New Baby, New Routine

February 20th, 2010

New Baby, New RoutineI have an admission to make: I am a former (definitely former--definitely mostly former) control freak. Granted, it's gotten a lot better since Bear made his debut in May of 2006; having kids kind of takes the edge off in that way. And in many ways, I have learned to let the little things go. I'm a lot more relaxed, a lot less bothered by things beyond my control. However, while I am flexible, I still appreciate routine. I'm not rigidly adhered to our schedule, but I do like predictability. Prior to the addition of Bella to our family, we had a pretty simple but predictable routine.  Toddlerhood was making way for the preschool circuit, and we were at the… [more]

Re-establishing Daily Routine

January 29th, 2010

518984_a_little_girl_saying_good_night_1The holidays have come and gone. If you're anything like me, I'm still not back to my normal routine. I feel that I'm almost there, but not quite. It's hard to wrap my head around a whole new year, and the fact that my vacation is over. Reality is calling, and I'm trying not to answer. Chances are you and your children may be experiencing the same thing. The holidays were a busy time of year. It was filled with get-togethers, obscenely early shopping trips, delicious sugary treats, and time off of work and school. It was a time of year to be enjoyed and cherished. But once it's over, it's time to get back to your daily routine. While it may be… [more]

Household Chores and Developmental Delays

January 12th, 2010

Household Chores with Developmental DelaysOur Beauty is inching up on her third birthday (just over two months to go) and we've started a new addition to her daily schedule: a household chore. Some may argue that almost-three is too young to be helping around the house, while others believe that assisting with household duties should start as soon as a child is old enough to walk and talk. Bear has been "helping" around the house for as long as I can remember. He helps me dust (with a clean, dry cloth), he helps me feed and consequently let out the dog, he helps me sort laundry and he puts away all the silverware (sans knives of any sort, of course) after it… [more]

Focusing on Flexibility

January 6th, 2010

The Need for Flexibility - Adoptive ParentingBeing that I'm what some would consider an acquired taste for many different reasons, I've always been a bit of the proverbial "black sheep" in my family. One way in which this most frequently comes to light (at least in recent years) is in my parenting. Don't get me wrong: I'm a pretty normal--if a tiny bit crunchy at times (i.e., leaning toward natural/attachment parenting, but that's a topic for another post entirely!)--happy-go-lucky mom and we lead a pretty ordinary, wonderful life. We spend a lot of time together as a family, and with my husband's rotating schedule, day trips and endless quality time with both daddy and mommy is very much a regular option/experience. However… [more]

Starting Over, an Advantage of Homeschooling Special Needs Children

May 5th, 2008

With about six weeks of school left, it has become apparent that my teenage daughter, Lyn, cannot possibly pass four of her fourth grade classes. She has special needs that include a learning disability, fetal alcohol, ADD, and verbal Apraxia. There cannot be any benefit to her education or her self-esteem to continue to fail for the rest of the school year. If she were in public school, instead of homeschooling, there wouldn’t be any choice. She would have to finish out the current school year before starting summer school. What a waste of time and energy. However, since our children are homeschooling Lyn focused on just the two classes that she was passing all of last week. She ignored the classes she was failing giving… [more]

Behavior Tied to Growth Spurts?

February 16th, 2008

For some time now, I’ve observed that right around the time my oldest goes through a growth spurt, we start to see really wonky behavior: crankiness, sleeping more, eating like there’s no tomorrow, and the like. Though I saw, and still see, this with him, being that he was our only child, it didn’t occur to me to look for this same tie-in with our newest arrivals. But, boy, something is definitely in the air! My youngest has shown signs of regressing to certain behaviors we’ve not seen since shortly after his arrival here. He’s throwing mild tantrums, and being whiny, clingy and verbally very cranky. My daughter, who lost another tooth today, has also displayed some undesirable traits that appear to be growth-related. She, too, has been rude… [more]

Areas of Responsibility

February 7th, 2008

For so long, my daughter took on the personal responsibility of ensuring her younger brother was safe. She’s a total “protector” and has been in “full mama mode” for some time now. For children who are used to “being in charge,” it’s hard to let go once they are in the safe confines of an adoptive family. My daughter routinely goes beyond whatever instructions I give her. If I ask her to put her dishes in the sink and rinse them with water, she will wash them with lots and lots of dish soap. Not a huge deal, unless it makes a big mess that I then have to clean up, which is at issue here! I don’t want to see her self-esteem crushed, and… [more]

Tips for Organization

February 6th, 2008
Categories: Chores, Routines

Because of my own ADD, organization is not my strong suit. Though I have yet to master organization, I’ve discovered some key pieces that certainly make life easier! Master Calendar: My cell phone is actually one of those pocket PCs, so I have e-mail, MS Word and Excel, plus calendaring and contacts all in one place. The down side to this is that it is my brain, so if I misplace it, I’m done for. However, I sync it with my computer so that I have a back up. The nice thing is, I can print out labels from my address book for cards, etc., and don’t have to do the extra legwork. If you don’t have or don’t want a souped… [more]

Discipline and Adopted Child: Chores & Allowance

October 24th, 2007
Categories: Chores

Giving a school-age child chores and an allowance is an effective way to teach a child responsibility and discipline. The concept of chores might be foreign to some older adopted children while, to others, having responsibility around the house is second nature. For a child who was made responsible for age-inappropriate tasks before his adoption, he will have the opportunity to shine doing more age-appropriate tasks. Also, earning an allowance is a perk to just about any child, whether adopted or not.

Opinions vary on the topic of chores and allowance. Some people believe that these two things should be connected so the child learns how to earn money. Other people believe that the two should not be connected because a child should contribute to the… [more]

Tidy Tasks – Fun Ideas with Paper Motivators

June 6th, 2007
Categories: Chores

gumballsSummer time is here. We'll do some fun things. More often, we'll be doing a lot more of routine, dull things around the house. The kids are obviously thrilled about this! Okay. So perhaps they aren't so thrilled. I am always on the lookout for new ideas to keep us all motivated. At our house, these are called "Tidy Tasks". With many adopted children at various places on the road to attachment and family belonging, their responses to helping with home and family aren't always predictable. I keep a lot of ideas ready so that I can vary them as needed. Whenever one idea looses the fun or when one just isn't working for a… [more]