Saturday, April 18, 2009

Surviving School Vacations

If you read my last post about school vacations, you will know that it's no vacation for me. While I wouldn't call it torture, I would definitely say they are character-building experiences.

Here are four (and a half) things I learned:

1. Give Logan More Attention: Since Spencer has a stream of therapists come in to work with him, Logan felt a bit left out. However, I could not play with him all day long because then no one would eat lunch or dinner or have clean clothes. But it was really hard to keep him occupied so finally I sort of gave up on the cooking and cleaning and I just sat down and worked with Logan. It was a good move. We did "vacation homework" and I got a chance to see how much he's improved in coloring and writing. He also was allowed to get a treat or a coveted toy after he finished a certain number of sheets of "homework." He amazes me how much he's motivated by praise. It produces the best work. Candy or toy prizes only produces faster work.

2. Immediate Gratification Still Helps: I learned that Logan's toys still need to be restricted somewhat. The quarters chart is working to improve his behavior and allows him to work towards future gratification. (I'm going to challenge him to save up for the Nintendo DS $130) However, he still needs more immediate incentives so I have decided to take a few favorite things and make him earn it everyday. It's more work for me but hopefully it will inspire him to work harder in following the rules and therefore will be easier on me.

3. I Have to Clean Up My Act: Vacation was my time to realize just how disorganized I was. Since Logan didn't have school, I took it as an opportunity to make lots of different appointments thus changing the routine. Of course, I would end up double-booking appointments or spend time searching for things that I should have just put in the right place. I miss the blackberry that I had when I was working. I wonder if getting one would solve my problems. I still like writing to-do lists on paper too. Either way, I must do something, I am getting really upset with myself. When I was working, I was very well organized. I guess I'm still not used to my life as a mom of ADHDers. When will I ever feel like I have some semblance of control?

4. Be Calm and Break Some Rules: I also decided that since it was a "vacation," I would do things like neglect making sure they ate all their vegetables, giving them extra cookies, and washing dishes only once a day. This freed me from some stress and helped me work toward my goal of "Can Mom Be Calm." It also allowed me to focus on my number one issue- clutter. I decided to go on a cleaning rampage and even joined, something I learned about from one of my yahoogroups. I also got off my duff and finally rewrote Logan's rules chart. This one has color and better pictures. Hopefully it will be more effective too. I also hope Logan doesn't notice that I only drew four toes on each foot in the No-Running-Rule. I don't know what is wrong with me. Four toes? What does this say about me? It has to be a disorder of some kind.

(picture: last lesson learned: Don't sweat the small stuff, even if it costs hundreds of dollars. I promised myself not to get mad. I still don't know which one of my little monsters broke them. I dont' even care. I have another pair and I only need one pair to see.)

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