Friday, March 06, 2009

Upcoming Campaigns

The plan is to start some new campaigns around here. Joey is six years old; he'll be seven in April. There are lots of things around the house he ought to be doing, and needs to start learning how to do. I am calling these the "independence campaigns" because they will include skills I believe Joey will need to be independent; things like cooking for himself and caring for his own things. However, I have no idea what seven-year-olds really can do. I am basing these skills on things I was doing at about seven, and remember doing myself at that age. Let me know if any of this sounds unreasonable.

The biggest campaign will be the cooking campaign. I thought I would start easy and rewarding: peanut butter sandwiches. However, we're going to knock it up a notch as well. At the book fair, Joey fell in love with a Sesame Street snack cookbook. I bought it because he was so enamoured with it- mostly with the fact Elmo was on the cover. He's been very into Elmo because of his classmates is very into Elmo, so they've been doing a lot of Sesame Street stuff at school, as well as Andy's new interest in Sesame Street at home. He gets it double-barreled. Then I actually got home and read the book- and it is really awesome. The recipes are simple, and most of them have several child-friendly steps. They are simple enough to include JOey in the prep as well as the actual cooking. Also, the recipes are relatively healthy, and emphasize healthy ingredients. So not only are we going to work on things like preparing his lunches himself, but also more general cooking- following instructions, following steps, and coming out with a yummy reward!

The bed-making campaign will also be starting. Changing Joey's daily routine in this way is going to be a huge deal. however, keeping things in order is going to be an important skill for Joey- especially if he has inherited some of my very poor cleaning and organizing skills. I'm going to have to wade through the sea of toys and cull the things he isn't interested in as well- make sure his things all have a place- so he can put his things there himself. Yep... a clean your room campaign!

Next, dressing. We know he puts on his own shoes at school, so we need to start having him do it at home. With new shoes, we have a ready-made excuse for the new change: you have new big-boy shoes, you need to put them on yourself. We kept the velcro. One thing at a time. However, we also are going to start looking at the buttons and zippers issue. Though he can get through life in pull-up pants, it will be easier if he can do snaps and buttons on jeans. I'm going to alert school on this one. The OT there swore he could do buttons two years ago, but we have yet to see any evidence of it. Its good for his fine motor skills!

And finally: sleeping in his own bed all night. I'll miss waking up with a little guy every morning, but the many nights in the recliner are not good on my back. He needs to be comfy in his own space!

Hmm, writing it down, it suddenly looks like a lot. We'll see how it goes.


Sally's World said...

it sounds like you have it just right, my son is 11 and we are slowly introducing things that make him independent, as long as he knows what is expected of him, and its slowly done, he's fine.

but, you know, the most important thing is for you not to stress about it, if you do, Joey will. you have lots and lots of time.

the own bed thing, i couldn't get my son out of our bed until he was about six or seven, in the end, i put my own nightshirt over his pillow, gave him an extra special bear, who we told him the bear needed him more than i did, and it worked after a while.

all kids are different and it may take ages, but i think you'll persevere, you sound like an incredibly devoted mum, so have faith in you instincts too, you know him better than anyone. i used to get fed up of so called experts critisizing, and telling me i was doing it wrong, now we just do our own thing and get better results anyway.

all the best.

Niksmom said...

Sally had lots of good things to say so I'll just offer this: Prioritize in your own mind which is most important and be willing to let some of the other things slide for a while. Build on the success of the first couple of campaigns.

Re dressing: are there other places you can slip in buttons, snaps, etc. to motivate him? For Nik, it became about access to toys in zipper sacks or puzzles in a snapped case...he learned those skills very fast!

Joeymom said...

I think our real goal with all of this is not to have clean rooms, made beds, new clothes, or even peanut butter sandwiches- but instead to instill in our guys that they are capable, that we think of them as capable, and start introducing these skills and expectations. Heck, growing up, I think I had a clean room and made bed about twice a year. ;) But the point was I could make my bed and clean my room.

Stimey said...

These all sound great. I'm a week behind everyone else, so I can ask how it's going.

We're working on shoe tying with Sam. He's resistant. Maybe I should have him make his bed too. That seems like an appropriate thing to express.