Foster Cares Foundation

Foster Cares Foundation The Foster Cares Foundation, Inc. is a woman owned, organization that gives college scholorships, free clothes, books , computers..etc to children in the foster care system.

Please mail donations to: 13820 Vintage Lane Silver Spring, MD 20906


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Rudeness and Disrespect: How Kids Try to Defuse It

Rudeness and Disrespect: How Kids Try to "Defuse" It
by James Lehman, MSW

“I was just kidding! Can’t you take a joke?” If your child gives you this excuse after he’s said or done something rude, it might leave you feeling frustrated and unsure of how to handle the situation. Later, you might question yourself when he says, “But I didn’t mean it that way.” In this article, James Lehman explains why disrespect and inappropriate behavior are really nothing to laugh at—no matter what the excuse.

“But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter to you why he does it. That’s like saying, 'He lies because he’s afraid.' That doesn’t matter; it’s an excuse.”
We all know that a sense of humor is vital. Kids learn humor from their parents, their peers, their teachers, and from T.V. They absorb it and take it all in and then they experiment. One of the things with which they experiment is how they talk to their parents. When they’re feeling hostile, lonely, depressed, or upset, one of the things they try to do is give a smart answer or sarcastic joke. There’s so much of this type of behavior on T.V. One guy says something and the other guy gives a rude response. It’s very much a part of our culture. Kids learn to mimic that kind of communication from an early age because they think it’s cool.

Kids also have peers around them using sarcastic and mean language. They pick up on that because they’re afraid that they’re going to be the next target. Often, children manage by using that humor themselves. It’s similar to a child who’s afraid of being bullied—so he becomes a bully himself. Much of this reaction and attitude is fear-based. I personally think it’s good for parents to adopt a philosophy of, “This is our home and this is the way we talk to each other. I don’t care what your friends said at school. I don’t care what your brother said in the parking lot. I’m telling you, in this home, this is how we talk to each other.” Lay that out for your kids so they understand that there’s an “inside” and an “outside.” Kids often don’t really comprehend the concept of there being an inside, which is your home, and an outside, which is the world. I think you can explain this to your child by saying, “When you’re inside, you have to follow certain rules and expectations. That’s your responsibility. If not, there will be consequences. If you’re outside, and you get yourself into trouble, then we’ll deal with that when the time comes. But at home, this is the way you need to act.”

How to Respond to: “I Was Just Kidding!”
When your child responds to your reprimand or someone being upset with “I was just kidding,” I think you should say, “What you’re saying is hurtful. I need you to stop.” If he doesn’t stop, give him a consequence. I think an effective one is to take away two hours of phone or computer time (or whatever it is your child values) and build up from there. You can set it up by saying, “If you’re able to talk in a nice way to people for the next two hours, you get your phone back.”

If your child lies and then says, “I was kidding,” you can say, “Well, you’re going to get consequences for that lie. Don’t kid about the truth.”

Young Kids:
When your child is young, up until the age of six or so, you can just correct them when they’re joking in an inappropriate way. The kind of thing you would say to a young child is, “We don’t joke by saying hurtful things. And that was hurtful.” If your child says it again, you should go ahead and give him a consequence. If your younger child uses a curse word, I also teach parents to say, “That’s a hurtful word. Don’t say it.” That way, you’re setting those limits and training him from an early age.

When kids are in early adolescence, they may develop a much more challenging way of talking to you. At that age, they’re testing adult authority and they’re pushing limits. One of the ways they push the limits is through speech. Simply put, they want to see what they can get away with. I think parents have to be very, very responsive to that. If you let your child get away with a hurtful remark once, even if they’re “joking,” watch out—it’s much harder to deal with once they turn it into a habit.

I think if your child says something inappropriate and then he says he’s only kidding, you have to make it clear that it’s not going to fly. You can say, “We don’t kid that way. If you say hurtful things when you’re kidding, you’re going to be held responsible for them. There’s no excuse for verbal abuse.”

If you’re not sure if what your child is saying is hurtful, I think you should ask him point blank, “What did you just say?” Speak very seriously, so your child knows you’re listening. If his comment is not way off-color or hurtful, you can say, “Oh, all right, that is funny.” But if it is, I think you should say, “Listen, that’s a hurtful thing to say and it’s not funny. You know what we said about joking in a mean way.” And then give him a consequence.

Is this kind of behavior part of adolescence? Absolutely. So is calling a parent by their first name instead of “Mom” and “Dad.” These are all ways your child tests you and challenges your authority. Personally, I think it’s important to be called “Mom” and “Dad” because that’s your role as a parent. Think of it this way: your child doesn’t know how to relate to Tommy and Betty—he knows how to relate to Mom and Dad. Your title as a parent gives you authority and status. Kids will often try to test the limits by taking away your title, but I think it’s a mistake to go along with that.

“Joking” with Siblings and Others

What if your child hurts siblings’ or other people’s feelings and uses the “I was only joking” excuse? If you overhear your child being hurtful to a sibling or friend, don’t jump in right away unless it’s abusive. Try to see what the conversation is about—find out if the other child is doing the same thing. If the other child is using the same kind of language and tone, I think you have to leave it alone. Later on, you can comment and say, “I heard you and Max playing earlier today and I don’t think the things you were saying were very nice.”

If you find the hurtful joking is a one-way street, with one child being mean or rude and the other taking it, then you should intervene. I think you can pull your child aside, correct him and then say, “What can you say differently instead of saying this?” Hopefully he’ll think of something. If he can’t, suggest something to him. This is so important because it’s exactly what we want—we want our kids to be appropriate the next time they feel that way.

“You Take Everything Too Seriously!”
When you start to crack down on the mean joking in your household, many kids will say something like, “We can’t have fun around here anymore because you take everything too seriously.” I think you should say, “You’re right, I take hurtfulness very seriously. I take disrespect very seriously—and they’re no joking matter.” I think you can continue with, “On the other hand, I’ve heard you come up with jokes that aren’t disrespectful or hurtful, too. I think they’re really funny. Those are the kind of jokes that I accept. But the other ones are hurtful and I really don’t see their place in our family.”

Talk to Your Child about the Difference between Joking and Hurtful Language
I think it’s a good idea to talk to your child about the difference between joking and being hurtful—especially if you’re going to start calling them out on their language. Call them into the room and say, “That was a hurtful way to say what you said, and I don’t like it. Can you think of a different way to say it?”

Also, catch your child when they’re being good. If they make a funny joke, say, “See, that was really funny and appropriate. I really appreciate that.” Whenever you can, catch your child being good.

If you have a child who’s gotten a lot of attention and laughs for being smart alecky and wisecracking in a hurtful way and you want to put a stop to it, I also think you need to talk to them about what they’re doing. Sit down with your child when things are going well—not when there’s a crisis or when he’s angry. If your child is sitting in the living room, sit down next to him. I would tell him that you’ve decided that you find certain things offensive and you want to talk to him about it. And then you say, “The jokes that you make, even though you say you’re only kidding, are really hurtful. And as of today, you have to stop being hurtful and sarcastic to others. If you don’t, you’re going to be held responsible for that.” Give your child room to discuss what you’ve just told him by saying, “Do you have any questions? Would you like an example? Do you understand what I mean?” Give examples. Write some things down ahead of time.

I recommend that whenever you talk with your child, write down what you want to say on an index card in simple sentences so you don’t get distracted. If he’s resistant or explosive, you can say, “All right, well you have no video game privileges until you’re ready to talk about this.” Use the “Stop the Show” technique that I explain in the Total Transformation Program. Don’t give your child an audience for his outburst—just give him a consequence and leave the room.

I know some parents have children with behavioral or social problems who have learned to use humor to deflect or compensate for their lack of social or problem-solving skills. I’ve met many kids like that, and I was that kind of child myself. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter to you why he does it. That’s like saying, “He steals because he doesn’t have anything.” Or, “He lies because he’s afraid.” That doesn’t matter; it’s an excuse. Instead, we stop the behavior. We challenge it, we teach our kids other things, and we eliminate it— with no excuses.

Read more:

I was just kidding! Cant you take a joke? Does your child gives you this excuse after hes said or done something rude or disrespectful?

Project SIS needs your support. Just click here and spread the word. Anti Bullying against Cyber Bullying, Gay rights bu...
A pledge to STOP Bullying in our Schools & Cyber Bullying & Suicidal Bullying.

Project SIS needs your support. Just click here and spread the word. Anti Bullying against Cyber Bullying, Gay rights bullying, and preventing Suicidal bullying. We are not asking for money just your support. We will be meeting with the Governors association to make our campaign International. We are now accepting volunteers as Board members, State Directors, fundraising campaign Directors, Marketing Managers, and school Directors. Most Positions are paid.
This Program is a division of Foster Cares Foundation.

Project SIS Anti Bullying Campaign is enrolling ALL students and schools or join forces to STOP Cyber Bullying and School Bullying. We have lost too many innocent lives to Suicidal Bullying. Stand up for All of the lives that have been taken from Bullying and help save future lives. Our Campaign wi...


Things we learn at Carters to take home and do:
• Saying Please, Thank you, Yes madam and Yes Sir to adults
• No talking with food in my mouth
• Personal body parts stay personal and no one is to touch or see them but mom & dad
• NO pushing, NO hitting, NO screaming, NO standing on furniture, NO running indoors, NO biting
• Eating with my mouth closed and NOT smacking Food outloud.
• NEVER Saying, “I Can’t” Replace with, “I will try!”.
• NO whining, pouting or throwing temper tantrums.
• Always Share.


Guest View: Mentoring foster children is a win-win
By Colby Swettberg

Colby Swettberg, Ed.M, LCSW, is the executive director of Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring. She was recently named a member of the national 2012 class of Angels in Adoption by Sen. John Kerry and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

September 6, 2012

Around this time of year, thousands of young adults who've just turned 18 are getting started with their first year of college. They'll spend the next four (or five or six) years transitioning from late adolescence into early adulthood until they're ready to live on their own.

But turning 18 means something else entirely for many older adolescents who have grown up in foster care. It means they have been fast-tracked to independent living, without many of the supports that youth typically receive from their families of origin and without much of an adjustment period. Statewide there are 8,976 children and young adults in foster care. Nearly 2,000 of them are living in the New Bedford area with about 40 percent between age 12 and 17. Around 500 of these young people are seeking what's called an Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement — a term that applies to youth in foster care ages 16 and over who are trying to establish a "lifelong permanent connection" with an adult who will help them "obtain life skills training and a stable living environment," according to the state Department of Children and Family's fiscal year 2012 second quarterly report.

The immediate future for many youth "aging out" of foster care is bleak. Turning 18 can mean a sudden loss in housing and financial assistance, access to resources, and relationships with caretakers and providers. Left to support themselves, youth who are leaving foster care rarely have the social capital, economic means or skills to make a smooth transition into adulthood. Many of them often lack the basic tools necessary for success such as a high school diploma, a driver's license, work experience or a bank account. Studies show that these young people face disproportionately higher rates of homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, dependence on public assistance, substance abuse and tendency for other high-risk behaviors.

Research sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences tells us that if we can provide young people with the following five resources on a consistent basis, these resources serve as the fundamental building blocks for healthy growth and development:

• Ongoing, nurturing relationships with adults and positive relationships with peers;
• safe and stable places for living, learning, working and playing;
• values, skills, opportunities, and supports that promote optimal physical and mental health;
• educational preparation and economic opportunity; and
• opportunities to make a difference through community service and civic engagement.

This fall, as other 18-year-olds settle into their new dorm living arrangements and look toward a future of continued learning, Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring will invite a new cohort of youth to join our AFC Leaders program that will assist young people aging out of the foster care system. The program will offer mentorship, skill-building workshops, leadership opportunities and individualized support for young people preparing to leave foster care. In a unique twist, it will also give them the opportunity to earn up to $3,000 in a matched savings program as they learn much-needed life skills such as financial literacy, housing, transportation, self-care and career development.

So what can you do to help? Plenty.

Working with a young person in need is a critical step toward helping them avoid a future dotted with homelessness, incarceration and chronic unemployment. Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring has great need for ordinary people willing to make an extraordinary commitment to youth in foster care. If you can be a mentor and dedicate at least eight hours a month over 12 months, then you can make a difference. In the process, two lives can be changed for better: that of the young person being mentored, and yours as well. You just might be surprised at what you learn about yourself in the process.


6200 Montano Plaza Dr NW Apt 611
Albuquerque, NM

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