Priorities

My priorities have been completely wrong this weekend. I’ve had to put school before my girls, which I imagesreally try hard not to do!

As a Music teacher the end of term means the end of year show and the end of year show means a full weekend rehearsal. As my husband and 2 of my step-children get roped into helping out choreographing and playing in the pit band it means that the availability of babysitters is a little low. So, they had to come with us!

I feel remarkably guilty because they had to miss out on taking dance exams this weekend, which subsequently means they can’t move up into the next class. Secretly I’m a little pleased as we’ve just arranged swimming lessons around the existing dance lessons, and goodness knows what would have happened if new lessons formed a clash!

Seeing as though they were missing out on the dance lessons on the Saturday and the exams on the Sunday I refused to let them miss out on anything else. I therefore arrived late on the Saturday morning so 9 could go to her swimming lesson and we also dipped out for half an hour so 9 could perform part of her school show at their summer fair (which is conveniently just the other side of the car park). We then popped to the summer fair during the lunch hour for a bite to eat and for them to have a go on the stalls etc. They did really well – 9 won the biggest teddy there, while 6 won a smaller one and they won an array of balls and other things off the children’s tombola.

they are so used to joining us at concerts and going to see shows that I knew they wouldn’t be too much trouble, but over both days the students that I teach really came into their own. Everyone is always lovely to the girls, but a small group of Y8 students really took them under their wings. They genuinely played with them outside when they weren’t needed on the stage and plaited their hair and fed them sweets and biscuits. They were absolutely amazing. What really surprised me was how thoughtful they were, even asking me about allergies before they gave them anything to eat or drink and bringing them over to me for a cold drink of water when they thought they were getting a bit hot.

So although my priorities were wrong this weekend the girls had a really fun time and made a lot of new ‘friends’. 6 even named the teddy bear she won ‘Chloe’ after one of the girls who played with her.

Help and support always comes when you least expect it, from those you least expect to give it…..

 

Advertisements

If it made a difference to 1 student….

…..it was worth it!

I just thought I’d share with you the transition day I planned in conjunction with Challenging Education and the Virtual School to help the move into Y7 for some of our most vulnerable children.

The objective was quite simple. We wanted them to make friends before the main transition day (they will be part of a year group of 410 in Sept) and feel comfortable in such a large school with a busy environment. The plan was to reduce anxiety, so we left any transition work till after the SATs.

There is often quite a bit of transition work for SEN students and the really vulnerable, but we wanted to include all PP students in order to find out a bit more about them before they arrive on the doorstep.

Staff need to be aware of certain students’ needs and this certainly equipped us with a lot of additional information that we wouldn’t normally have access to as teachers. Allows us to understand them from day one, not after any damage has already occurred.

Step 1

I visited the main 6 feeder primaries. In 2 schools leaders took the time to talk to me privately about the issues students had faced and the strategies they had tried and whether they were successful. 1 school was using an experienced foster carer to help with the transition from primary to secondary – which is a brilliant idea.

In all schools I met with the students and we filled in information sheets together. One to address concerns they had about our school and the other one was all about them. It included information about family, where they did homework, did they read, what were their hobbies, did the have any aspirations etc. Talking with them it allowed me to put simplistic profiles together which I will share with their teachers next year and their form tutors.

Step 2

An extra transition day. 105 PP or SEN students joined us for a day. I wanted it to be diagnostic for staff and supportive for the students. So, during the day they attended 4 carousels, alternating academic with team-building.

Session 1 – Literacy.  They were all given a David Walliams book which they started to read together. We were so impressed by how many volunteered to read (even though they were in mixed groups and so not necessarily with their friends). They then made a bookmark about their favourite book. The students have been asked to read the book over summer in preparation for a book club in September.

Session 2 – PE. They had a few groups exercises to do, like standing in alphabetical order. They were then put in teams and played a game of rounders. Again, watching the students interact with each other, running for those who had mobility issues was amazing.

Session 3 – Numeracy. Here they had a proper Maths lesson with the emphasis on ‘having a go’. All were engaged and our Maths teacher was really surprised by the level of ability.

Session 4 – Drama. Games based around concentration and team-building. They were encouraged to have a go and go wrong, so that understood that failure was part of learning a new skill and not to be afraid of it.

Throughout the day, I, along with the SEN team were able to monitor the students and look at their interactions (or lack of them). The primaries brought a few TAs and they were able to meet with our ISAs that were attached to groups to discuss the students and strategies on a more personal level. The Heads of Year attached to next Years’ Yr7 where present too.

All in all it was a really positive day. The students themselves enjoyed themselves, made new friends, got to meet key staff and it was lovely to see them all relax and come out of themselves during the day.

The staff got to share information and primary staff’s anxiety levels were also reduced as they could see their charges in the new environment and were able to pass on crucial information.

Feedback has been excellent and I hope to do this again next year. I couldn’t have done it though without some amazingly brilliant staff!!!images

They are amazing!

This is how I feel about my girls after this weekend.

My husband was unable to celebrate his 50th birthday properly as his dad was in the last stages of cancer, so this year we wanted to make a bit of a fuss for his 55th, especially as he was also retiring.

The couple of days before his birthday 9 started to show signs of anxiety, getting things wrong in order to move the attention back on to her, but as soon as the day arrived she was an absolute star.

Before school we gave him his presents and he got to watch 9 in her Sport’s Day in the afternoon (seeing as though has been working part time for the last few months).

They were such good company when we went out for a meal in the evening. 9 actually belly laughed naturally for possible the first time ever. Usually her laughs are forced and full of pretence, but not that day. Dad was the only one who embarrassed himself, by smashing a wine glass!!

The following day was the one I was dreading, a party in the garden for all of his friends and family. The girls were so excited about seeing Frank, a guy we’ve met up with a few times when we’ve visited London and 6 must have asked me about 20 times during the first part of the day when I was going to pick him up from the station.

The one thing I kept from them was the fact that their old foster carers were also coming up. Their faces were an absolute picture when they arrived, bearing gifts for them (and toys for all of the children to play with), along with the most amazing guitar light for my husband.

They did themselves proud all day. The only time they had to be spoken to was when 9 kept eating spoonfuls of coleslaw and then returning the spoon to the tub!

At one point there were 4 adopted children in our garden, one with severe autism. All of them were amazing – they all played together and there were no issues at all. they also engaged with the other 6 children that were in attendance. All of the children did their parents proud.

There was no point putting them to bed early, so at 10pm they were playing hide and seek with some of the guests (and their big sister) and then joined us in a kebab binging session at 10:30. not surprisingly they slept well that night.

We had two couples staying with us overnight and again they were so sensible the next morning. They ate a cooked breakfast with us all and then sat with two of the women we were entertaining, playing Word Cookies on their iPads – which I subsequently had to put on their kindles that afternoon.

I can not be prouder of my girls and how they coped – they were a credit to everyone who has helped to raise them!images

 

Birthdays and Being ‘That Parent’

It’s been a funny old week in our household.

Sunday was my birthday, not a particularly special one and I had said I wasn’t going to plan anything for anyone. My plan was to have a nice quiet one with the minimum of fuss.

For the first time ever, my husband decided to organise the entire day for me (must be this new-found semi-retirement he is enjoying) and all I had to do was get up. What was also lovely was that the girls were included in all of it, so 9 in particular didn’t get jealous and try and move all of the attention onto her by misbehaving. The day went like this:

  • Bacon sandwiches
  • Present opening
  • Chilling
  • Visit from the 4 step-children and 3 grandchildren (2 of which are of ages to play with my girls)
  • Birthday cake for lunch
  • Trip for the 4 of us to The Moscow State Circus
  • Evening Meal at Bella Italia
  • Home for a chill out and another drink.

Possibly the best birthday I have ever had as I never had to lift a finger to cater for other people or fit in with anyone else.

Then we became ‘those parents’ when 9 was singled out (amongst others) in front of her whole year group for her lack of concentration and talking.  Literally, a few weeks ago we went into school to ask for her to be put on the SEN awareness register for her attachment, so you can imagine our displeasure when she eventually disclosed what had happened at school.

I was livid! However, 9 can be prone to telling a few porkys, so I checked with another parent that this had happened. When she confirmed it I immediately emailed the SENCO to see if anything had been put in place from our meeting yet.

I was quite prepared for her to say no (I appreciate things take time), and that she would speak to the staff concerned and update them on the things we had discussed. Instead I was told that ‘no child had been singled out’ i.e. the kids were lying. On the plus side, a meeting was held with all staff associated with the year group about 9 and she seemed to attend every intervention known to man during the next few days.

All I wanted was a ‘sorry, we will try to avoid doing it again’. However, they have now made it worse by calling my daughter a liar (which she is sometimes, just not on this occasion).

So, in an hour and a half my husband is going to be ‘that parent’ and have a meeting with the teacher and the SENCO (although it appears the teacher can’t stay for long….). All we want is the best for our girl, and if it means we have to join the fight of so many other adoptive and foster parents to get teachers to understand attachment then imagesso be it!

SEN or no SEN?

It’s interesting isn’t it, that when our children are ‘looked after’ we have PEPs, where SEN staff attend meetings and things are put in place to help ‘catch-up’ our children that are behind behaviourally and emotionally, but as soon as they are adopted this level of care disappears.

Clearly, this is because an adoption order is a magic wand that means our children suddenly forget all of the trauma they have been through and become a ‘normal child’.

For our youngest the adoption order has been something of a magic wand, in terms of her feeling part of a family and being content. She has caught up academically and apart from being lazy in school she has no real needs. She was taken into foster care at 18 months, so her brain was not affected in the same manner as her big sister.

9 was over 4 when she was taken into foster care and by then the damage was already done and all we can now do is learn to manage her and try and make as many new connections as we can….and it’s hard work.

She presents as being happy when out with others and because she is so desperate to be accepted and be the ‘favourite’ child, many family members and friends simply see her as ‘enthusiastic’ and we are often criticised for our strict parenting style. A parenting style we have to adopt in order to prevent her getting too out of control and going into the meltdown mode we know that will follow.

9 loves school and has some lovely friends, but parents evenings are the normal conversations around her lack of concentration, lack of recall etc etc etc. She always has to have 1-2-1, we are told, in order to keep her focused. So, after the last parents evening I started to wonder why she was not on the SEN register if she was having to have all of these interventions. So, an email to school was sent and a meeting with the SENDCO was organised.

As our girls get older the difference between the ages they were taken into care becomes more apparent. 6 is catching up emotionally and academically, but 9 isn’t. During our chat with the SENDCO it was really obvious that the class 9 is in has kept her needs under the radar. Apparently they are a really lovely and well-behaved class, so there are few distractions within the room and little in the way of ‘bad-behaviour’ for 9 to latch on to. My concern is that when she moves to secondary school this protection will not be there as she won’t be in mixed ability classes anymore as they stream. This was another reason I wanted her to have a ‘label’, so that when she gets to Y7 teachers are aware of her needs and can prevent rather than react.

Before the meeting, reading tests were carried out and 9 appears to be top of the range that would usually be considered for SEN intervention, another reason why she has been below the radar for the last few years. As parents we stressed that academically we aren’t too concerned, but we are concerned about the effect that her attachment issues already have and how we are worried they will escalate if staff aren’t aware and know how to react to her.

I was really pleased to see her take our concerns seriously and the SEDCO understood why we wanted staff to have more awareness of her needs. We spoke at length about possible triggers and strategies we use and stressed the importance of using the contact book to let us know about any issues, no matter how insignificant the class teacher may feel they are – because again, it is us that has to deal with the fallout of these after school. Also, if they find any strategies that work, it would be useful for us to know these…..

So, she is now going on the SEN register, the bottom rung to start off with, and then it will be reviewed. A passport will be created for staff and extra sessions on emotions are being set up. Further testing (especially around her real weakness of Maths) will be carried out and a meeting with her new teacher will be set up in July to prepare her for teaching 9 in Sept. Oh, and i think they are also getting her a session with a speech therapist to see if she can pull anything out re her comprehension of words.images

It’s a start, but I could kick myself for not pushing this earlier……

Our Little Jaunt to Portugal

So, I’m just taking 5 minutes to sit down and jot down the high (and low) lights of our hols.

Where to start….?

The lead up was difficult as 9 really couldn’t cope with the wait. I tried to fill up her days as much as possible (her big sister’s 21st birthday celebrations helped), but dealing with the anticipation was really difficult for her.

The morning itself went to plan. The step-daughter and boyfriend arrived on time; the trip to Manchester was uneventful; the plane was on time and all looked to be going well. 6 was very nervous about flying and we went to the toilet a number of times before we boarded. On the plane she was very out of sorts. She didn’t want sweets or chocolate, which was a warning sign in itself, but also didn’t engage in any conversation at all. Every time she moved there was quite an unpleasant smell, but she refused to go to the toilet on the plane. As the others collected the bags I took the girls to the loo and the bad smell was very soon uncovered…..all I will say is I had to go running back to the suitcases to fetch a clean pair of pants (and the ones they were to replace went straight in the bin)!

As soon as she we had dealt with this and made a joke of it, 6 was back to her chatty self – but I did make use of a bidet for the first time ever when we got to the villa.

The villa itself was lovely, but a word to the wise. If you go to Portugal during the ‘month of the thousand rains’ take your slippers. I don’t think my feet regained any feeling until a few hours of getting back into my own house. The floors were all tiled – which is delightfully cool in the summer – but when you have to stay in because it is cold and rainy outside you just can’t get warm. This is not to say the weather was awful for the whole week, just the last couple of days. Although at times the weather app on my phone said it was between 8-12 degrees, we were often out breakfasting by the pool and we have all come back very suntanned. When the sun was out it was fierce!

3 days in it was the 3rd anniversary of our trip to court to finalise the adoption. We celebrated with cocktails and the girls were even given complimentary non-alcoholic shots. We had taught them some basic Portuguese phrases and so they always said hello and thank you appropriately, which the locals loved.

For the most part they ate and drank really well. 9 had a number of local dishes and they weren’t afraid of dipping into our Cataplana for clams and king prawns, but towards the middle of the week 6 was a little off her food. She’d been in the pool for the 2nd time that day and went in to get changed. I found her sat on her bed still in her wet things shivering. She can be quite lazy and so I was a little annoyed that she hadn’t even got herself dry. When the shivering wouldn’t stop we quickly realised this wasn’t just a case of not getting dry. After trying everything we could think of we had to resort to calling out the local doctor (at a cost of 140 euros, although I’d have paid more for peace of mind). After much prodding and poking it was determined that she had a fever, related to a virus and possibly the start of tonsillitis. Had we packed the Calpol???? Had we heck!!!! So, after giving her a suppository the lovely doctor went home and came back with some liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen that belonged to her daughter. Within a day 6 was back to normal (you could tell by her appetite) and we were so glad we caught it all early and the fever broke before it became too much of an issue. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) the weather the next day was horrendous and so we stayed in until the evening, which gave her the chance to recover while watching ALL the Shrek films on Netflix. 9 struggled on this day though as she couldn’t quite work out what to do. She wanted to be in the pool and not being able to caused her a lot of anxiety – which was quite testing for us adults.

Getting home also went without a hitch, although I’m not sure the rest of the plane really appreciated 6’s made up song as she disembarked, with lyrics along the lines of ‘I haven’t poo-pooed in my pants!’

So, the suitcases are now unpacked to stop the 12 year old dog being anxious when she is collected tomorrow – there was no way we could cope with her issues along with those of 9 on our arrival back. Somehow the girls had managed to smuggle numerous shells into the suitcase, along with novelty sticks from cocktails and even tiny ice-cream spoons. How long do we have to wait before these subtly disapIMG_4193pear????

Did we have a few instances of silly behaviour? Of course we did.

Would we do it all again? Most definitely.

We made loads of memories and have lots of photos to laugh at. Taking their older sibling and her boyfriend was also a godsend at times as they often sat or walked with the girls so we could get a few minutes together as a couple. I think that will be the last time this happens though – next time it will just be the 4 of us!

 

More birthdays than the Queen!

Normally, if you’d asked me if I would like a snow day I’d be jumping up and down, but Friday was 9’s birthday and she can barely cope with her emotions when things go to plan, let alone when they have to be changed.

The Birthday plan:download

  • Dad having day off so we could open presents together before school
  • Spending the day with her friends at school, with dance club after. Had sweets ready to take in and share with her class
  • Going on her new bmx after school
  • Had the option of attending the school disco, but asked to out for a curry instead
  • Sat am – final dance lesson before exam
  • Sat pm – haircut
  • Sat late pm – tobogganning and snow tubing party
  • Sun pm – dance exam

So, the snow meant:

  • No school on the day or the day before
  • Not seeing her friends at school or being able to take in sweets
  • Not being able to go out on her bike
  • No meal as couldn’t get out of our drive to the restaurant
  • Dance lesson and dance exam postponed
  • Party postponed

9 has to know exactly what is happening minute by minute and never enjoys the present as she is always worrying about what is coming up next. She is always worried about not having/doing the same as everyone else and so the fact that her birthday had to be put on hold  was a potential time bomb. Fortunately we made the most of it – and to be honest she probably had a better time.

What we did:

Fri:

  • Opened presents and had a leisurely cooked breakfast
  • Played with toys
  • Had a visit from my Auntie
  • My sister walked round with her 2 children and they were able to all play together, both inside and in the snow
  • Had birthday cake with her cousins
  • Walked up to the shop so she could choose what to eat for tea – pizza and curly fries
  • Downloaded Monster Family and watched that as a family (although dad fell asleep)

Sat:

  • Played Mario Kart
  • Got out indoor raclette (never used before) and had an indoor BBQ
  • Walked to have hair cut
  • Snow much better so managed to get to swimming lesson (her favourite thing of the week)
  • Postponed party to next week (all but one of her friends can still make it)
  • Had visit from her sister with presents

Still to go:

  • Still got to take sweets in to school
  • Big brother still got to get her present to her
  • Birthday meal still to happen
  • Party still to go

So, instead of having a birthDAY it appears she’s having a birthWEEK!

It could have gone so much worse, but we discussed every decision we had to make and tried to turn it into a positive for her. She has done so well dealing with all the disruption and the disappointment and I’m very proud of her!

Still hasn’t been out on her bike though…….

Discounted London

Not sure what it is about the place, but my 2 absolutely love London. We’ve taken to going there at least 2 times a year and you don’t have to break the bank either.

Hotels

If you don’t mind staying out of the the city centre you can find really cheap hotels, but for our last 2 visits we have stayed in the Travelodge at Covent Garden. You can get some really good deals and breakfast and wifi is always a bonus. Staying here means you are also only minutes away from the entertainment in Covent Garden and you haven’t got far to carry your bags from the tube – and if you are feeling really flush Mr Fogg’s Gin Palace does a very nice G&T (although you have to drink outside as kids aren’t allowed in and they know how to charge….)

Getting Around

We travel the 116 miles or so via train – under £17 return for the 4 of us with a friends and family railcard (plus an additional £12 or so for car parking). The only downside is that with London Midland you can’t reserve seats, so you have to rely on luck to all sit together (although if you get to Euston early you can be first on the train and bag the seats with a table for the return journey), but when we’ve caught the Virgin train booking seats has always been easy to do. We’ve also now got an Oyster card for our tube (and bus, although we’ve never used these) so unlimited travel is less than £7 a day as kids travel free. On our most recent trip we rarely used the tube as we now know our way round a little bit better and most things are within walking distance of each other. I was really worried about our two on all the escalators and packed tubes, but this is all part of the experience for them and they jump on the nearest free seats as quickly as they can.

To Do

You can’t be bored in London and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – especially when all the museums and galleries are free, and if you go in good weather there are loads of parks to run round in. Ours always want to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and are just as excited with a trip to the M&M shop (although we only tend to buy anything there when there is a sale – I can’t believe how expensive it is!). If you travel by train you also get 2-4-1 entry into loads of attractions so it’s worth a look online. There are loads of other offers too. This time round we used our train tickets to book onto the London Eye, which the girls had been badgering to go on. Even with the mist and rain it was a great experience. My husband isn’t very good with heights, but the pods move really slowly and you can’t see the structure move, so he was surprisingly ok with it all. Then we nipped into Shrek’s Adventure (more to get out of the rain than anything else, and we had done the Science Museum and a bit of the V&A the previous day). It was surprisingly good. There was a 3D ride to start you off and then you met a number of characters along the way – culminating in a photo opportunity with Shrek himself. The kids absolutely loved it! We always get in a show too. This time we went to see Aladdin – which was amazing! Seats were in the gods, but you never have a bad seat in the West End. Look out for Kids Week in the summer where you can get a kids ticket free with an adult one for loads of different shows. Last year we saw Wind in the Willows and Going on a Bear Hunt on consecutive days. In previous visits we’ve been to the Tower of London, which was really good, along with the Natural History Museum, Hamley’s and Harrods.

Eating Out

Again, look out for deals. I’d already secured a 20% off voucher for Zizzi’s before we left and when we went into TGI Friday’s on a whim I downloaded their app and got a kids meal free. We met a friend before going to see Aladdin and he recommended we eat at Herman ze German. It was fab – german wurst and chips, along with a pint of German beer. Not too heavy before sitting down to a show eitherUnknown.

So, the next trip will be during Kids Week in the summer, but the hubby can plan that one seeing as though he is retiring in June. The Oyster card will remain in my wallet, the railcard will be renewed and the Travelodge will have us as guests once again. The only real decision is which show to go and see……got my eye on The Lion King next time.

Through the eyes of others

Trauma and attachment are continual parts of our lives. Our children struggle to cope if we give too much attention to others, they are continually sticking their noses into other people’s business to check they aren’t missing out and behaviour (good or bad) is there to gain our attention.

This weekend I’ve seen them through the eyes of others; those who don’t know their past or why they behave as they do.

Friday night we went to watch dad play guitar in an am-dram show of High School Musical. As soon as we arrived they were introduced to the rest of the band members and both girls kept asking them questions and engaging them in conversation. I know that they were showing off to gain attnetion because they didn’t want to feel left out and didn’t want dad to converse with others without them. However, the band members simply saw two confident girls who wanted to chat. They spoke to them again, both at the interval and at the end of the show to check they had enjoyed it and thought they were lovely girls (which they are by the way!). At the interval we did the obligatory toilet stop and as we were leaving 8 wasn’t right behind me where I thought she was. Then I see her holding the door open for an old lady to leave safely. This lady then delighted in telling me that 8 had shown her where the bin was to put her paper towel in and had then helped her out of the toilet. 8 is very caring, but she would also have been staring around at what others were doing as we were leaving and involving herself in anything else that was going on. Of course, the lady wouldn’t have known this and she just saw the concern 8 had for her wellbeing.

Yesterday was swimming. 8 went up a stage and 6 isn’t far behind, but part of them doing so well is their desire to please others. There hands are constantly going up to ask and answer questions and they need to be the first to do everything,Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 10.26.04 so will volunteer to demonstrate things to others. The teacher just sees really engaged students, but I know differently….

So yes, trauma has affected their behaviour, and will continue to do so, but actually it isn’t all negative when seen through the eyes of others. Sometimes I’ve got to look past the trauma and the reasons for why they behave in certain ways and look at the positives it can bring. Some of these behaviours are so ingrained they will never change, so maybe we need to look at where they can be channelled in a more positive direction…

Lying

I’veimages struggled this weekend and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

8 suffers from more effects of trauma than her younger sister. We have battled through stealing, a lack of confidence, hugging everyone she meets and many more issues, coming out the other side reasonably unscathed. However, the one thing I am really struggling with is her lying.

She lies about most things. The only time she seems to tell the truth is when she knows it is extremely serious. This in itself is a good thing, as she has admitted to stealing and bullying in the past and we have been able to deal with these issues. However, the small lies are the ones that are really getting to me.

Saturday started off a stream of porkies. She felt sick – then she didn’t feel sick – then she did feel sick – then she didn’t feel sick. Then…….she was sick!!! The problem for her here was that if she was feeling sick (her sister had been ill previously that week) then she couldn’t go to swimming or dance lessons. Her mind kept changing because she wanted the attention of being sick, but also didn’t want to miss her activities. The problem for us was we were damned if we did and damned if we didn’t. Do we take her dancing and she is ill everywhere, or do we not let her go and she is absolutely fine and just looking for that extra bit of attention?  As it happened, we made the right call and she stayed at home.

Then we have tall tales about her birthday party. X says she might not be able to come because her mum says she might be doing something else that weekend. Then I get a text from said parent to say she has only just been given the invitation and X would love to come. Was she trying to convince herself people had reasons for not coming in case no-one replied, or was she just talking for the sake of something to say???

We then had moussaka for tea (something neither girl had had before). 8 told me it was lovely and on her list of things to eat and then proceeded to play around with it, before it was taken away from her and put in the bin. Was she still feeling ill? Didn’t she like it? Was she still hungry?  Again she was unable to answer, changing her mind like other people change their socks. First she wasn’t hungry, then she felt ill, then she didn’t like it….

So again, we were left with a problem. Did we assume she was still unwell and put her to bed without more food, or did we make her some toast to stop her being hungry, that could have resulted in making her sick again?

I understand she is scared of being told off. I also understand that she is keen to please and will tell us whatever she thinks we want to hear. But, it makes it very difficult to look after her and make the right decisions when she constantly lies about everything. How can I stick up for her at school if I don’t know whether she is telling me the truth? How can I make sure I keep her off school when I don’t know whether she actually feels ill or not?

The small things documented here were only from 2 days. The lying is constant and I feel like we are in the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Will she ever grow out of it, or will she always feel that she has to please?

I feel sure I will have to stand up alongside her in a number of battles in the next few years. Will I be able to tell when I need to stand up for her and fight her corner or will there always be that little seed of doubt at the back of my mind?

I know I will always love and protect her to the best of my ability – but it would be so much easier if she trusted me enough to tell me the truth!