Tuesday, August 25, 2020

FOSTER CHILDREN AND THEIR MUM

He was worried about his mum. He didn't come to me and say 'I'm worried about my mum', you have to work these things out for yourself.

He was late home after going out to see friends. The late thing was no big deal, worth a word but he barked back;

"Fer f's sake, gimme a break!"

You never know what's boiling up in foster children, nor do they generally.

I could have said something like;

"Don't talk to me like that!"

or:

"Language!"

Stupid to go there, so I went something like;

"Alright fella, sort yourself out, I can warm up your dinner, about half an hour?"

He'd been knocking round with a bunch of mates, hanging round places like the high street War Memorial - not many other places to go at his age - then getting an invite to go to the house of one of the gang and hang.

The mum was in the house.

He talked to me about her when dinner was done.

"Yeah," he said, "She was cool. She made us some sandwiches and juice. When she went out to the kitchen we made some jokes about how she was like y'know and, yeah, one of us was inappropriate, not me."

We talked for half an hour, it's the heart of fostering. 

He knew that his mum was somehow not right about men and so males talking in a certain way about females made him feel uncomfortable, but not in a way he understood.

The thing was this; I knew there was no way that in the short space of talking about how he felt about his friends talking about mums the conversation was going to nail anything for him. But it could be a start, so I kind of said;

"Complicated, sons and their mums."

He got up and walked upstairs, saying; ".."

What I mean by the above is he said nothing, but the way he shifted his chair behind him and buried his hands in the pockets…those things were enough.

I knew from his background notes that his mother was all over the place; drink, drugs, theft, dubious men - she was vulnerable, sadly, but also something of a danger to her children. 

He had every right to resent her for her failings as a mother. Especially whejn he saw another person's mum being okay.

But he loved her and wanted to be with her to protect her; it's a common trait in fostered children and one which we carers find a bit frustrating...at first.

Then we come to see how wonderful it is, how empowering and uplifting.

He even got upset when a mate of his said something bad about another mate's mum, that was the thing.

A while later I reminded him that his mum is okay and that if she had any problems he'd be the first to know.





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