Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dilemma

So, I found out last night that Nehemiah has been getting up at night and contacting his birth mom.

I have found birth mom on Facebook. So I look in now and again (I’m sure most is set for private but not everything). Nehemiah has a FB page too, and I keep an eye on that as well (he’s not allowed on it so I keep a watch).

Imagine my shock last night when I scrolled thru some of her shared links and see a photo of Nehemiah, taken downstairs in our bathroom, using one of the other kid’s iTouches holding it up to the mirror!! (I’m guessing using facetime or some such thing).

I printed the photo….wrote BUSTED! across the top. Then on the bottom wrote, “Really Nehemiah? You know the deal we had with contact, and you agreed to our terms. This goes against all trust issues.” I then laid it face down on his bed (I haven’t seen him yet this morning).

BUSTED

Our terms, as per the caseworker, is all contact is written and has to go via the caseworker’s office. We will send it to her, she will forward it. And any contact in return has to go the same route. All inappropriate mail will be discarded (or labeled for me to give when the kids are older)

Only Nehemiah and Adam are allowed contact at this time as per our request. The boys are not to let the other kids know they received and/or sent anything.

The caseworker and the boys agreed to these terms..

I thought I had set all electronics with password protection. I forgot to double check every one of them apparently. Partially my fault, but I trusted him/them/all the kids….to stay off the electronics and never get on the internet without my permission.

<Ugh> so at a dilemma as to what to do for punishment.

He’s allowed contact….may not be the way he wants, but is the way the caseworker said it had to be until we finalize, or whatever timeframe we set after that date.

He agreed to the terms.

We told him until he was 18. He said, “Cool! I can deal with that.”

Apparently NOT!!!

It isn’t so much the contact that has me upset (although that can get us AND her in trouble).

It is the trust.

The promises broken.

Lines crossed.

I’m open to suggestions.

How would you handle a situation like this with your 15-year-old son?

Vickie

3 comments:

Hope Rising Farm said...

Tough one....when we had a similar issue the social worker encouraged us to have a no electronics for 2 weeks. Our foster daughter at the time freaked, told us she would die...long story short...God blessed our time and it became a great time for her to connect with us as she pulled away from the electronics. And the best thing...she learned she could actually live without them. No simple solution....pray! God will give you the wisdom...praying too!

Vickie said...

Thing is....there isn't a whole lot of electronics available to them. They get the Wii or playstation for 1 hour each a weekend IF they've had a good week. They can only use the iTouches when we are going to the big city (50 miles one way) or long road trips. We do watch TV in the evenings.

I did have a little talk with him...he said he cried himself to sleep after seeing the photo and the message written on it. He says he feels bad (hasn't actually apologized yet). I told him now we have to rebuild that trust again and it will take a long while. He said he understands. I told him that things he has wanted to do will now be pushed out, because those were because of trust and earned privilege.

We'll see!

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

I can feel your pain ... Broken trust with your child is heartbreaking and brings division in the relationship.
We've recently gone through a broken trust issue with our OG and the internet / ipod. We had set boundaries regarding how much time spent and hours spent & after 3 violations we chose to eliminate ALL access to ALL electronics until her next b-day (at the time 10 months). At that time we will re-evaluate her integrity and our trust levels.

Although many may find our consequences harsh, we believe that trust and integrity are some of the most important characteristics in a person. Our children must realize and understand that once trust is broken it is VERY difficult to re-gain. We pray this lesson will be one that has a lasting and positive impact.

Also, OG is not the sort of child who holds onto "grudges" or dwells on the negatives. Therefore we believe this is an appropriate consequence for her and her disposition. For our eldest child, AB, we would have used another consequence, such as manual labor chores, because he was the sort who held a grudge and dwelled on the negatives of his life ... which would have resulted in further deterioration of our relationship with him.

Some infractions can carry blanket consequences for all children, such as failure to make the bed results in delayed breakfast or an additional chore. But consequences for infractions that mark a person's character (integrity, trust, greed, generosity, dependability, self-control, kindness, etc.) need to be custom for each personality.
My prayers for wisdom are with you and your family.
Blessings,
Mrs.B