First, the RTC told us we only get three phone calls a week, 10 minutes each between 6-8 pm and we had to pick which three nights we would call. So we picked Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Second, the RTC gives the kids their showers between 6-8 therefore many times we've called and Sissy has not been available.
Third, the RTC says they'll have Sissy either intiate the call or call us back. That's only happened twice and one of those times they dialed our home phone instead of my cell phone (which is listed on her forms as the initial contact number) and we weren't at home to receive the call.
Fourth, the RTC has done a lot of nighttime outings, especially on Sundays so the kids aren't back until after our call time and then hurried straight to showers and beds without phone calls. We switched to Saturdays but have had no success with it over the number of missed calls on Sundays.
Fifth, the RTC changed over their phone lines and there have been many glitches which have made phone calls either problematic or impossible. We missed calling her on her birthday because of it!
Sixth, before placement, Sissy was terrified of the phone so learning to communicate with us by phone has been difficult and that's an understatement. It's never a conversation by definition. In addition, because Sissy is so easily distracted, we spend most of the 10 minutes repeating ourselves 20 times only to hear Sissy say, "HUH?" or "What?" or "I don't know" in response.
Seventh, Sissy never seems to care if we call or not and when we apologize to her for missing other calls because of the phone glitches or outings or time constraints, she just says, "oh. i didn't know" so it feels like we're getting frustrated or imagining her worry and hurt feelings and it's for naught.
Eighth, since I was a little annoyed (ok, I was mad) about Sissy's most recent TL and her behaviors, we've only talked to her once and I'm actually kind of glad for the reprieve even though I still feel obligated and neglectful when I don't talk to her when I'm allowed to. Regardless of all of it, it's still nice to hear her voice.
Ninth, our discussion with the staff about our dissatisfaction about the phone contact hasn't solved any of these issues.
And that's what I have to say about that.
If your child has been in RTC, how did YOU manage the whole phone thing? What became a hot button for you? What fears or anxieties did you have to put aside? And finally, how important is it to stay connected by phone with these RADishes when they're at and RTC? In other words, should I be less concerned about the vocal contact than I should be about her working through her treatment even if that treatment means less contact is more? (but with RADs,that seems counterintuitive.)