Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Friday, November 18, 2011


I knew Mariah didn't walk as well at school as she was capable of, but I thought she was doing "ok." The thing with Mariah is that people feel sorry for her. They won't make her do what she's capable of. If Mariah senses that someone feels sorry for her, then she will ride that train as far as it takes her. She won't walk. She won't go get things for herself. She will whine about things to see what else she can get. She will pretend not to know how to do things or not to remember things in order to get more attention. She will act super fearful or overly affectionate to get more attention. It goes in a downward spiral if the adult doesn't put a stop to it and just tell her that she needs to do what was asked of her. Bottom line, its not good for her for people to feel sorry for her because it encourages her to act helpless because in her mind, uncapable = more attention.

But still, I thought that Mariah was doing ok walking at school. I thought her teachers KNEW. She was not doing ok. I got the progress report from her teacher and the evals from the OT and PT. The OT stated she took ONE step and appeared very "fearful" and held her arms in a "high guard" position. Um... what!?

Her teacher said her walking had gotten worse and she was "more fearful" of walking independently.
This is the opposite of what we've seen at home. She has gotten better at walking but MORE dramatic about whining and not wanting to do it. I don't take the drama though. In our house, you do what you are capable of or you just don't get to do things. Mariah knows this so if she wants to throw a fit, she goes up to her room and when she's done, she comes back down and does what I asked. We have very few issues these days.

So, I was upset at the evals and the progress report. I was a little angry at Mariah for acting like that but I know its a product of her previous environment and I thought I had explained that to people well enough. I wonder if people think I am just being mean when I say I don't let her get away with not doing things?? I wonder if they think I'm exaggerating when I say she will manipulate people to get out of things. I don't mean it in a mean way! I mean it as a warning to adults that you cannot let her manipulate you by the way she acts because she will and its not good for her to think she can control you!

I decided what to do. I sent two videos of Mariah walking here at home to her teacher asking if Mariah was walking the same way at school as at home because we thought she was progressing nicely, and she was doing awesome at PT.

The next day at school her teacher told me, "I got the videos; that is AMAZING!"
The school PT emailed me and said, "I like how "teacher" put it, "We have been bamboozled!" We will be working on encouraging her to walk independently now!


Game is up little girl. I'm tired of being the "mean" one who makes her walk. Its no wonder she came home from school and had such a bad attitude about doing things on her own! She went to school and thought she didn't have to do anything! I should be able to be the mama once in a while and let the professionals get Mariah to do her best. The frustrating part is that the professionals, Drs. PTs, OTs, teachers, random people at birthday parties, family members, think I am MEAN to let her struggle to do things. They think I am not telling the truth about what she can do. I guess they think I am just making it up?? She will never learn how to do things if people do them for her. She is capable and the more she works on doing things herself, the better she'll get at them. Its not mean to expect her to do what she is capable of because it will only make her better at it.

*sigh* I hope that now we can move on with her walking. Everyone has to be on the same page or its confusing to her. In the TWO days that her teacher had with her post-video clip, Mariah has walked SO much better for me at home and been generally happier. It really is true that a child who thinks she can control the adults in her environment is not a happy, secure child because if she can manipulate them; who is taking care of her?


ErinL said...

You are not alone. Your idea to send them videos was genious, and your statement about kids who can manipulate adults being unhappy is so true! Did I ever tell you the story about Oksana riding the bus? Before the bus I picked her up from school and talked to her para every day. When she started riding the bus she didn't think I'd know anything about her day. She came off of the bus just a couple of days after starting to ride it and said "I had a great day!" We got inside and her notebook said she had been HORRIBLE! She had no idea we were still communicating! You should have seen the look of shock on her face when I started to read off everything she had done and then stuck her hiney in time out! She does best when she knows we are all communicating and expect the same thing from her. It sounds like Mariah will truly benefit from your efforts to make sure everyone is on the same page! You are doing an awesome job, Erin!

Ellen Stumbo said...

Manipulation? our children? NO!!!! No way!!!!!

sarah c said...

Again I feel like sharing about our time with H**** Your post here really truly reminded me of my feelings that I had. H***** had issues with food. She wouldn't eat the food I would make her most of the time for meals. She would sneak & hide food. You could be going threw the mail & she would hear the sound of paper & think it was some form of processed food & come running in begging. We would be at a cookout, where food is down low where children can reach it. I would make her plate & of course she would only eat a few things off of it & then start making her rounds. Complete strangers she would take the food right off their plate or she would sit down next to them and smile & of course get something. She did this right in front of me with my step daughter and she allowed her. I said please do not let her do that. She needs to know she cannot take peoples food. H***** did it again and this time took cheese. Step daughter allows it again & said it's not like I'm letter her eat the cupcake cheeses is good for her. People just do not understand that we are starting over and trying to teach adopted children or fosters rules that other children have already been taught. She also at church used to just sit on the laps of the workers and nuzzle in (which I'm blessed they loved her & she was safe there) but she would "require" that the whole time she was in there. Then she would cry & not even want to come to me because she knew we were going home and to bed. I know she wasn't crying because she didn't want me, but others may have questioned that behavior. Others who are a part of these children's life really need to listen to us and do what they can to help not make the child continue to take backwards steps into their past. Having H***** here was one of the hardest things for us to do but will do it again in a second.
I hope you do not mind that I shared so much, just want you to know that I understand your feelings.

Mama of 3 said...

ErinL - Thank you! Its nice knowing I'm not the only one with a child that does that :)

Ellen - HAH!

Sarah - I so appreciate your comments and I totally empathize with and understand you! I am glad someone understands me too! We wouldn't be concerned about correcting poor behavior if we didn't care. I just feel sometimes like I am the only one on the planet who cares enough to expect her best, but obviously I'm not :)

Thanks for the comments guys! I love hearing about other people's experiences so I know I'm not experiencing insanity!

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson