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Old 07-02-2009, 09:25 PM
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DeBora4BobbyL DeBora4BobbyL is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Oklahoma
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Organizing your kids

3 1/2 weeks ago I acquired my GKs either temporarily or permanently. I am a full-time graduate student, part-time employee, and working on my thesis. This hit at the worst time. I live in an RV, so organization and structure is important. Here is what to do to teach your kids structure, which is especially important for special needs children:

1) Have a schedule and stick to it no matter what (exceptions include Father's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, and so on) If you go off the schedule for holidays, you WILL see cranky children. But, it may be worth it for the occasion.
2) My schedule is that the kids take their medications and vitamins with breakfast every single morning or evening. That way there is no dispute that they were taken.
3) Use plenty of positive reinforcement. This means, give stickers, check marks, or some sort or indication that you are keeping track of their daily progress. Younger children have NO concept of time, so you need to give them a reinforcement each day or for the very young, every so many hours. I give mine a sticker each day they pick up their toys, dirty clothes, and so on. After so many stickers, they get to get a surprise. You can keep them in a bucket in the form on prizes or you can allow them to go to the store to buy items. Whatever works for you is best. My 5 year old can count and knows that she has enough stickers to get such-and-such. The younger one just knows that getting stickers is a good thing. LOL

4) Another thing I do is that our ritual is bath time is at night. You can do it in the morning. I have the kids pick out their clothing for the next day the night before. It gets them excited for the next day. It gives them something to look forward to. They feel secure knowing what to expect.

5) I make sure they put their tooth brushes and tooth paste back where it belongs. It is funny how one child will tattle on the other if he/she doesn't put the toothbrush back where it belongs. It seems like a lot of work, which is it, but at some point, they catch on and they start doing things for themselves, without correction.

6) For the oldest, I have to plan a lunch for her. The youngest gets his lunches made at the school. So, I tape up his lunch menu on the wall. The DGS and I plan her lunches and we make a day by day lunch plan for the week. Once that is done,I tape her lunch plan along with her brother's. That way, there is security in knowing what to expect each day. Children need security.
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