Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When Kids First Arrive

When new foster children are first brought to my home, their behavior usually falls into one of three categories. They are either very shy and quiet, or bold and inquisitive, or grieving.

Most fall into the first category. They find the nearest place to sit and curl up, making their bodies as small as possible. Then they kind of peek out, surveying the house with their eyes and listening. Luckily I have found that most of these kids recover quickly after the paperwork is signed, the social worker leaves and we have a chance to talk and play one on one. They seem to just need proof that they are in a nice place with nice people.

Some kids come in and boldly start exploring the house on their own, asking me what’s in there, or what’s up those stairs, and where are the video games? I have learned that these kids are usually the most troubled, and will have the most difficult behaviors to deal with.

Relatively few kids are brought to me crying, in a grieving state. I think this is because the social workers do such a good job comforting them and explaining what is happening. It may also be that they are all cried out by the time they reach my house!