A Visit to the Therapist
If you were a fly on the wall in my house right now, what would you see?
You’d see my living room being turned into a wrestling ring.
You’d see three kids piled up on the couch playing Go Fish with my ‘Gin’ cards.
And you’d see me sitting here laughing at all of them!
I’m sitting here because I’ve had a very long day today, even though I feel like I wasted a whole bunch of it sitting in this chair. Ninny and Bubby had appointments this morning at 8:30 and 9:30 with their therapist. The Nephew also took his evaluation and pretest for his GED at 9:00. (Which, I hear, he did very well at!)
I was very glad to be able to give their therapist some good news: about the children making such huge strides in their reading in the last two weeks, and about Bubby being so selfless whenever his twin had sunburn.
She worked with Ninny on ways to cope with her stress level, and keep from panicking and with Bubby on ways to concentrate.
We had a discussion about some strategies to use both during school time and then at the rest of the time.
Some of it is things that we already do, such as:
*Making expectations clear.
*Rewarding good behavior.
(We have family meetings twice a week: one where we plan and outline for our week, and one where we discuss our week with it’s successes and failures. That kind of covers both of those.)
*Letting small things go and focusing on things that matter.
This is always hard, especially after a long day, but it’s the goal everyday.
*Stopping an activity at the first sign of frustrations.
Some of the things we are going to work at over the next two weeks until their next appointment are:
*Getting their dad to lower his volume to help keep their stress level down.
I love him, but he’s LOUD! It stresses me out (I’m a very quiet person by nature) so I’m not surprised this was at the top of the list to work on!
*Implementing a timer for the children to work on self-regulating.
Making them responsible for their own time-table; getting chores and assignments done in a reasonable time-frame.
*Buying each child an agenda and teaching them to use it.
Another part of teaching them to self-regulate. Hopefully, this will help them be more responsible for their own school work so it’s no longer a potential battle whenever they have to do an assignment.
My overall school related goal for them in the next two weeks is to lessen the time it takes them to get through each of their subjects so we can have a more normal school day. We are very bare-bones right now: Language Arts, Phonics, Math, etc. and I want to get them back to doing the more ‘fun’ subjects (that are also very important!) of Science, History, Geography, etc.
I also want to continue to build their confidence about their reading skills. This is SUCH a huge issue to me that it will always be first and foremost until they are ‘natural’ readers.
Behavior-wise, my goal is to put in place an ‘escape’ for their anger. I hate to see them losing their temper over minor things, and although I don’t specifically know exactly what we’re going to do- I am going to research this heavily and see what we can work out.
I am also working up my courage to invite their therapist to do a visit here. (That’s one of the services that she offers.) I think that it would help her in designing a ‘plan of attack’ for the children, to be able to see the children in their natural environment and maybe help her understand what ‘homeschool’ means in our house. (She’s not very familiar with the entire concept of homeschooling.) I also think it would probably make it easier on me to explain what goes on, and how they interact, and what our day looks like, etc. I honestly see only good things from a visit but…
The working up of the courage, however, comes from the fact that we do have six children here- it’s a little much for the average person who’s used to one child at a time! Also, I have to admit that I’m scared of being judged, that I’m terrified that she will come here and say that I’m doing everything wrong and am ruining my children! How can I not be?
I’m scared of not being good enough.
Anyway, it’s just a thought rumbling through my head. We shall see!