Step 4: Do it all again!
OK. So many of you know we had a hard time adjusting to kindergarten, the new schedule, noises, people, places… basically everything! With a few visits to the OT and several tries at a new schedule, I think we have finally found something that works (for the time-being anyway). Here are our latest schedules for Monday through Friday. I decided to make schedules with images that the children can understand. I believe I got this idea from Raising Your Spirited Child (Recommended Reading). When the kids begin to complain about what they are supposed to do verses what they want to do, I just refer them to the omnipotent schedule . It doesn’t stop all complaints, but it has halted many arguments.
As you can see we do allow for some video time each day. I know some people do not agree with video at all, but it actually helps Claire get out of her head and relax, as long as it isn’t too long. The problem I have with this is that video is not helpful for Ross. He gets way to stimulated (precursor to ADD?). But right now I can deal with Ross, he is home with me and we are working on self-discipline with the videos. We also established VIDEO RULES. I have marked all the childrens videos with dots (Green, Blue, or Red) and have posted the VIDEO RULES in the cupboard with the videos. This helps to defer any arguments about which videos are OK to watch. The Green Dot videos are allowed during the week at the scheduled times. The videos are short or consist of multiple short videos, so I can control the time better. They are also usually not as exciting to avoid getting Ross revved up. Examples are the Scholastic Book Collection (based on award winning children’s books), the Beatrix Potter Collection, Pingu, and Wallace and Gromit. Blue Dot Videos are allowed on weekends, these tend to be ones that are shorter and more exciting or longer and mellow. Examples are Diego (Ross’ favorite) and Winnie the Pooh movie. The Red Dot videos are only allowed on weekend mornings because they are too long and too exciting. Examples include most Disney and Pixar movies like to Incredibles or Nemo.
I also decides to create House Rules. They are really more like behavior guidelines and they are posted on the refrigerator. When we are having a bad behavior day, I like to sit down with the kids and review the rules. The first few times they both enjoyed it. But Claire has caught on the the fact that it means they are behaving less than perfect and has begun to resent it. I need to come up with a regular time to review them that way she will not get so offended. But that means I have to remember and right now, I have no memory left.
So basically kindergarten was quite an adjustment with a rough start, but I think we have settled into a routine with the “normal” about of meltdowns and tantrums. By Thursday evening we are all running low on patience and self-control. But Friday is a short day filled with fun things like show and tell, so it gives Claire (and myself) something to get us through the last day of school. By Friday afternoon we are in no-holds-barred weekend mode.
I hope all of you are having a great school year and looking forward to winter break as much as we are!