husband & I have struggled with our visits...

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
with wm. Something to do that isn't all about spending money or non stop activity (chaos). Attachment therapist wants there to be "low level" visits with activities such as playing ball, bike riding & just a game of cards. Human contact with husband & myself with-o the price tag. This is supposed to be about bonding/attachment or at the very least, a respectful loving relationship.

wm struggles with this - for him a visit from mom & dad = Disneyland. If it isn't a gift/or expensive outing he has no interest. We owe him because he isn't living here. (And it's all kt's fault - she's not supposed to live here; she's supposed to be in a group home. It's his turn to be home.)

Foster mum told husband yesterday that wm gets more outings than any other difficult child in the home from husband & myself with add'l outings & visits from Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) therapist & his assistant. Foster mum & group home staff feels that wm isn't living the real world because of some of these outings. Additionally, some of these outings are becoming disruptive for this setting. (Parental visits are always accepted) Staff are working on visit ideas that do not involve that Disneyland mentality for wm.

:warrior: moms, have you any ideas?

wm's placement is not a punishment - it's a reality of his actions & behaviors in the home setting.


Well-Known Member
Oh dear, I hear you! I understand the concept but you're right... it's not reality. How long are these Disney visits supposed to go on b4 you are supposed to assert your parental position again? What does the counselor say during Wm's visits? Has anyone--an authority figure--told him to cut out the Blame Game? Our child psychiatric works on that a lot.
I have no advice... just sympathy. Wish I could help.


Well-Known Member
The park
The community pool
Picnic with a read aloud book
Pick up games of basketball
Trip to the library
Out for ice cream


Well-Known Member
This was always a problem when Cory was in placement. We also didnt want to reward him for getting his tail there in the first place while the others were home doing what they were supposed to be doing and not getting rewarded!

We did some walking around the mall without buying anything if it was too hot to be outside. We occasionally went to a movie, we sometimes picked up Mcdonalds and ate it at the park, fishing was always a hit, he loved to go to the bookstore and pick out books, gosh...I cant even remember all we did to be honest..sometimes we just went up and hung around the house with him. It is very hard to just visit.


Well-Known Member
So much depends on his personality that I hesitate to make any
suggestions. My GFGmom was so hyper that it was hard to take her
"out" anywhere with-o getting really tense. I always kept track of
community events (art festivals, music concerts, high school or college parades) and then, of course, since we lived in Greater
Miami I knew a few appropriate beach sites where we did early
morning breakfasts or early evening picnic dinners. Depending on
her pattern of behaviors at the time, I would choose what seemed
like the best activity choice. DDD


Active Member
Can you get a model car or airplane that you bring back and forth and you all can work on it together during each visit? It's a one time expense, but lots of hours to put together and if you bring it with you each time, you won't risk him damaging it.


Well-Known Member
loth had a good idea.

Or how about a puzzle that you could roll up in one of those things and take back and forth? My therapist keeps a puzzle going in her office and she wraps it up between patients. I dont know how easy it would be to transport but it could be done.


New Member
The puzzle idea seems great! M likes puzzles and legos and things like that. He's also a HUGE board game addict. Our psychiatric hospital visits were always consumed with playing board games.

I don't know too much about how wm thinks or if this would be counterproductive to the weaning off of the "disneyland" mentality or not...but what if wm could somehow "earn" a special outting here and there? That way, he'll know that EVERY visit is not "disneyland," but once he's earned one with you, he'll know when to expect it. ??? Just a thought.


Active Member
I like Alison's idea....that sounds good.

Museums were always a favorite of my difficult child until just recently. The Science Museum, or Natural History Museum where there are lots of hands on types of activities always kept his interest. I would not consider that too "disneyland like" - but maybe foster mum would disagree.

Also maybe hiking....or swimming or wading in a river where he can catch tadpoles, etc - anything out of doors.


Roll With It
Am I understanding that the foster mom is upset about the therapist visits? This is therapy, treatment and should not be optional whether or not the other kids have tdocs that visit. Why are the therapist visits contributing to the "disneyland" mentality? Wm probably has more problems than some of the other kids in the home. He may need more visits.

I think park outings and changing the tone of your visits may be good, but am not sure why the therapist visits are part of the problem. And am a bit disturbed by the attitude that they might be? Not sure if I explained my disturbance well.

Hope all goes well, you worked so hard to find a good foster home.

I do think it may be necessary to explain to Wm that you are not "taking turns" with having one kid home then the other home. That Wm's behavior is why wm is in a foster home, not why kt is at home, in psychiatric hospital, in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), or on the moon for that matter.




got any photo albums of him when he was younger, perhaps reminiscing about good times might warm him up?

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Others have given great ideas. Any baseball teams in the area that aren't professional-watching a game might be fun. I love the pool idea but that would depend on wm. My difficult child loves it and it can be such a good tension reliever for both him and me. I can totally relate to his attitude about wanting it to be "Disneyland". My difficult child is that way about a lot of things and that's with him being home with us 24/7. Hugs.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Nature hikes can be fun, board games, water guns. (yest I played waterguns with my kids lol ) Working on a scrap book of wm for wm might be a great project. You could start it with pics of him younger and then add to it together during the visits. (sort of re-enforces the family theme) Gardening might be fun depending on his interests. Our theatre offers free movies in the summer. My kids have always loved them. Model cars planes and such many boys like.

Personally I like the fishing idea. I took my kids fishing alot. husband hates to fish lol. Great for just relaxing and talking about nothing important or the most important things that come to mind. My kids also enjoyed feeding the ducks after they fished. And a simple picnic of homemade goodies.


New Member
I tried video games with mine. Its expensive for the system at first, but then he can play it in the house with the other difficult children and foster fam and then when you and husband come, he can show you how to play and you can play with him. While I don't enjoy these games, it means a lot to my kids if I take interest in what they enjoy. We even do Dance Dance Revolution together and I work up a good sweat. Does he enjoy Yu-Gi-Oh cards? That is an interesting game to learn and lots of strategy. Will keep you busy learning and playing.

Regular card games are great too, although don't read my post on my UNO experience tonight. : )

I'm not sure what the area is like where he is, but what about exploring in the woods? It gets him out of the house, works off some energy etc.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Thanks ladies, I'm going to print this thread out for future use. We've tried many of these ideas & there are many others that we haven't.

As to the therapist sessions - foster mum knows this is a MUST. However, it does tend to disrupt things - the other difficult children get a bit anxious & envious of wm. He is the only child there who still have regular contact with his parents. He is the only child there who have parents who are truly invested in him. The other difficult children struggle because wm truly doesn't appreciate it. In fact, they get angry with wm.

Foster mum would never stop the sessions - she's searching for ways to get her other difficult children to chill & for wm to learn to appreciate the contacts he still has.


Well-Known Member

In many of Corys placements he was the only kid there who was not in DSS custody and still had active parental involvement. It confused not only the other kids but the "caretakers" a time or two as well.

I had to balance visiting with Cory and not making the other kids feel like they didnt have anyone. I often felt bad for them. Many times I came loaded with treats for the whole house. I saw Cory every week and it was obvious no one ever visited those other boys.