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THE OBSOLETE CHILD

July 6, 2013
The Cat In the Hat

The Cat In the Hat

Here’s my quote for the day.

“Adults are just obsolete children.” Dr. Seuss

I don’t just like this quote, I know it to be true!

I am a foster mother… I’ve been doing this for almost ten years and if you ever hear anybody tell you how tremendously rewarding it is to foster children, they are not telling you about the rest of the story. Every child we get called for sounds worse than the one before.

The level of horror that these children have been through prior to getting into the foster care system continues to increase either due to lack of care by county workers or actual lack of county workers so that those who do this sort of thing are forced to focus only on the most miserable of conditions prior to placing children out of the home.

We have one boy who has been with us since December. Long story short, he is not only failing to show signs of improvement, he is increasingly getting worse. There isn’t a single day that goes by where we are not dealing with his lying about something significant or stealing from us.

And, as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I reacted like the obsolete child that I am. I resorted to the behaviors of the frightened child in me who fears for the loss of control that comes with not feeling trust and security within my own home.

It is not merely that I don’t approve of this type of behavior from a parental or adult perspective, I want to lash out and hurt because I have been hurt, and that is the obsolete child reacting to behaviors I can’t control.

Arguing Parent

Arguing Parent

I am sure that this is something we grownups have to encounter when our hot buttons get pushed which can be quite often if we live with someone 24/7. So, my task for today is to get myself out of the mindset of the child and back into the objective, mature role of a parent, at least when it comes to dealing with this child’s situation.

Dancing Children

Dancing Children

But there are some marvelous advantages to being an obsolete child too. There are so many fun times that my obsolete child experiences when she breaks out. Sometimes she dances with wild abandon, moving like a crazed freak, not caring who is watching. Sometimes she laughs so hard, that she snorts and can hardly catch her breath. She talks for hours sometimes, about nothing very important, but making it sound like it is the most fascinating thing in the entire world. She gets excited and enthusiastic about really good pizza or mint chocolate chip ice cream in a sugar cone.

She still mourns the day her favorite little cat got hit by a car. And of course, there are those times when she misses her grandparents and parents who are all long gone so much that her heart feels like it will just break into tiny pieces.

But whatever it is, she does it with a sincerity that is pure and real, not reliant on how others react. She is not hampered or censored by the dos and donts of society. And that is downright awesome!

ABOUT ME

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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