Monday, October 22, 2012

Structure for Real - Schedules

We are in the swing of things now.  Don't get me wrong, life is still crazy (though that word is a little loaded for me now).   But the insanity (yeah, that word too) has a certain rhythm to it that is not exactly comforting, but at least a little predictable.

During their hospitalization, both boys responded positively to having a strictly adhered to schedule.  They looked forward to gym time at 11am and "sweet snack" at 2pm.  And they dreaded boring "room time" at 3pm.  Kids with ADHD often have trouble with transitions and change.  For my kids, this means tantrums of monumental proportions. A schedule takes some of the anxiety out of the day.  When they know what is coming, they can mentally prepare for it.

Scheduling our day to this degree of specificity is not my natural inclination (no matter what my ex-husbands say).  I personally enjoy having a plan, but I like having plenty of time for spontaneity too.  I was never a mom who stayed home to honor nap times or meal times.  And I think change is good (just ask my ex-husbands).  But wiggle room in daily schedules?  Is a luxury I can no longer afford.  

So I have literally scheduled the day from waking to sleeping.  Every hour is accounted for.  It seemed ridiculous at first, and really hard to stick too.  And I found myself guilty and conflicted when "game time" bled over into "puzzle time".  Fortunately, I took it a little easy on myself and the efforts I did make resulted in the kids naturally falling into routines without desperate reliance on the actual piece of paper.  Ok. MY desperate reliance on the actual piece of paper.

The result?  

Kids who are much more relaxed.  Now instead of asking me repeatedly when something is going to happen (no matter how many times I have answered the question), they state when they know the event will happen. With confidence.  And without full on crying binges.

Well, most of the time at least.

So, now if I can just find room in the schedule for my own nervous breakdown?  

Nah.  No time for that anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment