I apologize to my reading public, but since our return from vacation we have been inundated with life. I think I told a few of you that we decided to take foster care classes in an effort to learn all we can about fostering and adoption. We are still feeling pretty uncommitted but are hoping that through this process we will get enough information that we can make an informed decision through the spirit as to how we want to proceed.
The classes started the week we were on vacation so we missed the fun stuff like the introduction, the getting to know you with the other potential foster parents, and stuff like that. The class we began with was class #3, which was on Monday, and the class was entitled: Abuse & Neglect/Sex Abuse.
We knew this would be a hard topic to begin with but we weren't deterred by it, like I said we just want to get as much information as possible.
Here are some interesting statistics: Reasons Kids Come Into Foster Care
We were forced to talk openly about slang words for body parts and the degrees of impact of different levels of sex abuse on a child and these were VERY specific and did not even include actual sex.
The class was not uncomfortable for me and I think that is because I knew that the purpose of the class was to educate and inform, as well as desensitize us. When a child feels he/she can trust you and starts to tell you about his/her abuse this class is supposed to help so that the caregiver doesn't freak out and remains calm, never prompting the child but asking if they would like to tell you more.
Last night's class was a follow up to Monday and was all about the developmental effects of neglect/abuse on a child's social, emotional, physical and cognitive progress.
To lighten this discussion up a bit I would like to tell you about a man in our class. Since leaving school I have been a bit down and I have been missing the classroom setting. This man reminded me of the really blogworthy contents of a classroom. He comments ALL THE TIME. He debates national statistics. He qualifies every question he asks with a rambling narrative. He raises his hand during EVERY discussion period. His wife never, ever says a word. Interesting dynamic. A lady that we sit next to informed me last night that this man spear headed a discussion on one of the first nights about wether or not foster care or birth parents should pay for a bicycle for a foster child. What?
Our first discussion last night was about developmental milestones for children 0-18. The challenge was that if we could predict the age that each milestone is reached in most (70%) of the population in North America we could go home and we could consider that class passed. The first questions had to do with being fully potty trained, when a child learns to walk, and that sort of thing. Of course we didn't get the answers right and we were in for the long haul (4 hours). So after question number 2 when our fate was decided and we would have to stay for the full class period the teacher starts trying to blaze through and give us the answers to the questions. This man decides he needs to debate about it. Why? For the love of free time and nights spent at home, why doesn't he shut his yap? Half way through a girl near me raises her hand and says, "How about we just learn the ages for the milestones without debating them so that we can move on?" Hello yappy man in the front, she was talking to you!
I feel for teachers in this instance. Has there ever been a class in all of history where there wasn't one of these people? Where you could actually have an enjoyable teaching/learning experience without the interference of the know it all? I know you all know what I am talking about because we all sit in Sunday School once a week and I am betting you have a very clear picture in your head of the person in your class who fits the above description. I may be a lot of things, but a know it all, class yapper I am not.