Foster Care Handbook: Behavior - Action Speaks Louder Than Words (Chapter 6, page 1 of 2)


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Chapter 6

The Challenges and Opportunities

The following is really a very short list of endless possibilities:

  • Tantrums
  • Obstinate and Oppositional
  • Bullying
  • Disrespectful
  • Lying
  • Running Away
  • Profanity
  • Truancy
  • Eating Disorders
  • Destructive & Self-Destructive
  • Stealing
  • Sibling Rivalry
  • Fire Starters
  • Ambivalence

Of course, some of these are a grave concern such as fire starters, and I am told there are special places to put these children. These extreme behaviors need professional assistance as well as a very caring, understanding home life.

Behavior Charts

Use a "Glance-At-A-Month" calendar for recording behavior. Rank Behavior 1-10. I used 10 as the best. You can create your own list.

Temper Tantrums - 1 Disobedience - 5 Very Cooperative - 9 or 10 See if there are repeat patterns and how many good days are consistently being experienced.

Monitoring Activities

We can't watch everything, but be aware of movie and music ratings. These can slip by unnoticed.

Phone calls need to be limited. We try a 10-minute limit, and it is okay to ask who they're speaking to. We allow longer conversations with parents, but in some cases you may be asked to monitor them. It's okay to say "that's inappropriate."

For my teenagers, I hear they buy tickets for one movie, and go into another. Solving this problem is not easy if we want them to have their independence.

Anger Management

These children house a lot of anger. Professional support should be sought to work with these young children as quickly as possible. We have a teenage foster boy who didn't speak until he was five years old and took Anger Management Training shortly after he started to talk.

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