Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekends stink

I've always been something of a free-range parent. And I used to look forward to the weekends. Kids would come and go in and out of my house all day long. We almost always had an extra mouth to feed at one meal. My cherubs would roam the neighborhood playing with tons of different people. And as long as I new who they were with, where they were at and what they were doing, I was totally OK. They would disappear for hours. Everyone in the family would do exactly what they wanted to do.

My girls cannot handle that level of freedom. In fact, they require a higher level of structure than I am actually able to provide. And now, I dread the weekends.

The girls are always bored. Attempts to ask them to "find something to do" are met with great resistance. Then it becomes a battle of wills. If I suggest something, it is never anything they want to do. If I tell them to leave the room or consequence them with a chore, my day goes down the crapper in a hurry.

I am not the kind of person that is capable of structuring my weekends like a day camp.

So I'm not sure what to do. For now, we simply ignore as much of it as possible. When it gets really bad we will tell the girls they have to leave the room. It's always a battle. But I can't see past the end of my nose to a solution.

I'm open to any and all suggestions. Please keep in mind that anything I implement will have to either work well for my three neuro-typical children or will have to be something that applies only to the girls. If that's the case, I need advice on how to explain the "double standard" in a way that isn't demeaning to anyone. 'Cause honestly, I get so fed up that I just want to scream:

"I'm sorry you were hurt before. I'm sorry you never had toys and you don't know how to play. I'm sorry that we've got a playroom full of more toys than you can imagine. I'm sorry you don't even want to ride the bikes we went out and bought for you so you could be fully included in all the neighborhood fun. I'm sorry this is too damn difficult for you. Please. Oh please. Cry and tell me how horrible it is at my house. Tell me how mean I am 'cause there's nothing for you to do."

We survived today with a minimal amount of breakdowns. In fact, I even got a "sorry" from TurtleTurtle for her last one. That, in and of itself, is nothing short of a miracle. So, yet again, I do know that we're making progress. But it is slow and hard to see most of the time. And for now, I hate weekends. Monday can't come soon enough.


SusanR said...

Would it work to have choices? Today you may do a, b, or c. Make sure some of the choices are what the boys would do anyway. Then if they don't like any of the choices they may read, cry or pout in their bedroom. They may be just wanting you, so maybe start the day with some one on one time, then ask for independence? For what it's worth...

MamaFoster said...

i say you make a schedule for them alone to follow and just tell them that it has to be that way because they don't like anything you suggest so you have to do it this way.

i make it sound so simple right?

stop laughing at my lack of reality :)

but that is what i would try. i don't know if it would help or make things worse.

jendoop said...

My foster guy had a hard time with weekends for a while and the only thing we could figure out is that he missed the routine of school. So now we get him up at the same time as weekdays and somewhat follow the school schedule. It's a pain, but that consistency creates feelings of safety and you can slowly relax as things get better.

Cheryl said...

Send them over to Aunt Cheryl's so they can whine and complain that there is nothing to do here, either. It'll only take 24 hours to get here, 24 hours to get home... there's your weekend! Sorry, wish I could be of more help!