is the right word. She doesn't understand what her role is in our family structure, and I'm not sure she understands our family structure at all. She has some passive/aggressive behaviors (I find those easy to ignore - they don't bother me at all) that are clearly about exerting some control.

    I think it's hard, too, because she is part of the family, and yet she's not. She doesn't see why she doesn't get all of the same "stuff" as the girls, For instance, they all are packing their DSi's for our car trip as I speak, and she doesn't have one and is upset...I charged up one of their older, plain DS's for her, but she wants one like theirs. That's understandable...but I can't really fix it for her. (BTW, we're sending home the DS for her to keep, as no one uses it and she doesn't have anything like that).

    Her grandma had a serious talk with her last night. I hadn't "reported" anything to her, but the kid told on herself, which lets me know she realizes that the way she is acting is wrong.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 11, 2010

    OH, Kim, I didn't mean to imply that you should work harder. You're doing so much already!

    Her behavior is wrong. She knows it, you know it, your kids know it. She needs the same boundaries as your own kids if this thing has any shot at working.

    The fact that she 'fessed up to grandma tells us that they would WANT those rules enforced. After all, when your time together is over, they get her back. They certainly wouldn't want a brat who thought that the world owed her whatever she wanted, not if they've been working on teaching her right from wrong.


    And venting is good for the soul. It lets you paste on a happy face when you've had enough. So vent away.

    My point was that it's hard for us as adults to understand the great disparity between the "haves" and the "Have nots." It's got to be a brutal lesson for an 8 year old to realize that fate has placed her into the 2nd category.
     
  15. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 11, 2010

    No worries, Alice, I didn't take offense to anything anyone said! Just seeing it from someone else's viewpoint, someone who isn't in the middle of the situation, is very helpful, and made me realize that I need to take a step back.

    Today was sooooo much better. Being out of our house, in a situation where all of the girls were guests, helped a lot. And we were so busy.

    I also decided to be VERY clear about my expectations today, in each situation we encountered before we got into that situation, and I think that helped. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, and we always let our girls get one of those candy sticks that are 15 cents each after we eat....well, on our way in, I pulled her aside and explained : We have to walk through a candy shop to get to the restaurant, but we don't buy anything. After we eat, I will show you the candies that you can choose from and you may have 1. Each of the girls may have one. You may not choose a different candy, but if you don't like this kind, you do not have to buy any. You will have to remember not to take any candy and put it in your pockets, because if you do, I will take the money from your souvenir money and make you pay for it. *(yes, that happened last week).

    It was so much better.
     
  16. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 11, 2010

    I know, and although this seems like the kind of program where you can really make a difference for one person (unlike the standard handing out food at a food bank, where you don't really develop individual relationships)....this has always been in the back of my mind. I feel like the kid goes back and spends the other 11+ months a year in such a different situation...and how can they not compare what their life is like, and what my families' lives are like? And is it good for these children? Is it just a program designed to make us, the wealthier (and usually white) people feel like they are doing something good???

    Her grandma has such a good attitude about it all, because we have discussed this in depth. Her opinion is that you can't reach for the stars if you don't know they exist. (I love this woman...she could be my grandma any day).
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 11, 2010

    Kim, this little girl is so very lucky to have both you and grandma in her life!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 293 (members: 0, guests: 279, robots: 14)
test