Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm Fine With That

So Hannah totally sucked the wind right out of my sails the other day. As many of you know, she's a spirited child and we've struggled to come up with the right method to manage her discipline. "Normal" methods didn't seem to work and we were really at a loss until we discovered the Nurtured Heart method last winter. Hannah totally "gets" the system and understands that her behavior earns her her privileges and if she doesn't follow through with good behavior then she doesn't have the credits needed to purchase her privileges. Well, the other night I had reminded Hannah multiple times that she needed to hang up her coat because she had dropped it on the floor upon returning home from school and just left it laying there all afternoon for the dog to curl up on! When it was almost bedtime and I informed her that if the coat was still on the ground when we did her credit review she would not receive full points for taking care of her coat and shoes she calmly informed me, "I'm fine with that. Mommy, I'm fine with not getting all my money." I was stunned. What was I supposed to say to that? If this crops up again, and I'm sure it will, then what am I to say? What leverage do I have if she's ok with the loss of privileges for not doing her chores or displaying appropriate behavior? I relayed this story to her OT yesterday and she said, "Wow, that's the kind of snarky comment you expect out of a teenager." She's totally right. Any suggestions? I'm really at a loss here because if the Nurtured Heart credit system ceases to work then I really don't know where to turn to.

Speaking of Nurtured Heart, Hannah did the sweetest thing yesterday and I just have to tell you about it. When she woke up from her nap she knocked on her door like always to be let out and when I opened the door she was there waiting for me with her fist tightly clenched. Before I could even say "Good Morning!" (I know it's not morning, but that's just what we say when someone wakes up around here. It works for us!) she immediately launched into a flurry of words. "I have money in my hand and it's 10 cents and I want to go to the museum and it costs 10 cents so lets go to the museum." I was once again stunned. Before knocking to get out of her room she decided what she wanted to do, checked her list of privileges to see how expensive it was, checked her piggy bank to see if she had enough money to do it, counted out the correct amount and then informed me of her choice. This girl can totally plan! Unfortunately, she had taken her nap MUCH, MUCH later than usual and by the time she finally woke up it was nearing 5pm. The museum is in Providence and takes about 15 minutes to get there. It closes at 5pm. No museum for Hannah. :( The poor thing was devastated. Huge crocodile tears welled up in her eyes and began to roll down her cheeks. She pushed her head into my stomach and sobbed. I felt so bad for her. I really wanted to be able to take her to the museum, but we just couldn't. We worked out a plan though. She will save that 10 cents. She won't spend it on anything else and on Thursday (tomorrow) we will go to the museum for our Mommy-Daughter Day. She's pretty stoked about it and I'm so proud of her that she was able to recover relatively quickly from this disappointment. That's my big girl.

Today at lunch time I'm meeting with Hannah's new preschool teacher just to touch base and try to learn how things are run in her new classroom. This new teacher isn't very good about communicating what happens in the room on a daily basis so I guess I'm going to have to step up my end and do some detective work. Adding to the problem is that I drop Hannah off at school before the "preschool" portion of the day actually starts and pick her up after the academic day has technically ended so I don't even see her teacher. In fact, I've NEVER seen her teacher. This will be my first time ever laying eyes on her. Hannah adjusts much better to the transition of going to school if she is one of the first ones to arrive and can slowly adjust to the social situation one child at a time rather than being dropped off into a group of kids that are already engaged in something. We've learned that the hard way, hence the before care drop off even though it's not needed for our schedule since I don't work out of the home. She also has a difficult time with the transition from school back to home so I have to time her pick up so that she is one of the last students leaving and there is not much going on so that she doesn't think she's missing out on anything and feels a sense of closure. She can't be the last one there though or she begins to panic. Pick up can be tricky, but I've mostly got it timed well these days and we can extract her from the building without too much pain. Fridays are another story though because they get to watch movies on Friday afternoons and there is never enough time (even if she was the last one to leave) to watch the entire movie in the time period allotted so that means she has to leave mid movie and that is not easy for her. She's a finisher. She HAS to finish the things she's started before she can move on to something else and every Friday it's a given that she's not going to be able to finish that movie. We deal with it, but it's not a pretty sight. So, wish me luck that this meeting will go well. I will be interested to see if they have noticed any of Hannah's academic strengths in the new classroom. I know they were giving her extra stuff to do in her old classroom since she was so far ahead of her peers, but I don't know if that's happening in the new room or not. I'm sure she's academically ahead of the curriculum and hopefully that was shared by her previous teacher, but who knows. I haven't been able to speak to the teacher and of course I get nothing from Hannah. According to her they play on the playground-period. I'm lucky if I get that out of her. For a girl that loves to talk, she's very closed mouth about what goes on at school. That's why teacher communication is so important for me. I like to be able to talk with her about her day and if I know a little bit about what they did I can prompt her into telling me a bit. If I have nothing to go on I'm pretty much dead in the water.


Christine said...

We get the "that's fine" as well. Just keep your course for now. It is something that comes and goes with us. You could also look to raising the costs of priviliges so less earning means even less getting for her. Either that or you need to discover what her new desire is to have.
Either way, good a constant challenge that can be easily forgotten with a warm hug from them.

Patty O. said...

I agree with Christine. It's normal. We have a system that uses popsicle sticks and once they earn enough of them they can get certain treats. There are days when the kids just don't cooperate with it, but it usually blows over.

However, with things like Hannah's clothes on the floor, etc., I do something different if they refuse to do what I ask. I give them a warning or two and time to complete the task. If it is a toy or something like that, it will be put into timeout. For the jacket, etc. when the kids ask me for a snack or drink or something, I will say, "Sure, as soon as you hang up your jacket."

Good luck!