“Unfair” is a word commonly used in our house. It is unfair that one sissy has a green headband, it is unfair that Meg has 4 American Girl dolls, it is unfair that your peach and I’m brown. Sometimes unfair is a silly little thing, and sometimes it is not.
This time my heart is screaming unfair. The latest change in our house is unfair to my two biological kids, yet this change has also improved our home life dramatically.
To back-track here. Our home-life has been hell for the past few months, with some improvements here and there. Basically after intense counseling two of our daughters may start medication very soon. One with ADHD medication, as attachment disorder apparently mirrors ADHD and so the medications can help about and the other daughter for depression.
Please don’t flame me for this. I have been adamantly against medication for my kids, until we had given them enough time to “settle” in. I didn’t want to medicate if the issues would resolve with further attachment. Plus I think we as a whole over-medicate kids. At the same time I am a nurse and I know that medication is sometimes necessary and it can help dramatically. I would give insulin to my child if she were diabetic, so of course if she has a neurotransmitter issue I will medicate for that as well. Some of the behaviors we have been experiencing: Kicking out screens and hanging out a second story window, extreme manipulation, cruelty and physical violence that is escalating, uncontrollable “spewing” of mean words, and sentiments.
As you can imagine this is taking a toll on all of us and I am feeling especially worried about my two bio daughters who seem to be getting the brunt of it all. Here comes the unfairness that is working well. We changed rooms. We gave Mita and Enu their own rooms, upstairs beside ours and now Meg and Elle are downstairs sharing the littlest bedroom in the house that is away from all the other rooms. Meg has eleven years of things and memories she is trying to cram into this room she is sharing with a five year old. She would love to have her own room again, but she was very blunt with me when she said,”Mom, we need to get out of there.” There being the bedrooms and bathroom upstairs they all have shared for over a year.
My feeling unfair isn’t my thinking my bio kids deserve more, it is more that I feel as if I am rewarding misbehavior. Today at therapy, I was told to think of it this way: “If you knew someone who was incredibly jeolous of you, who took your things, and said mean things to you as well as hurt you sometimes would you share a room with them?” She reiderated that the size of the room doesn’t matter, the sharing of the rooms doesn’t matter, what matters is that all four children are now where they need to be.
In the past three mornings since the room changes Enu has slept longer, awakened with clear eyes and no fighting. Mita has gotten up on her own instead of having to be pulled out of bed and again no fighting. Meg and Elle have a very clean and organized room and bathroom and Meg isn’t having to lock everything up anymore.
It has been peaceful and that is exactly what we have needed for a very long time. I know this is a novelty, and that they will again fight in the mornings, but I cannot help but think we hit something big. Maybe in all my trying to put the girls together and to treat them all the same, I was pushing to hard. Maybe they just need some space to chill and think.
If you have an older child who has experience trauma or is an older adoptee we need to remember to think out of the box. Traditional parenting we have had passed down to us isn’t going to fit your situation. Sharing rooms may build character, teach kids how to share and be good for social skills (all things I believe in), but if you have a child that is overwhelmed by another person’s breathing, maybe a room change is in order.