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Difficult visit with siblings

If you can’t be bothered reading see final tldr paragraph.

 

Is there anybody about tonight who I can chat to tonight about a difficult afternoon? 

I went to see my siblings, we’ve got an access arrangement its meant to be once a week for an afternoon from when they get there after school until 5, it’s the only chance I get to see them, we play games, read books, homework and stuff like that. 

All of my siblings have some sort of intellectual disability/learning or behavioural challenge but the severity varies.

This afternoons visit was really really challenging, unfortunately even though I did nothing wrong, I always feel like I’m being monitored by the people there so my access can change, so might be able to see them more often or less supervised down the track that kind of thing, so that was putting heaps of pressure on me.   my little sister who’s non verbal was really upset over something she was biting me and kicking me and stuff, I didn’t want to avoid her or stay away from her because I can’t do that but I also didn’t want to get hurt, that was really hard I just wanted to see her feeling better, because of that all the other kids were in a bad mood and wouldn’t listen, throwing stuff and hitting each other and everything, then when it was time to go one of them held on to my leg and tried to stop me from leaving. It was pretty sad and makes me think about shitty their home lives are with so much change and uncertainty this year, a lot of stuff has happened with my family I haven’t felt ok about saying including mum being due for another baby and my other siblings and I not being sure we’ll ever get to meet them, if they will be ok because all mums problems, stuff like that.  Unforntately the service my siblings are in foster care with offer me no help or anyone to talk to about when visits get challenging 😥 

 

TLDR; basically just not sure how to wind down and chill out after a difficult afternoon not just when I was with them but thinking about other stuff that made them behave that way. 

 

 

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

Hey @Saltwaterdreamtime , 

I'm free to chat for a little while. I'm not gonna lie, your afternoon today does sound like it was very stressful. Dealing with younger kids can always be a bit challenging, and these difficulties seem to increase when there are more of them! While their behaviour today could definitely be due to some of the issues that you've brought up in your post, it could also been due to a bunch of things. If you caught them after school before dinner they might have been a bit tired or hungry. That coupled with the fact of all being together, as well as the excitement of seeing you, could have made them more energized than they usually are. It's also easy to forget how rough kids can be if you haven't been with them for a while! I know I get super drained anytime I see my younger cousins. 

If it's possible, seeing them when they're a bit more refreshed on a weekend morning could help with their behaviour when you see them . It really sucks that the foster care service aren't giving you any help or advice. You could give ParentLine a call (1300 30 1300). While you're not the parent of your siblings, I am sure they'd be able to give some guidance on how to handle this sort of situation. If you're in contact with CPS you might also be able to ask them if they've got any skill building programs or advice on how to deal with situations like this Smiley Happy 

By the sounds of it though, you're doing a really great job with them, and I know that your siblings would really be appreciating the effort that you're putting into visiting them Smiley Happy 

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

@Andrea-RO  Thanks, yeah they have fruit as a snack while we are there but I agree, it’s a Friday afternoon, any kids are pretty crabby around that time without some of the stuff they are dealing with added on top. 

I can’t change the days or times we get access though which sucks, I would really like more time with them, take them out and do fun things. Do you have siblings? 

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

And yes @Andrea-RO there is lots of us, so when we are all together it can be stressful mixing everything tonight, like one of my sisters for example struggles with noise and loud environments but one of my brothers has adhd and likes to squeal/bang things together/make as much noise as possible, often doesn’t realise how loud he is being and then my sister has a meltdown

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

Yeah @Saltwaterdreamtime that sounds like such a rough situation.

I really do want to emphasize that you should be really really proud of yourself for putting in the effort you have to see and spend time with your siblings. In terms of dealing with the different needs at the same time, I'm not super knowledgeable in that area, so I really recommend talking to someone who has more experience in that specific field. A potential thing that you could do is bring another person with you (if you can of course!) and that way you have another set of hands and eyes to work with. 

And I do have a younger brother! We live in different cities at the moment but we still send each other memes most days

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

I can’t take anyone else with me @Andrea-RO as  the access is supervised, all my siblings are in a care arrangement either foster care or residential care so nobody else is allowed at access visits, except for the workers. That’s why it is difficult to change dates, times or anything like that, I just have no authority, i have to do what DHS says pretty much. They are kind of helpful but not really. 

I love memes 

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

I have learnt some interesting things over my time on how to help my sister with non verbal autism @Andrea-RO

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

Ah that is super difficult then @Saltwaterdreamtime. Will you be allowed to have a bit more freedom if they grant you unsupervised access?

And nice! what sort of things have you learnt?

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

Yeah, but it’s always been this way @Andrea-RO and I’m lucky it’s once a week it used to be 1 day a month, no where near enough. I used to get upset that it’s supervised, like I did something wrong, I didn’t and I would never hurt them they are my world, but I have just realised it’s because of the things that have gone through it’s best that way whether I agree or not. So, hopefully down the track I get to spend more time with them unsupervised, would have to be individually or a couple at time though which is fine. My goal would be just to not have to arrange anything at all, they can just come over after school, or on weekends, like every other group of siblings, but I’m not sure if that will ever happen, too difficult 😓

Re: Difficult visit with siblings

@Andrea-RO I have learnt how she communicates saying things like, yes and no, more, no more enough, all that kind of thing, she doesn’t know sign language fully but can use key word signs MOST of the time and often if you suggest it to her and that’s what she wants she will do it back. I have learnt how to help calm her down during a meltdown or try to prevent one, some games she likes to play and how she communicates by playing those games. I have learnt heaps about reading her emotions for sure, and how to help when you don’t know what’s wrong. She is really funny, she used to parrot, and would get stuck on one thing for months and months at one stage it was the hungry caterpillar, she would say it over and over, the entire story, all day, all night until she fell asleep, but she doesn’t do that anymore, I miss her little voice.