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  #1  
Old 02-26-2011, 07:09 AM
ndakitchen ndakitchen is offline
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Exclamation Attention seeking driving me crazy!

I'm a bit of a lurker, but have had an issue with 6 yr old FS. He's been with us for 7 months as a legal risk, but has visits with gma every other week and phone calls 1x week from mom in prison.
The problem is that he is constantly seeking attention. His emotional age is much younger than 6, more on the level of my 4 year old. He cannot stand for someone else to have attention, or to not be engaged at all times. I try to ignore, but it makes me sooooo irritated! I homeschool my 4 kiddos, so he's with me all day. It's worse after visits, and I don't think he understands what he's doing. He has sensory issues, lots of neglect. I just can't figure out how to get him comfortable with a healthy level of attention. Help!
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2011, 10:45 AM
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hisdaisy hisdaisy is offline
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I have an attention seeking 7yo FD, who as lived with us for 13 months. She as gotten better over the year.
One thing that I found out with FD is that she did not know how to find something to do on here own. I had to find her a toy to play with.
Also I have played with her 1-on-1 for a set amount of time (ie 10 minutes) and then required her to play with by herself for the same amount of time. If she interrupts me during that time for anything other than an emergency then the timer starts over (or at least stops). I give her lots of praise when she makes it to the end of the timer with out interrupting. Over time we increased the timer. Her counselor also suggested time outs for interrupting.
Before starting I always help find something to do. She can now go longer periods of time.
I visit days I just expect more behaviors. I know that they are stressed and need me more.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:58 PM
Sophie.B. Sophie.B. is offline
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nda, just wanted to say I relate. Our 7˝ yo FS has been with us 6 mos. Luckily he's responsive to reflecting on and changing his behavior --- but there's only so much that can change at once, so again: I relate.

Like hisdaisy, we "practice" (with purpose) doing things individually, without interruption. Honestly, DH, FS and I could all do better on that discipline, but it's a start.

It works well when I give him notice, e.g. "You have my attention for five more minutes, then I will be turning my attention to [this activity] until [...], what will you do for that time?"

I am floored that this month, three times he's read a book to himself!

Your guy is younger, so I can imagine how it is.
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FS 7yo, 09/2010-05/2011 (moved to adoptive home, adopted 04/2012)
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:19 AM
ndakitchen ndakitchen is offline
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Thanks

Thanks for the tips. We have been having him sit and watch without talking for periods of time. He's not allowed to participate, only observe.
He follows me around like a puppy, asking silly questions he knows the answers to or just giving me a play-by-play about everything everone is doing. CW is going to get him into some therapy. Hope it helps!
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:32 AM
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Biblemom Biblemom is offline
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My son with RAD did (and sometimes still tries to do) the silly questions and constant jabbering. It is his way of controlling my day and getting attention. We have a code word. When he hears me say "pickle" he knows that I am onto him and needs to stop. If he does not quickly find something to occupy himself, I give him a short chore to keep him busy.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:45 AM
myForeverkids3 myForeverkids3 is offline
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Just wanted to say that I can soooo relate. My kids have been home 2 years and they still do it. I think that my strategies so far have done more harm than good actually. The only way I have known to handle it is to send them to their room to play. It has been the only way to keep my sanity. I tried the timer thing too, but it only works sometimes. They "forget" and keep asking questions anyway.(then get sent to their rooms because I am about to loose it! )

So, now I am reading Heather T. Forbes' work and about to take her online webinar course. This is the only thing I have found that will actually help me long term. (because the only person I can really change is my me)

Needing constant reassurance is very, very common for foster kids. Makes sense, doesn't it. If your whole world has been turned upside down, your gonna need a LOT of TLC. I don't see my kids as controlling anymore. I see them as terrified.
Hope that helps. Wish there was a magic pill or something....I will let you know if I find one!
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"I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss The Dance"
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:01 PM
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MyForeverKids3, unless your kids have an AD, I am sure they are looking for rassurance. I know my AS is not, b/c he will often grin and walk away after hearing the code word. He is quite the stinker, but I love him!
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:18 AM
myForeverkids3 myForeverkids3 is offline
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Both of my kids have an attatchment disorder and ADHD. My son is also dx ODD. I totally understand what you mean. My dd will stand there watching me put a frozen pizza into the oven and ask "What are we having for dinner?" I have used the "pickle" strategy as well. (only I use clown instead because it comes out really funny!)
I don't think there is anything wrong with using strategies like that to keep your sanity.
I also don't buy into the theories out there that paint my kids as little control freaks who do anything they can to avoid attatchment. Even controlling adults have a reason for being the way they are. They are trying to sooth some kind of emotion inside of them and that emotion is fear. (ie. If I don't control every aspect of my life, including the people around me, something really bad is going to happen)

IMHO, I can't ease my kids fears by sending them away from me. If I am afraid, I want my husband close by. I want someone to be understanding with me...compassionate. That doesn't mean they have to put up with me controlling them, lying about them, lying to them etc. But, I would hope that they would love me enough to not push me away or try to control me back.
I hope that explains my thoughts. I am on a journey here, just like everyone else. I just know that this "my kids are evil little manipulators" mentality has done nothing but damage in my family. (and I am not saying that you think that way, just that the theory is very prevalent in the adoption world.)
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"I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss The Dance"
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:45 AM
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I'm actually a little nostalgic for back when my daughter was needy for attention, now she's a teenager and wants very little to do with me (tho she has told me that in order to go see the Bieber movie for the third time she will even go with me!).
I only ever had 4 placements because I adopted, but two of the 4 were super needy, and not just wanting to be with me, but needing me to focus on them. I remember my daughter the second day she was with me, I was shovelling snow off the driveway and I even had a mini shovel for her to play along with me, but she screeched and fussed and ordered me to return to the house! It was funny but ANNOYING. I used to take an hour off on Saturdays. My hour off was just to not be focused on her. It drove her nuts. I'd be watching TV and she'd keep having to crawl "inconspicuously" across in front of the TV. My other needy placement was pitiful the first time I took my hour off, she ran around the house spraying the plant mist bottle at things (I think she imagined she was cleaning house for me) and then parked herself on the floor in front of me making crafts for me.
After I didn't have so much neediness to deal with (like a year later probably) I listened to a Nancy Thomas cassette about how to deal with it. I don't remember the whole exact details, but it was along the lines of define an area for them (such as an area in the living room), give them a couple choices of activities, let them know that if they talk to you or leave their play area that will mean to you that they want to help you with chores, and then each time they talk or leave the play area cheerfully welcome them to helping with chores. Supposedly pretty soon they decide on their own that they will stay quietly playing. I never tried it so I don't know how well it would work. Obviously would require a lot of upfront time and energy from the parent to cheerfully do chores with the kid.
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