Friday, September 30, 2011


Whirinaki Child and Adolescent Mental Health

 A couple of weeks ago I took Brylee to Whirinaki to be assessed as her TEACHER and the Educational Psychologist decided that the reason she has struggled to make and maintain friendships was most likely due to her feeling ABANDONED by her birth mother and having very low self esteem.    (I  believe this was to cover the fact that their 'Circle of Friends' was a dismal failure)... anyway I digress....
Yesterday I got a phone call from the Psychologist at Whirinaki to discuss their findings  after assessing Brylee and talking to me at length.
Seems they agree with ME!  That Brylee does not have any issues or bad feelings which might be reflecting on her self esteem due to the circumstances surrounding how she came to be raised by Stew and Me.
They agree that her 'lack of friends' is down to her PERSONALITY more than anything else, and how she needs to learn more social skills and tolerance of others, so she can maintain friendships.
Yep... she needs to learn that in this world it's not ALL ABOUT HER and what SHE WANTS. 
I feel very VINDICATED.... and soooo wish I could say "I told you so" to her teacher.  It was her teacher who got this particular ball rolling in the first place. 

ABOVE:  Today our darling Grey Puppy (Rhino),  leaves us on a plane for Wellington. He's going to a lovely new family of Mum, Dad and two teenage kids (girl and boy)... he is going to be loved to bits.
He has to be at the airport late this afternoon... so might be takeaways for dinner!
ONWARD... I've got 'stuff' to do!

TRACY:  Brylee's school has already done all those 'workshops'... and Brylee was part of them too.  Respectful Friendships and how to be a good friend was one of the main topic in the Senior School for the first half of this year.

I had a family come and look at the pups this morning.  The woman and child LOVED THEM and wanted one right there and then.  The husband?  Not so sure about him.  He spent most of the time here saying negative things about them.  I don't know if it was a ruse or for real.  Either way, he was not that nice.

ANONYMOUS:  fair enough.  BUT I do know my own child, and to be forced into taking her to MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES really pissed me off.  I did not want to give her 'ammunition' to justify her attitude.  And giving NEGATIVE behaviour lots of ATTENTION is NOT the way to go either.  Until you have had 8 kids, encountered almost every crappy behaviour they can throw at you... try giving ME the right to know what I'm talking about.  edit: I am talking about knowing how to deal with MY OWN KIDS HERE.

Brylee's teacher has two kids and has only been teaching for 2 years.  End of.

EMILY:  I tend to agree.

Rhino has gone.  I took him to the airport and stayed with him until they had to take him out the back for loading... it was really hard to part with him!   He was perfectly happy in his travel case though, he even went to sleep.  So I hope he is fine in the plane... he should be just taking off for Wellington now (6.35pm). He is such a cuddly, gentle wee boy, I am going to miss him so much. 

*sigh*  TINA: you are right in one thing, I did NOT call myself an EXPERT in anything.  BUT I did say I knew my OWN kid through and through, and therefore knew MORE ABOUT HER than the so called 'experts'.  And I do know that even though I have/am raising 8 kids does not make me an EXPERT on problems you can encounter with kids.... but I did say I had encountered many behaviours from  MY OWN KIDS... and knew how to deal with them.  MY KIDS.  Not yours, not any one elses.  MINE.   Thank you for your input, I hope it made you feel better today.

End of Day:   in future I will be putting the more 'personal' stuff like today's issue on PEPSI.  Then I won't ever have to justify my feelings... or put up with ANONYMOUS comments.  (you may have put YOUR name?...  but no link eh)
nite nite

TINA/ANONYMOUS:  I did indeed EDIT my blog AFTER your comment!  I did not want anyone else to think I was saying I knew it all about kids and their behaviour!  I wanted to be CLEAR that I was talking about my own children.  I did not think I was being sarcastic?  But then again, maybe I was!  It is my blog and I can put whatever I want on it actually.  You can stop reading it whenever you like.  How about NOW?
I think it is rather sad that you decended into calling me nasty names.  I would like to point out that at NO TIME did I call you anything nasty at all.


  1. Oh Chris, it must be hard to say goodbye to these little treasures. They are all just so perfect.

    Congrats on the news about Brylee, simply said, a Mom knows her kids better than anyone.

  2. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Bye Rhino. Enjoy your new forever family. Probably be pleased to see the backend of Tulip!!
    Mary H

  3. Why CAN'T you say I told you so to the teacher? And can you let me know if you get this comment! :D

  4. Sooo all that psycho babble & they came to the same conclusion as us - there is nothing wrong with the girl apart from the fact that she has a personality that can be difficult for her to make & retain friends - no deep rooted self esteem issues or abandonment issues.

    Like they say, Mother know best.

    Siobhan just did a 6 week course at school called "respectful relationships", it is all about teaching them about friendship & how to make friends, what to do if you have a conflict with friends etc etc, she really enjoyed it & said that she did get quite a bit out of it. I haven't read all the guff she bought home yet (worksheets etc) but maybe you could se if Brylees school do something similar. It was a smallish group and all girls. Like Brylee Siobhan doesn't make friends easily or for long.

  5. Anonymous11:32 AM

    Even tho Brylee doesn't have feelings of abandonment in this regard doesn't mean that those feelings may not play out at other times of her life. You should be PLEASED that there are people out there looking out for Brylee and trying to help rather than not doing anything at all.

  6. Anonymous12:10 PM

    I absolutely agree that you know Brylee well - but sometime family can be too close and emotionally caught up to see other reasons for behaviour. I totally agree that whatever the way forward - you need to reward positive behaviour. I would set up situations that would allow Brylee to have successes (however small) so she can learn the positive/correct ways to interact. It will be a lot of work - but even having having a small success will be teaching her.

  7. Bye Bye Rhino - enjoy your new life with your new family. I hope you will be loved and spoiled. Chris, don't you love it when you are right. I think after raising 8 children you would know how things go. Anyway, you were proven right which is a nice feeling. I think Brylee is better of for having you in her life. Miss Tulip or Miss Bee Bee - if you lived closer I would adopt you. I told Vince the wonderdog I found a new sister for him- unfortunately she is in NZ. Have a good day Martine x

  8. Kudos to you, Chris, on the outcome of Brylee's assessment. I guess it is a good thing that the teacher noticed a problem, but she maybe should have talked to you a bit more before taking things any farther. Mom's do know their kids and they usually know when outside help is needed.

  9. Whoa, you were FORCED to get MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES for Brylee? WTH???? Is there no way out of it, can they really boss parents around that badly there?

    I'm floored. Ok, you're shocked that they can lock kids in closets at school here and I'm shocked they can do this to you there.

    I'm left wishing there were one civilized place on earth, I'm telling ya. Bad stuff all around. :(

  10. It is bizarre to me that they can force that kind of intervention on you (clearly a good mother) but can't do more about this country's appalling child abuse and in fact child homicide rate. Happy Elf Mum - really? Lock kids in closets?

    I'm glad that they agreed with you in the end Chris, and I know what you mean - why make Brylee feel even more different than she probably already does?

  11. Anonymous3:48 PM

    If that family do end up wanting a puppy Chris (and god who could resist they are gorgeous) go with your instinct about the man. If he wasn't nice about them in your home chances are he will be horrid to them in his.

  12. I agree with Emily re the man. That is good advice. Just the thought of him being mean like that in your home freaks me out.

  13. We are all being very very brave saying goodbye to these beautiful puppies. You are very brave Chris. Martine

  14. Oh I am sure he will enjoy his new home as much as Chico does. She has settled in so well and her and Biscuit are getting closer :-)

  15. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Just because you brought/are still bringing up 8 children does not make you an expert. Children are children and go through many different stages and attitudes. I too have brought up 8 children and now I help with my grandchildren and I do not regard myself an expert as you seem to shout out at everyone "I have brought up 8 kids" (not saying you have called yourself an expert but it comes across that you think you are)You are still bringing the children up and things change over the years. Society makes kids have different attitudes today than they did years ago and so sometimes these "younger" experts may just get it right sometimes.


  16. Just to be clear, Chris :) The previous Tina's comment is not mine :).
    Tina /the one who talked about boots inside the house and a lots of other things earlier/

    PS It took me an effort not to have a tear about sending the puppy to an airplain...

  17. FFS, Im sorry, but mum, do not justify your actions or your feelings! We all know you are a fantastic mum and have done the absolute best with what you got dealt with us 8 kids. You are our mum and have done a great job. Dont let other peoples opinion of how they THINK you should be dealing with US kids, make you need to justify yourself. You have RAISED 8 kids! And are grandma to several more, your doing a great job!
    Nuff said.

  18. PS, I have not read any of the comments on this page, I have read your blog and commented.
    I have said my piece, played nicely, and will leave it at that.

  19. Rhino looks adorable and im glad he settled before travelling, When Brylee is a little older and has no friends she will have no one to blame but herself, and such a shame maybe she may find a soulmate friend and who knows ONE best friend is all we need? right. You just keep doing your job as mum, grandma, puppy rearer, wife, volunteer, craft extraordinare, friend, and know that YOU do a fantastic job.

  20. Anonymous9:54 PM

    No-one said you have to justify yourself, I was only saying what I think just like you do about people.
    I said it comes across that you THINK you are an expert.
    You didn't say you knew your own kids.talking about your own kids, you EDITED that bit in AFTER my comment.

    It seems that a lot of people DO NOT like you! You seem to be NASTY and rather sarcastic to people when they are giving their input. if you can dish it out then you should be able to take peoples input instead of using your blog to call people names. (not saying you have called me but the sarcasim comes through like it does when you are commenting back through your blog, why not use your comments to comment back instead of trying to look good on your blog?!

    You are a rude, crude, vulgar, two faced, nasty piece of work

    Tina, and no I dont have to put a link no more than you have to justify yourself.

  21. Hi Chris, I would hate it if you decide to express yourself less on YOUR blog about YOUR kids because of a couple of people who like you say, want to anonymously criticise. You can say and do what you like. I didn't take anything you said about the Brylee situation to mean anything other that you know YOUR kids best and others can go jump in the lake with their judgement (not that you said that, you have been remarkably patient and tolerant in your responses!). You are doing a hard job well. You deserve congratulations, not criticism. It is YOUR blog for YOUR thoughts. Hope you are now chilling out and not letting all this crap get to you. Love to you and the family, Penny xxoo

  22. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Oh! And EXTREMEMLY GREEDY, WOW! are you greedy!!! And no, that isn't a question, that is my input!

    Yes, and this is my comment and I can put what I like on this also.

    I came across your blog today and thought I would read a bit of it...not nice!

    Okay, I do feel better and I have said all I need or want to say, so I have no need to visit your blog again.


  23. Wow Tina... you're a piece of work! How about you do us ALL a favour and leave. In fact, you could do the world a favour and leave the internet all together. Your negativity is TOXIC. I dread to think this is how you teach your children/grandchildren to behave. You are rude, cruel and ignorant.
    For someone who claims to have only discovered this blog today... you have NO IDEA what Chris has gone through... and how wonderful she is to her family, her friends, and total strangers. The world is a better place because of Chris.

    Chris... you don't need negativity in your life, especially from nasty anonymous people who have crawled out from under a rock. You are a fantastic mother and friend. Don't ever doubt that!

  24. OK there are several words that come to mind but I think you have been upset & frustrated enough today so I have just 2 comment:
    1) Amanda I agree with you.
    2) Tina (cos I bet you will keep reading to wallow in the attention) yes Chris edited her comment after you made yours - she put "edited" so not trying to do anything other than clarify her point for those having difficulty with her intention. Those last couple of comments were unnecessary & nasty, something Chris has never been in all the years I have read her blog, despite provocation from various sources.

    Chris, goodnight mate, tomorrow is a new day.

  25. I always felt 'outside the circle' as a kid. I'm pretty much a loner now, lucky I have my wife. Don't need anything else.

  26. We all love you Chris, but some people need to get a bloody life. I can't believe the comment. Rhino will be in his new home gettig lots of cuddles now. You sound like you need a stiff drink. Martine xxxxxxx (and cuddles from Vince the wonderdog)

  27. Okay, I'm a day late on this, but....WOW! Chris, please do not let negative comments from people like Tina get to you. Those of us (and there are a lot of US) that read and follow your blog and "know" you, know that you are a wonderful, caring, funny, and straight-shooting woman and that you are a FANTASTIC mom to your kids and grandkids. This is YOUR started it to journal your feelings, opinions, observations, and goings on in YOUR life. You are graciously allowing us into your life by letting us follow along. I don't get why people think that they have the RIGHT to criticize you on YOUR blog...and to say such nasty, mean things about you. If they don't agree with you or like what you write, then the solution is simple...they don't have to follow and they don't have to comment. Period!

    And I agree with Tracy...people like Tina will probably keep coming back so they can wallow in the attention and keep stirring the pot. She has said that she also raised 8 children and is helping with her grandchildren....well, I sure hope she doesn't let them see the nasty things she writes on other people's blogs...what kind of example would that be setting for them? :o|

    You just keep on being you...we love you just the way you are, girlfriend!



  28. Marie AUSTRALIA1:04 PM

    Well for what it is worth I THINK YOU ARE FANTASTIC!!!!
    Those know-it-all knockers can bugger off. This is YOUR SPACE not theirs.

    Love ya work Chris, you have a lot of admirers here.




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