Question for those with kids in Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)/Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placements - Summer

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nvts, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Sorry I've been so "amongst the missing" contingent! I've mostly been kicking around the ECZ Forum because time is constantly fleeting (who's isn't? lol!).

    Anyway, I have a question about planning the summer when you have a child in RTFs or RTCs. difficult child 1 is currently in a psychiatric hospital and will be put in an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) after they/we have decided an an appropriate placement. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what to do for the other difficult child's throughout the course of the summer.

    As it stands right now, I travel about 2 hours every Saturday each way (total 4 hours) and visit with him for about 3 hours. Saturdays are shot. Sunday is baseball with difficult child 2 for about 3.5 hours (incl. travel time). I was thinking that at the end of the summer, I'd possibly take all of them (except Evie, she'd stay with my sister) white water rafting down the Delaware River with a campout. How do you suggest I handle the arragements with difficult child 1. I'm not wanting to make this placement punative - I want it to be presented to him as beneficial.

    As side note: I had another neuropsychologist done and in 3 years time his IQ has dropped 20 points. But the debate between OMRDD/OMH is still raging. Gotta love the mental health systems in NY!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    How involved is sDH? If he does the standard, every other weekend thing, then can you visit difficult child 1 on the weekends that husband has the others and he can visit on the weekends that you have the other children? At 11, I would assume the goal is return home?? do the other kids visit him at all? will they?
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    This is said with a mountain of 20/20 hindsight. You are absolutely allowed to have a weekend (or 10) off. It is unfair to *you* as well as your other kids to put everything on hold 1 day per weekend indefinitely.

    thank you's first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was an hour away (if there was absolutely no traffic, which is rare in Chicago, so realistically it could be anywhere from a 1.5-hour drive to one particularly unforgettable 4-hour drive). We went, as a family, every single weekend for the first 3 years he was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (age 9-12). If I had to do it over? I wouldn't. Life should go on, Beth. For you and for your other kids. I remember the need to see thank you and to be with him and to make sure he understood that we would *always* be there for him, but the cost to the other kids was really quite huge. There was absolutely no balance in our family life. Even with thank you *not* living here, his circumstances were still dictating what we could and couldn't do.

    (Wow - talk about a slap upside the head - I never realized that I guess I have a *lot* of resentment about those trips, LOL. But... there it is.)

    By the time he got to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #3 (was I think 13 or 14 then?), I went when I felt like it. Kids went when they felt like it. We did a lot more tag-team parenting in terms of visits. And I can honestly say that after choosing not to go a couple of times, the guilt went away.

    I think you're allowed to not go *one* weekend, and how you choose to explain it to difficult child is up to you. Either tell him you're going camping or tell him you've got stuff you have to do and you can't make it. You are allowed.

    Not visiting every weekend does *not* make Residential Treatment Center (RTC) punitive.

    Again, said with a lot of years between me and those weekend visits.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    They will have things for him to do and he will soon see that many kids do NOT have visitors each week. You are totally NOT required to see him every week. Wiz was in a psychiatric hospital for 4 months and I went several times a week for various things. husband went when he could, mostly on weekends but a few times during the week when my mom and/or dad had promised to go and then changed their mind - if he was promised a visit we did not want to leave him sitting there waiting with no one coming.

    Take at least one weekend a month and do not go. Both you and the kids NEED this. Taking the other kids camping is NOT punitive. It is realizing that difficult children needs cannot control the rest of the family all the time. That is life, not punishment.