As Christmas approaches us in the POTATO group we have mixed feelings about surviving the season with young people who often struggle with change, overwhelming pressure to do “family” and supporting young people who have odd levels of present expectation. As parents the responsibilities mount up and its hard to balance the expectations of the wider family and the capacity of our young people to manage without massive fall out and destructive behaviours repeating.
But, the reality for many POTATO families is trying to settle for the lowest possible impacting Christmas which makes it more manageable.
It means that several members have not received any gifts for YEARS from their young people as giving to parents of any description is too big an ask for many traumatised adopted young people. Or the gifts they have received are ones they have had to engineer themselves or are wholly inappropriate. Tales of being given perfume that was originally given to a girlfriend and one gift of a roll-on deodorant with attached PUBE occurred on the facebook group! In all seriousness Christmas can be a particularly upsetting and hard time for members.
So, POTATO group decided to change things to make a Happy Christmas.
How it works.
Members have confidentially given their name, address, likes and dislikes and in return have been given a fellow POTATO members details.With a maximum spend of £5 it was hoped many would feel able to join in and we have had 46 members join this years scheme via our private Facebook.
On Christmas Day, at 8pm we are going to take POTATO selfies of us opening our gifts… and thank one another on line….(toes wiggling excitedly as I type!)
Hannah from Yorks– “it’s about us as real people caring for each other as we truly understand. Making us feel good when most of the time we feel s***!”
Pauline from London– ” I didn’t want anyone to get me a present but I really wanted to get one for someone. I would like my Spud to know that I’m thinking of them; that I care; that I want to put just a tiny spark of light into their life and that, even though they’ve probably never met me, I’m their friend.”
Laxme from Oxon “I was so excited to send out my little effort which I designed and kept adding too – all for under £5!”
John from Winchester “When mine arrived I was so excited I tried to open a bit to peak at what it could be. Someone who actually cares about me and sent me a gift- POTATO is such a wonderful thing for Dads like me.”
Jasmine from Sussex “I did a little happy dance a present sent to me that I didn’t have to sort out.. To enjoy with no guilt”
*We have changed the names and some locations for privacy reasons, but comments are genuine*
If you would like to be a part of this wonderful supportive group, please contact us using the form on this site or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org Paypal a donation and we can: meet face to face,collect your membership information and you can join our private secure facebook group.
We are a UK based group of parents who have adopted our children from the looked after system in the past 20+ years. All of our teenagers are incredible survivors who need specialist parenting which can be very hard going. Despite dealing with some heavy subjects, we like to meet socially and have a bit of relaxation with other parents who understand what we are facing. We are looking forward to the easing of restrictions which will enable this to happen again. These pages are by way of an introduction to our group, our aims and an overview of what we do. We accept families with adopted children, teens and young people but our focus is supporting parents through the teenage years. Our group is a not for profit organisation committed to this community. We promote (and try) to follow therapeutic principles (in depth document HERE.)
Here is a brief (not exclusive) list of things the POTATO group do.
Please visit our membership section for details of how to join us.