My husband and I often wonder why we hear ourselves in repeat time and time again. I often sarcastically joke that I should record myself, and save my breath. In all honesty, after a day like yesterday I don’t think doing such thing is that bad of an idea. We have heard the same song and dance time and time again “repetition is important… consistency is needed… frequent reminders… visual prompts… blah, blah, blah”. Although we know it, and we believe what all the therapist, counselors, and doctors have told us, it doesn’t stop the fustrations from rolling in. The truth is, children with brain disorders need, and I repeat need consistency and repetition.
Recently I posted about creating an awesome checklist for my son. It broke down his day in every aspect, all he had to remember was to breath, and if I could have added that in there without sounding condescending believe me I would have. As I said in my update in the original blog post “Making a list, checking it twice”, he has been doing pretty well with the list, it helps a lot, except for days like yesterday where he just simply can’t/won’t remember to do the list and everything else that is asked of him.
I thought I solved the world’s problem with the list, it was supposed to change our lives, and we were never supposed to have an issue or behavior ever again, well in a perfect world. Believe me I expect behaviors, and I also know that what works today may not work tomorrow unfortunately that is the nature of the beast when it comes to brain disorders.
I sat in our family room feeling very defeated after my son decided kicking his bedroom door in was the proper way to enter his room, as well as thinking that throwing a shower of Lego’s in his bedroom was the right thing to do. The “I don’t knows”, and “I didn’t do it’s” were in full storm, and doing what I asked or what he knew to do was beyond trivial. Yelling, and screaming, would get me where? Sure it is a great sense of relief for me at times, but it just shows him that he is getting a rise of me and sure it is negative attention but he is still getting attention from it.
After a long time out for myself, and a hot cup of coffee to calm my mind and discussing it with my husband we decided that we needed more, much more reminders and visual prompts for him, not only in his room but throughout the house. Saying it just makes him angry, and his favorite tag line lately is “I lost the list”. If we post the list on a bulletin board, and hang visual reminders, he can no longer use the excuse of “losing” it.
Our Plan of Attack
Create a list that hangs on the bulletin board, which he can use a dry erase marker on.
Write prompts throughout his room reminding him of his responsibilities
Make your bed
Put your dirty clothes away
Clean up your toys
Shut your light off
Where appropriate, hang signs reminding not just him but the other children of the general rules of the house
Shut the light off when you are finished in the room
Put your dish away
Put your shoes and jacket away
Visual prompts are a great way to remind the child of what he/she needs to do, without having to aggravate both yourself and them with the repetition.
Thanks for reading,
Sara, Mommsie Knows Best