Little Miss Drama has regular meltdowns, complete with collapsing into a boneless heap and sobbing great big tears. Something as simple as not being able to get her seat-belt fastened or finding out the sub gave her an extra sheet of homework can trigger these dramatic displays. Since beginning tutoring and treatment for ADHD, her school performance has greatly improved. Her reading confidence has grown, she rarely gets into trouble, and her regular homework assignments, while requiring reminders, do not necessitate me sitting beside her and redirecting her attention every thirty seconds. Even so, she is still very much the same Miss Drama who tends to forget things like her lunch, or shoes, or underpants.
In my house, chores have never been an activity embraced with enthusiasm.– If you happen to know a house where they are, let me know so I can steal their methods.– I’ve tried all sorts of things from charts, lists, calendars, ChoreWars…you name it. They all rely on me to actively keep track, replace, or update the dang system so that the kids get their rewards. Having ten bazillion things to keep track of, one can understand how those all tend to end up abandoned. So far, the simplest thing seems to work the best. I just tell each child what I want them to do and by when. The reward?
I don’t kill them. Dessert, outside playtime or computer time is usually the dangled carrot.
I explained to them that we all live in the house, so it’s everybody’s responsibility to clean. I don’t get paid to cook dinner, fix lunches, wash clothes, and clean the house. My reward is food on the table, clean clothes, and not breaking my neck on crap strewn across the floor as I walk through a room. That’s it. If they want clean clothes, they have to put them in the laundry room. Simple, straight forward, and still a concept Miss Drama struggles to remember.
I’ve noticed a slow, steady progress in the kids maintaining at least a “kid clean” house, but there’s still much room for improvement. Yesterday, thanks to winter storm “Helen” we got half a day of relaxing and playing. After dinner Miss Drama offered the usual token protest over homework, but finally sat down and got it done while Soup King and I played a game. Miss Diva and Mr. Smarty-pants each took a side and acted as cheerleaders.
Later on, as I was turning out lights, and whatnot I noticed a pile of clothes in the designated “these need to go out to the laundry-room” spot.
“Where did these come from?” I muttered in annoyance, because I was certain there was no pile there prior to dinner. I poked my head in the girls’ room because the light was still on.
“I cleaned up our room, and Simon’s room, and the bathroom!” Miss Drama announced as she sat up in bed.
I looked about in shock. No, it still wasn’t “mom clean”, but there was definite improvement and the bathroom was tidy, and her brother’s room was no longer carpeted in dirty clothes.
I think maybe the earth shook.
Maybe she’s growing up, or maybe someone swapped out a changeling for my tornado of chaos.