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Were Pippa and Michael the foster parents from hell?


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I'm in 1992 now having rewatched from episode 1 since August last year. I'm really struggling to like Debra's Pippa and Michael. I know Tom and Vanessa's Pippa weren't always perfect but i don't remember being frustrated with them as much as i am with Debra's Pippa and Michael. I have never found Michael likeable, he is way too authoritarian and heavy handed for my liking, also stubborn. Pippa always seems miserable and moaning about something. They treat the foster kids like slaves, with endless chores to do. this is while they have Fisher on their backs al the time at the concentration camp summer bay high. In Fins case she tries to juggle school, work and also doing the chores they order. Sophie was heavily pregnant and they were still on her back to do her chores.

When the dreadful Tracey was staying with them they believed everything she said and all the lies and setting Sophie up. Even after she was caught out several times they still wouldn't believe Sophie until Sophie was forced to record her admitting it to get them to finally believe her and then they thought a few words of apology was enough to make things better.

Michael threatens to throw the kids out at the first sign of trouble, he does that every single time. What a great foster dad! Just throw them out at the first sign of problems, don't bother trying to work through the problems. His approach is usually to lay down the law (ban Damien from being friends with Shane, threaten to kick him out etc) of course discipline is needed sometimes but the way he goes about it just makes it worse because he is too heavy handed about it.  

Pippa also blatantly favours Sally, she lets her get away with everything. She borrows Sophie's necklace without asking and then loses it, she invites herself along to things without checking first, she takes Sophie's baby off without asking first. Sophie gets annoyed with her and all Pippa does is tell Sophie she shouldn't get mad at Sally. Why shouldn't she? Sally gets away with causing trouble because she is Pippa's favourite and it shows.

Also around the time they had their marriage problems, around the time Shannon came to live with them, the kids had to suffer a lot because of their constant fighting and bad moods.

Sorry for the moan, i just don't find Pippa and Michael likeable or good foster parents. I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?

Edited by BobbyFridge
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Yes I felt same way. 

Time when Debra Pippa told Finlay if go away with those boys you going to kick out of house and that’s something I have trouble ever seeing Vanessa  Pippa say.

I know Tom and Vanessa Pippa could be harsh too at times. 

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I've always thought Pippa favoured Sal and I'm glad someone else said it, but it's not just Debra's that did it, Vanessa did at times as well, I in no way think Dodge was right to treat Sal the way he did but Sally should have been punished for cutting his jacket up that was his property and she destroyed it it's tantamount to vandalism IMO using Milco as an excuse shouldn't have been accepted at 9 years old

 

There was a scene in 1997 where Ian Routledge asks Pippa and the kids to go with him to Cairns she spoke with Sally about it but no one else, Sally had a tantrum over it (again at this point she's 18 that's not on but Pippa enabled her) and because Sally stamped her feet Pippa said no and the other kids weren't given a say

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Posted (edited)

Sally is a troublemaker and always seems to act younger than her age. I guess you could forgive this a bit in the very early episodes (when she is doing things like stealing other peoples dogs i might add) but even then she acts more like she is 3 than 8 or whatever age she was meant to be. By 1992 you really feel like she should be growing up a bit but she isn't. She still does stupid things like taking Sophie for a walk along the clifftops when she is about to give birth (although Sophie should have said no as well) and then she's crying and saying sorry when she falls down the side of the cliff and has to be rushed to hospital and everyone says ''its ok Sal, its not your fault, don't worry'' But in every case it either is her fault or partly her fault.

I remember when Shannon had her eating disorder she accused Pippa of favouring Sally over the others. And Dodge, yes again although Dodge was also bad towards Sally sometimes she was bad towards him too and always got away with it.  

Edited by BobbyFridge
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1 hour ago, BobbyFridge said:

Sally is a troublemaker and always seems to act younger than her age. I guess you could forgive this a bit in the very early episodes (when she is doing things like stealing other peoples dogs i might add) but even then she acts more like she is 3 than 8 or whatever age she was meant to be. By 1992 you really feel like she should be growing up a bit but she isn't. She still does stupid things like taking Sophie for a walk along the clifftops when she is about to give birth (although Sophie should have said no as well) and then she's crying and saying sorry when she falls down the side of the cliff and has to be rushed to hospital and everyone says ''its ok Sal, its not your fault, don't worry'' But in every case it either is her fault or partly her fault.

I remember when Shannon had her eating disorder she accused Pippa of favouring Sally over the others. And Dodge, yes again although Dodge was also bad towards Sally sometimes she was bad towards him too and always got away with it.  

Like I said chopping up his jacket is at the very least distraction of property in the adult world, and then Pippa defends her to Dodge saying “Milco told her to do it” no way would that have flown with my parents when I was 9/10

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Seems a bit illogical that Michael and Pippa get slated for not believing Sophie over Tracey, but when Tom and Pippa did the same to Sally over Dodge, somehow that makes Sally their favourite?

"Foster parents from hell" seems a bit daft, giving that there are much more hellish situations than being asked to do the washing up.Despite saying you've only got up to 1992, you talk about later events, which is odd because I'd say 1992 was a big transition year for Michael.Having alienated Sophie into running away, he threw himself into supporting her wholesale.And despite all his threats to Damian, and indeed Fin, when it came down to it, he ended up begging them to stay, showing that it was all just bluster.The whole thing with them splitting up wouldn't have had the same impact if they hadn't been a secure family home in the first place.

And honestly, what's with the bagging out of Sally? How exactly was Sophie falling off a cliff path Sally's fault? Flipping Marilyn, the alleged adult who really does get away with stuff by acting younger than her age (and still does 30 years on!), was right there and she didn't think it was a bad idea!

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Sally was a teenager at that point teenagers don’t always judge risk so no that’s not her fault but cutting up Dodge’s jacket WAS and nothing was done and what about Pippa only asking Sal and no one else about Cairns then saying no because Sally (an 18 year old supposed “adult”) had a tantrum about moving when she could have literally stayed in SBH by herself if she didn’t want to go? Yeah that’s favouritism 

Edited by Bobby Forever Missed
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Well, if the title isn't actually the question being asked, what is? Were they less than perfect? Of course. Did they make mistakes sometimes? Sure. Were they terrible foster parents? No.

I don't remember Sally making Pippa stay with them in 1997, but I do remember that Pippa actually did go and live with Ian less than a year later, that she firmly shut down Sally's entitled belief that she and her boyfriend should have the house, that she made sure the other foster children had someone to look after them and that most of them chose to remain in Summer Bay when offered the choice. So, no, I don't believe she showed Sally favouritism. She admitted herself she was closer to her by virtue of knowing her longer, but she expected as much of her as she did the others and could be harsh on her at times.

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