Thursday, June 21, 2007

What would it take?

I just had a short conversation with Faye.

I ended up asking her what it would take to get more kids to stay in care past their 18th birthdays. What would it take to get her to stay?

"Just let me do whatever I want! Geez, I'm 18. I mean I'm living in your house, but let me do what I want to do. Like Evan does."


Evan does have an enormous amount of freedom. We have given up on assigning him a particular chore. When he is home though we often ask him to do something and he will do it. I tend not to see him, even though it is summer. He gets home late, goes to his room and is on his phone or computer. He then wakes up in time to leave for work at 1:00pm. On his days off he is usually around, likes to spend time chatting with us, and will do whatever chore we ask him to do, although we don't ask him to do much. He picks up after himself, pays his rent, and is polite and considerate.

Sometimes he does go out on dates and we don't ask him for details. Once or twice he has told us that he is going to be gone for the night and I have told him that I appreciate him telling me, that I would probably worry otherwise.

And Faye wants to live just like him.

With a few exceptions of course.

Like she doesn't want to get a job. Her social worker tried to make an appointment with her to help her look for a job and she was outraged. She told her social worker that she was "quite capable of getting a job on her own." She hung up and rolled her eyes. "Did you hear that? Did you hear what she said to me? Help me find a job, like I can't do that. I am capable of finding a job. I can do it. I just don't f**king want to."

She doesn't see how she could possibly find a job. I mean she is only going to live in the place where she is for two months and then she is going to move in with her friend's mom.

I said, "But she isn't licensed. You won't be in comprehensive care. You will have to pay rent."

Faye, "I know."

Me, "So you will have to go to school and work."

Faye, "I know."

I took a deep breath and did not point out her absence of siginificant work history.

But she is convinced. Life will be so much better when she has to go to school full-time, pay most of her own expenses, live with someone who has a restaining order out on her boyfriend, and be able to do whatever she wants.

Faye is being "good." She is not arguing with me or my rules. This should be as easy as any other respite. It is just that I find myself listening to her idiotic plans for the future and desperately wanting to slap some sense into her.


  1. Some days I'm not thrilled about getting older, but when I'm reminded what it was like to be almost 18, I realize that being almost 36 is infinitely better.

    Poor Faye. And poor you. Hang in there.

  2. I truly feel your frustration! But wow Evan is doing a good job of acting like a grown up isn't he?

  3. For a going-away present you could get her one of those t-shirts that say "leave home NOW while you still know everything!"

  4. They sure know everything at that age, don't they.

  5. Unfortunately slapping doesn't induce sense.

    I would tell her she could live exactly like Evan. Get a job, be responsible, stop hanging with dum dums...

  6. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Maybe Evan could put some sense into her? He's "been there, done that." If he gently pointed out to herthat he has a job, yet he knows how hard it would be to pay REAL rent (on his own apartment)in addition to said job AND go to school would it make a difference?


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.