Friday, May 18, 2012

How much help is too much help?

I try my best to support Primo's parents in any way I can.  I like them.  So, when holidays and special celebration days roll around I buy them gifts. Usually these gifts are small gifts with personal meaning, baby hand prints, photos etc.

I know that there is something Primo's parents need.  They have talked about it, and how much easier it would make their visits with the kids.  I know that they could purchase what they need for under $20.

I am tempted to buy them the item they need and want.  But, part of me would like to see Primo's parents take the initiative to buy what they need for their children.  If they really needed it they would get it themselves, right?


  1. If they really NEED the item - yes, they should be the ones to buy it.
    However, if the item is part want, it might be harder for them to see a need for it. And if their financial situation is tight, I could see why they would put off making the purchase.
    It looks like this decision is based on subtleties that only you know. Is it in Primo's best interest to get the item? If so, then maybe you could buy it for Primo and have it available for them to use at the visits but it would stay with Primo when he leaves the visit????

    1. If Primo goes home to his parents they will need this item for him. I already provide this item for visits along with toys and food and everything else Primo needs for visits. They don't like the type of this item that I provide, for very practical reasons, but it is the one I bought for foster care in general before we had Primo, so it is what I use for him.

      I guess the reality of the situations is that they continue to complain about the item I provide for their use, which makes me less likely to replace said item especially when they could get there own for $20. If that makes sense? It feels a bit like giving in to my children when they complain about something that they are capable of handling themselves.

    2. I was about to reply that I usually do things like this because I am a sucker, but if they are complaining...and that is what has you hesitating to provide it for them, then forget about it.

      Im so nosy, now I want to know what this 20.00 elephant-in-the-room is, haha!

    3. I am always a sucker for helping Primo's parents out, but I guess I've come to the place of wanting them to help themselves this time.

      I guess I can let you in on the secret (I am most paranoid of anyone I know finding my blog), it is a stroller. I have the standard large compfy suburban type stroller that I have always used for my kids. Primo's parents want an umbrella stroller, small, light and compact for use in the city.

      I really am very close to buying one, I'm way to codependent to hold out much longer.

    4. Personally, I don't think you should buy them the stroller.

      It's really, really hard to let go like that. I know that I want the absolute best for the kids in my care. I can tell you do too!

      But overall, I think it's best when we let the bio parents provide for as much as possible. It's going to be their job to provide for all his needs if he goes home. They need to figure this out as soon as possible. If you buy the stroller for them it's just delaying the learning of that lesson.

      My Pumpkin starts overnight visits tonight. Part of me wants to send clothes, personal care items, toys, etc. But I'm not going to. CPS told me to send nothing. (I am sending diapers because they come from Medicaid and I want Pumpkin to have diapers that fit.) It's going to be hard for me to drop her off tonight with nothing in hand. But I have to. It's up to her mom to either step up and provide or prove that she can't/won't.

      I know it's just a stroller for Primo. But I still don't think I'd buy one for them. It's a slippery slope that can only become more problematic if they think they can get more out of you. They need to spend their own money and start providing if they're going to get this little guy back.

    5. You are so right, thanks for talking me out of buying the stroller.

      I cannot imagine how you must feel sending nothing but diapers for Pumpkin, that is hard. But it is true that parents need to learn to plan ahead and put their children's needs before their own.

      Thanks for the support.

  2. I'm not sure what their financial situation is. For our kids, their mom (the only parent really in the picture) was not employed, but regularly purchased cigarettes, name brand shoes and clothing for the kids, ate out during almost every visit, etc. Just a lot of really unnecessary spending. So if she would have needed something that cost $20, I would have said no way jose! No idea where all that money was coming from, but clearly she had enough to purchase all of these extras.

    I think the parents should buy it. Especially since it is a "want"; you already provide one for them to use during visits. If they let a $20 item keep their child from coming home to them (if it would come to reunification) then that is very sad for them. I'd just say "Sorry you don't like the ___ I bought for Primo. You can buy a different kind to keep with you at ____ for $20."

    1. I don't really know the financial situation although I think it is tight. I think the next time they bring up the stroller I will let them know where they can get one for $20, if I can hold out and not buy it myself.

      I am a bit torn because if Primo does go home to them I want him to have everything he needs to be comfortable and safe. This would probably result in the renting a truck to deliver all of the things I want Primo to have to his parents home!

  3. I'm coming to this story late in the game. Did you buy it? ;) If it were me, I would want to purchase it. I would have inner dialogue about it all the time, lol. But the truth of the matter is Primo is their child and if they want to raise him, there will be larger obstacles than a stroller he will soon outgrow. Do they have a carseat, crib, highchair, etc?
    My husband and I are awaiting our license, so it's great for me to read stories like this. I'm a sucker sometimes.