Prep Group - Day 2

Well I had the 2nd day of Prep Group on Wednesday and it was great!

Everyone is so relaxed around each other which is amazing after just one day. Perhaps because we already know something relatively personal about each other - that for some reason we are on this same road at this point together.

We looked a lot at the types of "abuse" children can suffer and the affects they can each have. 

We talked about a lot about Theraplay, which the VA and others believe can make a big difference in helping children with attachment issues. 

The belief is that "it can improve a child’s behaviour and emotional state by strengthening the parent-child relationship. The Theraplay therapist guides the parent and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behaviour and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy." 

There is a video on the Institute of Theraplay's website with more details on what it is all about - We took part in some real demonstrations so we could understand how it works. 

We also looked at how we might handle what you could say were certain "typical" child scenarios and those which weren't so typical. Such as, a young girl that had previously been abused is suddenly being inappropriate with a person that comes to do work at your house. Or a child, that you catch stealing money from you. We talked through how you would deal with these situations differently to that of another child. 

I discussed it later with one of the girls I've met on the course (who is absolutely lovely!) and our biggest worry is not knowing what is "child" behaviour as opposed to "adopted" behaviour and does it matter. If it is just child behaviour, does it still need to be dealt with differently? I think I need to start reading some books on normal child behaviour, so I have a basis for comparison! 

I found myself telling a bunch of "strangers" a story that I'd completely forgotten about from a very long time ago. When I was staying with my Nan, we were in the local Shopping Centre. For reasons that I really can't remember now (I had likely seen something I would like to buy and had no money.. pocket money? What's that then??), I stole a £5 note from her purse when we went to the toilet. (For all of my friends reading this.. yes you are safe!) I do remember feeling instantly guilty. Some hours later, we were sat outside a shop having a breather and she gave me £5 to spend on anything I’d like. She said that if I wanted anything, I only had to ask. She didn't have a lot of money but if she could get it for me she would. I didn't know at that point that she'd known very well I'd taken it (though I later learnt that she could tell you where every penny was in her house and how much she had at any point without even looking!) but I instantly felt like a complete heel and owned up. I gave her both £5 notes back and she let me keep one anyway, making me feel even worse. 

What utter genius! I never thought of it, till I recalled the story during the session, but she managed to discipline me, get me to own up and make me feel that I didn't NEED to steal from her, without even raising her voice once! I suspect that that kind of "wisdom" comes with having had children in the double figures. I also learnt after she'd died, that she did a brief spell as a New York Cabby so I can imagine she might have learned some of that then. I hope I don't manage to f*ck up my child even more, before I gain enough wisdom to be as sensible as that! 

Last 2 days to go next week. i also have my medical booked in, though I still don't know if there's a charge or not. So far I've asked 3 people and I've been given 3 answers ranging from nothing to £125! Hopefully I shall be assigned a SW soon too. Not that I'm eager to start the Home Study, just eager to finish it! :-)

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