4 Steps to Success
When your heart is pounding as you face the days with children “stuck at home” you know it is much more challenging with a child with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) ADHD, ASD, or ODD. You may want a plan to make it through. I like to find the silver lining and make it shine! Let’s do it!
Instead of the dread:
- Plan this time to make big changes in your home and your life.
- Simplify to make it all manageable and successful.
- Take charge of eating, sleeping, working and play time plans.
- Schedule time for sanity breaks and recharge for YOU!
1. Plan to Make Big Changes!
I get excited about the possibilities of what can be accomplished during home time. When children are stuck at home it is a great time to tighten up the respect by targeting that as a priority each day. When we catch the little things we don’t get the big things! Start the remodel by increasing the respect. That includes table manners, speaking with eye contact, saying ‘Yes, Mom/ Yes Dad”, please and thank you etc. I polish mine up while I help the children polish theirs. Try to aim for at least 20 corrections each day with each challenging child so, that means we need to sharpen our focus and keep an eye on them closely. This helps them several ways, they feel safer when we are paying attention, we will see the progress of our investment of time, they will be much more successful in life being respectful. That is a win-win-win. Just do it!
How Do We Start?
Every single toe over the line into rudeness should be corrected with the 3BI (Brain Based Behavior Intervention) That is a 3 step process that corrects while we connect and helps the brain to heal from past trauma. It is super effective and worth the time. Here is a free cheat sheet for you. To help children stuck at home we can really make a difference. IT WORKS!
2. Simplify to be Successful
When the children have acts of kindness to do for you (for the rudeness) they can become a great helper! Start with clearing out a closet. Do one shelf in the morning and sort into piles of “trash”, “donate,” and “keep”. Rearrange neatly and put back. Put the donate sack in your car. Spiff up another shelf in the afternoon or the next morning. One bite at a time sort the closets, drawers, and surfaces in each room until it is easy to clean and looks great. Our children do not handle chaos. Yes, I know, they CREATE it! We have to be strong enough to override their chaos and create peace and happiness in our homes! The super best resource or (the goodest one as my daughter, Terena, used to say) is www.flylady.net. She rocks it out to help simplify and get organized! Clear out your space, clear out theirs too!
Bit by bit it’s do-able
When we do bite sized chunks we can eat an elephant. I love those pachyderms so I would not want to eat one but the point is; WE CAN DO THIS! Simply clean one shelf then another and another it all comes together to eliminate the clutter, helps others with your donations, sets an example for your children and makes your life LOTS easier. That frees up more time and energy to do cool stuff! Invest in clearing it out! Set your home up for success.
3. Take Charge
Get Started Right
To be on top of things, I would get up in the morning get dressed, do my teeth, hair etc. before I got the kids out. I knew once they are out I would not get to go back and take care of myself and that is what I will look like the rest of the day. Make yourself ready for anyone to show up and you won’t be embarrassed by how you look. Embarrassment and shame are huge energy drains and worrying someone might stop by when you are a wreck is a TOTAL waste of time. While the children are stuck at home it is a great time to make changes. Just fix it!
Fuel them Right
After you spend the few extra minutes getting yourself ready get your day ready. I got the items I would need for work and play with the children out and ready to go. Next, I got the breakfast started. NO, it was not cold sugared cereal. (worst idea ever!) A high protein, low carb healthy breakfast will start the whole family out right.
At that point, I got the children from their room with a good morning hug and a smile. Sometimes I used a bath towel or tablecloth as a cape to get me in the right awesome mom-mode! We all ate meals and snacks together. Rude ones were quickly and calmly excused from the table to eat at the counter or the picnic table outside if the weather is decent. We all cleared and cleaned up after breakfast with each child assigned to a task that was the same all month. The dishes were loaded, pots washed, counters wiped, sink shined, floor swept, left-overs stored, table wiped down etc. Takes about 15 minutes once your team gets good at it. Set a challenge to see how fast it can get done A+! One awesome family in Alaska sang hymns while they shined up the kitchen. It was terrific!
Have the Children Help
Each child then was directed to do their family chore, vacuum, dust, trash out, scrub floors, clean bathroom etc. I like the chore to take about 30 minutes. If they prefer to drag it out and enjoy it for many hours that just frees me up to do other things and I am happy to move on with my day while they dawdle and miss the fun.
Work First, Then Play
After chores it was play time (always work is done before play) and I rotated the children from one station to another with the Legos, art, reading and mini-tramp. I love to get outside and take the team for a walk when possible. If I have a stuck child then I would put on some music and the unstuck ones and I work out to some fun tunes and lots of laughing! I did not let the stuck one hold the family hostage. We had a great time as I played with my kids!
At noon we had a healthy lunch together and usually mid morning and mid afternoon we shared a protein snack (nuts, hard boiled eggs, string cheese, yogurt with chopped fresh fruit and no sugar, peanut butter on celery or on an apple etc)
Use the Crock-pot or the Instant-pot for dinner to simplify. Children who wash their hands after using the bathroom with no reminder and have no nasal excavation issues can be invited to help make some meals under Mom or Dad’s direction. Here is a free link to some of my favorite recipes here at the ranch. We had lots of fun in the kitchen and the children were so proud of the parts of the meal they helped create. It is skill building for their future as they learn life skills and practice daily. When they are healthy teens they prepare one meal a week for the family so I want the younger ones learning how. During meals we all sit together and share food and our day as each used nice table manners.
4. Schedule Time For Sanity Breaks and Recharge
We got up, ate meals and went to bed on time the same time every day. The children need that structure. They feel safer with it and it eliminates some chaos and fear for them. Trauma effected children under 14.5 years of age need 12 hours of sleep for their brain to heal. Older teens need 9.5 hours. Plan your meals, bedtime and wake up time consistently. The rest of the activities we did, in order, at whatever time worked. If there is school work to be done it starts at the same time on school days.
Evening Time to Rest
Every night my children were in bed by 7 pm. My cowboy and I had quiet time together. The first 45 minutes was our “strategic planning session”. I played Mozart’s music in the hall outside the children’s doors to help them sleep and to block them from hearing our discussion. (mine had radar dishes for ears that heard everything through walls and little when I was speaking right to them!) When the timer went off that was the start of OUR time and no more discussion over children. It was time for US!
Daily Catch Your Breath Time
Daily, I had my children take a “siesta”. Right after lunch cleanup, everyone went to their room with a book or puzzle or something not electronic to do for 45 minutes. That gave me time to have cup of tea and put my feet up for 20 minutes, then plan the dinner or something I needed to do, like return phone calls etc. When the timer when off I went and greeted each rested child with a huge hug and we continued our day together!
Once a Week Recharge
Have a friend or neighbor care for the children or check out care.com to find a respite provider. You can use my DVD set called “Give me A Break” to train them how to take care of your challenging child correctly. Get a massage! Go for a walk. Sit under a tree and drool, have a picnic with a friend, take a nap with your dog, take a painting class. I just took a “paint your pet” class. It was a blast and really took my mind off everything else. Here is my great museum piece. (Thank you to Michael Collingham for the fantastic photo he took of my corgi, Elan.) Whatever you do it should have nothing to do with the children! Recharge yourself at least once a week! It is essential to your health, your child’s health and the happiness of your family. Taking care of yourself also sets an example for children to take care of themselves when they are adults. It is a wise investment! You are worth it.
It’s a Priceless Investment
This time together with your children at home can be a priceless investment in their future. I have books, DVDs and on-line courses if you need more help. You can call me and have a one-on-one phone time to problem solve if you like. I am here for you!
We can make a difference, Nancy Thomas