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  #1  
Old 01-11-2017, 07:33 AM
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Default How To Detach?

I have been a caregiver in my home for 7 years and I am starting to realize that I desperately need to detach from the kids in my care. I am not sure if it is possible but it would greatly reduce my stress.

For example if I suspect a developmental delay that needs to be addressed and I bring it up to parents and nothing gets done, how do I keep doing my job effectively? How do I let go of the worry or the feelings of hopelessness about the situation and ignore the problem like the parents are doing? I hate that I am more stressed than the parents are. I hate that sometimes I spend my free time researching symptoms etc. I really just want to let it go and not care. Let go of the pressure I feel to be the childs advocate.

I think I have asked this question before but I am terrible at it and need more advice!
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I have been a caregiver in my home for 7 years and I am starting to realize that I desperately need to detach from the kids in my care. I am not sure if it is possible but it would greatly reduce my stress.

For example if I suspect a developmental delay that needs to be addressed and I bring it up to parents and nothing gets done, how do I keep doing my job effectively? How do I let go of the worry or the feelings of hopelessness about the situation and ignore the problem like the parents are doing? I hate that I am more stressed than the parents are. I hate that sometimes I spend my free time researching symptoms etc. I really just want to let it go and not care. Let go of the pressure I feel to be the childs advocate.

I think I have asked this question before but I am terrible at it and need more advice!
This is me.

I love them while they are here but they aren't my kids.
I am not attached to them and I don't "mourn" them when they leave or age out.

I have a very clear divide in regards to what things/issues I will stress/focus on and what I won't. The black and white thought process is what keeps me in business, keeps me from having common issues other providers have.

I can give you advice or suggestions on what I would do in certain situations but I don't know if that is what you are looking for or not.

I don't know how to explain my approach without sounding cold and uncaring. I am neither but I am both.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:03 AM
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I bring up my concerns. I provide summaries of what I see in group care. I supply developmental evaluations that share similar conclusions. Then I leave it to the parent. If it upsets my day/care of the other children, then I address each behavior as an individual, not another set of symptoms to push on the parent. Jr's difficulty with transitions might be related to a developmental disability but that's not how it's going down on my behavioral intervention to parents. His hitting? Same. His lack of language skills? Same.

IMHO- most are in complete denial. It's a hard thing to hear, it's harder to have it on paper and be real. Until they do the eval, until they hear it from a professional, it will always be less real.

I don't work after work anymore. You shouldn't either. It's conditioning. You go to look up symptoms on a Saturday morning. STOP YOURSELF and say "This is work. I am not at work right now."


I love my kids. They aren't MY KIDS. Once I set that frame work into my mind, I do just MY job, not the parents. MY job is to provide the best possible care while they are with me. Worrying after hours? That's a parent job.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:48 AM
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It takes time.
Keep telling yourself that you've done your job.
You can't do their job too.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:39 AM
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I don't know exactly how to detach but as someone becoming a foster parent and DCP, I look at it this way:

If not you, then someone else. And someone else may not do as great of a job. At least with you, you're giving that child the best care possible and should be proud of that.

I guess my post isn't necessarily answering your question but more less saying it's ok to be attached. It's a matter of how to handle the stress of the powerlessness that comes with it... Maybe reminding yourself that you've done everything you can will reduce some of the stress? Take another step or two so you feel fulfilled/complete in the extra duties you perceive that you have?

I think being able to become attached to children is what makes a provider extra special. Unfortunately, it comes at the price of weighing on the provider mentally and emotionally at times I guess I view it as a sacrifice that some people make, not always by choice, but because that's their personality.

This reminds me of when people say they couldn't do foster care b/c they would 'get too attached.' It's considered an insult to many foster parents b/c it implies a foster parent doesn't get attached when in reality, a lot of them do get attached and could never imagine not getting attached to the little people in their lives.

ETA: I think it's great that you care so much for the kids in your care!!! But at times, we need to take a step back to care for ourselves and put ourselves first. Some people wear themselves too thin trying to always help and care for others. If you think that's the case, don't be afraid to do whatever you need to so you can be at your best going forward!
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:49 AM
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I'm guilty of saying that, not because I don't think others don't get attached, just that I'll not be able to move past the heartache. I will stop saying it though. Thank you for opening my eyes to my mistake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
I don't know exactly how to detach but as someone becoming a foster parent and DCP, I look at it this way:

If not you, then someone else. And someone else may not do as great of a job. At least with you, you're giving that child the best care possible and should be proud of that.

I guess my post isn't necessarily answering your question but more less saying it's ok to be attached. It's a matter of how to handle the stress of the powerlessness that comes with it... Maybe reminding yourself that you've done everything you can will reduce some of the stress? Take another step or two so you feel fulfilled/complete in the extra duties you perceive that you have?

I think being able to become attached to children is what makes a provider extra special. Unfortunately, it comes at the price of weighing on the provider mentally and emotionally at times I guess I view it as a sacrifice that some people make, not always by choice, but because that's their personality.

This reminds me of when people say they couldn't do foster care b/c they would 'get too attached.' It's considered an insult to many foster parents b/c it implies a foster parent doesn't get attached when in reality, a lot of them do get attached and could never imagine not getting attached to the little people in their lives.

ETA: I think it's great that you care so much for the kids in your care!!! But at times, we need to take a step back to care for ourselves and put ourselves first. Some people wear themselves too thin trying to always help and care for others. If you think that's the case, don't be afraid to do whatever you need to so you can be at your best going forward!
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:35 PM
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Thank you all so much for weighing in! I have gotten some great tips so far. I think dealing with the childs behavior and not as a symptom of sleep deprivation and trying to change that is a good approach for sure. I did this on Monday and it helped. Usually I would let the child sleep for 5 hours to help the child but that is no longer working for my program and it just makes me angry at the parent for bringing their chikd to me like that.

I know logically how to detach and I really do try. I catch myself all the time and try to redirect but inevitably it always rears up and takes over. I think I need better coping skills than just mind over matter. I just downloaded a book because I really need help! Haha! I think there is a big problem when I care more about a child than I do about my own mental health. I know that I am getting these kids over and over for a reason and I think its because I need to learn to detach. When I worked in a centre I didn't see so many children with special needs that weren't already assessed and in some sort of treatment or program so this is all new to me.

Thank you all so much and feel free to keep commenting, every little bit will help
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
I think being able to become attached to children is what makes a provider extra special. Unfortunately, it comes at the price of weighing on the provider mentally and emotionally at times I guess I view it as a sacrifice that some people make, not always by choice, but because that's their personality.
I guess I am not what you'd consider an extra special provider then.

As a child that grew up with foster kids in my home, my experiences are different for sure.

This is a perfect example of how someone can't be everything to everyone but can be everything to someone those that wants/needs what you have to offer.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by laundrymom View Post
I'm guilty of saying that, not because I don't think others don't get attached, just that I'll not be able to move past the heartache. I will stop saying it though. Thank you for opening my eyes to my mistake.
I personally don't get offended by it but I've heard other foster parents say it bugs them. No worries! I think a lot of people say it for the same reason you do, moving past the heartache.

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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I guess I am not what you'd consider an extra special provider then.
I didn't mean to imply that providers who can detach aren't special at all Just that becoming attached can be a good thing. One of several qualities that sets a great provider apart from others. I hope that makes sense!
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2017, 01:18 PM
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I didn't mean to imply that providers who can detach aren't special at all Just that becoming attached can be a good thing. One of several qualities that sets a great provider apart from others. I hope that makes sense!
I "think" I know what you are trying to say but that ^^ made it worse.

One of several qualities I don't have so I am not a great provider either.


I think a provider that grows attached to children in her/his care CAN be a positive thing IF that is a quality YOU (general you as a parent) that wants that type of bonding.

I've had families leave because they didn't like the bond their child created with me. It caused jealous feelings and insecurities about their parenting skills so attachment to children enrolled isn't something everyone wants or values.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:21 PM
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@MAX I'm just giving you a hard time ya know...

I am RARELY offended by anything.
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2017, 01:46 PM
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I think it is ok to attach...up to a point. We care about the kids but it shouldn't be all consuming or something that keeps us up at night. I should love the kids but not more than my own kids or my own sanity.

A healthy attachment is what my goal is. I can let go when it calls for it without emotions. Detachment by definition is being able to observe life without emotion or with the abilith to control emotion.

I had an experience last year where a parent made me feel insane. I never ever want to go through that again. In the end she was the crazy one but I allowed my feelings to get too wrapped up in the situation and as weird as it sounds I feel like I was traumatized by the experience. Time to change
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:03 PM
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I guess I'm not one of the great ones either.

I have no problem saying goodbye when it's a child's time to leave my program. I also have no problem making it clear what I view is a parental responsibility and not my job (although this came with experience, time and practice).

Don't get me wrong, I love that I'm a part of each of my little's lives, if even for a brief time. I enjoy that time while it's here.
But, I'm not their parent. I'm not their aunt. I'm not any part of their family that will keep me tied to them for life. I'm paid to care for them while I have them. And that's ok with me.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:39 PM
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I guess I'm not one of the great ones either.

I have no problem saying goodbye when it's a child's time to leave my program. I also have no problem making it clear what I view is a parental responsibility and not my job (although this came with experience, time and practice).

Don't get me wrong, I love that I'm a part of each of my little's lives, if even for a brief time. I enjoy that time while it's here.
But, I'm not their parent. I'm not their aunt. I'm not any part of their family that will keep me tied to them for life. I'm paid to care for them while I have them. And that's ok with me.
See this part I have no issues with. They leave, they terminate, I terminate, no big deal. The part I have a hard time detaching from is when I see a child who needs serious help and the parents are in denial. My heart just breaks for these kids and no matter what I say they are just.not.interested. in getting the help for their kids. The only way I can detach is to terminate but I keep terminating over and over and it is bothering me.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:51 PM
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I can give you advice or suggestions on what I would do in certain situations but I don't know if that is what you are looking for or not.
I would love your input! Do you mind if I PM you?
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:58 PM
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I would love your input! Do you mind if I PM you?
Feel free! I'm in the car on the road (I'm a passenger.....I'm not driving...lol! ) but can't type lots on my phone (too old for tiny screens ) so I will reply first thing in the morning!
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:06 PM
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Feel free! I'm in the car on the road (I'm a passenger.....I'm not driving...lol! ) but can't type lots on my phone (too old for tiny screens ) so I will reply first thing in the morning!
Thank you! I already sent the PM

Take your time, great minds need time .
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I "think" I know what you are trying to say but that ^^ made it worse.

One of several qualities I don't have so I am not a great provider either.


I think a provider that grows attached to children in her/his care CAN be a positive thing IF that is a quality YOU (general you as a parent) that wants that type of bonding.

I've had families leave because they didn't like the bond their child created with me. It caused jealous feelings and insecurities about their parenting skills so attachment to children enrolled isn't something everyone wants or values.
I meant there are many different things that make providers great, I didn't mean to imply you have to have all of a certain set of qualities to be great For ex, I think being clean and organized can be another quality that sets a great provider apart.

You're absolutely right that it depends on the parents! I loved that my child got attached to my DCP so I forget that some parents wouldn't like that
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:53 AM
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@MAX I'm just giving you a hard time ya know...

I am RARELY offended by anything.
hahaha ok good! I wasn't too sure at first
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:03 AM
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hahaha ok good! I wasn't too sure at first
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:37 AM
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I've done this for just over 4 years now, I volunteered in the church nursery prior to that, and did caregiving for Seniors in their homes before that. My MIL suffered brain trauma from a car accident and I provided care for her for several years. I have always been able to stay detached.

In my position here, I care about them, I love them to a point, I want them to succeed- but this is business. I put a lot of myself into their care each day, I tolerate their parent's issues and inconsideration at times (within reason, of course) but when it comes down to it, if the money stopped- their presence in my life would also stop. That's how I see it.

I'm not their Mom and no matter what raving reviews their parents may give their friends/ family- I am still their "sitter" or their "child care provider" when it comes down to it. I actually love the fact that I can be in their lives and care for them each day without any of the bigger responsibilities or expense of raising them lol...and, I look forward to the day they move up with all of their knowledge and independence and I welcome a new little one (and a new set of parents with new issues and inconsiderations.. lol) into my home.

Just my two cents!
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Old 01-14-2017, 03:26 AM
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It's hard. One of the most difficult parts of this job I think. Especially when you see there could be a problem and the parents are in denial, don't want to make the effort, are scared, etc. What would they do if their child's doctor made suggestions? Wouldn't they follow up on it? If not, and considering how much help their child needs, should the state(or someone else) step in? It's just hard.
I guess in a situation like yours, I'd care for them the very best I could and if it wasn't enough, I'd tell them why and end the business relationship.

The detaching I find the most difficult is when they age out, move onto preschool or when the parents plain and simple take them out, and we've always had a great relationship. I know it happens but that's the tough thing for me to take.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:24 PM
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I think a lot of this is the nature of the job. We care and we care a lot. (to much sometimes)
I think we learn to separate our selves through experience. I have been doing dc for nearly 11 years and I think I still try to much. Luckily I can "turn it off " during my off time.
There have been plenty of times that advice/ opinions fell on deaf ears.
When kids leave my care its hard, I connect differently with each kid. Some are harder to let go of than others.
Don't be to hard on yourself. Just try and give yourself a break!
Deb
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:33 AM
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Speaking as the parent of a child who's been in family day care, I don't think it's a great thing for a provider to get extremely attached. Obviously, a burned-out provider who's phoning it in is worse, and we've been there. Seeing one of my daughter's providers do it the right way and one do it the wrong way sent me into this profession. I want the provider to be outstanding at the job: attentive, well-trained, and compassionate. But too much emotional involvement would make me feel uncomfortable, I think. As a parent, I'd feel like the provider's objectivity was compromised.
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:00 AM
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Pestle I don't think I am attached to the child as much as to the outcome for that child if that makes sense. I had a chid in my care who had ASD but the mom was in denial. He was developmentally so behind and I desperately wanted her to take him for an evaluation. This went on for months until I finally decided to term. I just couldn't watch him suffering anymore. My current DCG needs to see an SLP but so far the parents are resisting. It just happens time and time again....another child I had to term turned out to be deaf and the parents were in deep denial about something being wrong. It just makes me angry for the kids. That is why I need to let go.

This isn't about caring too much for kids and not wanting them to go to kinder. To be honest I am quite detached in that way. It is the duty I feel to get kids the help they need when there are delays thats cause me so much stress. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one in their lives advocating for them and that feels like a lot of pressure.

I have made some changes and my daughter is heading off to preschool. I think that will help my stress and my ability to ignore the developmental delays more since I won't be relying on these kids to be my childs playmates.
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:02 AM
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I think that although every situation is different, at times terming the families can be in the child best interest because the next person they go to will raise the same concerns and maybe after the parents hear from enough people they will finally get the help the child needs.
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