June 1st was the last day I sent Hanna to her old school, even though there were two more days scheduled, but they were full of end of the year garbage and this mom had had enough of that and could not take it any longer so she was done. I then spent a day taking her to her new school and going through some of what they will be doing there. She has also been there in a short summer program and is doing well. She has been doing her chores and pretty much following the rules at home. There was one blow up when she had sorted the colored pencils out into a rainbow and then Allen had messed it up, but oh well that is just the way things go when you have siblings. I hate to break the bad news to her but everything is not going to always be in the order you want it to be. At any rate it has been calm around here so calm that I have had time to get a few things done.
I bought and hung new curtains and rods in the living room. Hanna had bent the rods to the point that they could not be straightened and tore the old curtains almost two years age.
I baked cookies and two pans of bars.
All of the laundry is done, folded, and put away, at least for one day.
I cleaned the closets and drawers in the four younger kids rooms.
What is the deal here, how did we get things to working MUCH better?
1. The rules at school and home are the same, we use the same behavior scale and we communicate to one another what is really going on. I tell it like it is the good, the terrible, and everything in between.
2. Hanna has competition as well as a mentor. Hanna and Lauren are in the same special education setting and competing with her sister motivates both of them, but Hanna more so because she likes to win at all costs. Now there are likely to be some issues with this down the road since they have different strengths and will be successful in different areas. These two girls are the only girls in this setting so they need to stick together.
3. We are keeping things very structured with very limited options. Hanna creates chaos but she functions best with the routine in place.
4. She is sleeping for about six hours a night at least five nights a week.
5. There is no pressure to please her peers. Friends are very important but she had made such poor choices, or more like gotten sucked into being friends with people who do not really want to be her friends, they just use her and she can not stop herself. We had to put a stop to this because she is just to vulnerable so now she only gets to hang out with friends who happen to have parents who are friends with us. It would be nice if she could find her own friends but for now this works for everyone.
We know she will blow up many, many times yet but we are enjoying the calm while it lasts and we are doing everything we can to keep it calm. When she blows we will just take things one at a time and then we will try to figure out what went wrong and get back on the track to the good life.