Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Discipline 2

So, I haven't gotten a timer yet, but already it is going much better. The only thing I have done differently, is instead of getting mad at Kailey when she yells at me or says things that aren't nice, I have been turning on church hymns. I continue to play the same hymn over and over until I hear her singing it. Once she sings it I come in tell her she wasn't being nice and ask for her to tell me sorry. If she has calmed down enough to sing I find she has calmed down enough to realize she was being mean. It has really changed the mood in our house a lot already.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Right now I'm struggling with my four year old, Kailey. She is what would be considered a strongwilled child. Although I know that is good, sometimes it can be hard, so I've been reading to see if I can find discipline tactics that would work better then what we are using. She is refusing to stay in time-outs and she will just tell me "no" quite often. I found this article on pinterest http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/Parenting-Strong-Willed-Child. Although insiteful, it really didn't tell me any good discipline ideas to help with behaviors that I can't compromise. Here's an example, if Kailey doesn't get a nap she is aweful by the end of the day. She misbehaves for no apparent reason and will cry over any circumstance that doesn't go her way, so I've come to the conclusion that she has to have a nap. She has decided that she doesn't need naps, so most days I spend at least fourty-five minutes putting her in bed, telling her she has to listen, putting her in time-out and trying to make sure she stays there. It stresses me out and makes the whole mood in the house deteriorate within minutes of the process. It also takes Cope three times as long to get to sleep, because he hears Kailey yelling and crying at me. "You're making me mad because I don't want to go to bed." (She is very good at telling me exactly what she is feeling, whether she be mad, sad, happy, frustrated.)
I found this site http://imom.com/parenting/tweens/parenting/training/21-creative-consequences/, and so I'm going to try and few of their ideas and I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to go buy an egg timer and am going to set the timer for her. I'll use it for setting the table, cleaning her room (which are her two chores), and nap time so that she knows it is coming. I'm also going to try using the timer when she throws fits about something that is not time sensitive (ie: she can't go somewhere.) I'll tell her she has to throw a fit for 10 minutes and then I'll see how that works. She has started screaming yelling and crying whenever she doesn't get her way (which is often at our house.) I've already tried allowing her to go outside and then letting her scream and yell until she feels like she is done. She can come back in whenever she wants. That doesn't seem to be working now that the novelty of going outside has worn off, so let's hope the timer does.
The only thing I still haven't found another tactic for is when she is throwing a tantrum because she doesn't want to do something time sensitive (ie: go to therapy, take a nap.) I thought about the timer or time-ins, but they are still just a stalling method so she doesn't have to do the thing she doesn't want to as quickly. Any other suggestions or ideas for that one would be awesome!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Time Scheduling

I thought I would share how I keep on schedule. I don't always, but I've been trying really hard. One of the things I found was that I would spend hours online. Not because I needed to, just because I would lose track of time. If I wasn't online then I would spend most of my day cleaning and not spend as much time as I needed with my kids, or I would spend all day with the kids and not get to the cleaning. I also found that Kailey was feeling like I "loved Cope more" because I would spend much devoted time to him and then not have any specific "Kailey" time. I have 11 alarm options on my phone. So what I've done is put an alarm for each event in my day. I have wake-up, exercise, therapy at home, school, outside time, lunch, nap time, and me time. I also have the specific therapy times outside of our home. Each alarm isn't to keep me on an exact schedule, I don't automatically quit what I'm doing and start on whatever the alarm says, but it is a reminder that time has passed and that I have other things to do. Therapy is for Cope and then I do an hour of "school" with Kailey. "School" has made life easier because then I can tell her it is Cope's turn and she'll have a turn with Mommy later. It makes her less frustrated and jealous and it works well in helping me stay organized. I have also found if I give them outside time before naps then they are more tired and less likely to fight taking the nap. It makes naptime go more smoothly. Giving myself some time to do whatever I want for the day helps me be more patient with the kids and makes for an overall better day for all of us. So my suggestion is set alarms. It helps both the parent and children stay on task. It keeps me from wasting away my day.

This is a picture of some of the words Kailey copied to write a Santa letter at Christmas. During "school" time we practice writing and learn letters along with whatever she chooses to do for the day. She is doing so good!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Since it has been over a week since we got home from two weeks of Constraint Induced Therapy, and a week of Disneyland, I thought I would start adding a few pictures from Disneyland. Here will just be a few of the family ones. If you wish to see child specific, please go to their page to find more.

One of the kids favorite rides was the Carrousel. (There are several rides I will call one of their favorites.) This is one of my favorite pictures that Todd took. Cope, Kailey and I are all in the picture.

We were all on the train and are all in this picture. Poor Kailey was still feeling sick so she is the pink laying on the bench next to me.

We loved the beach. The kids loved having the water "chase" them as the tides came in and out.

The first character we came in contact with.

We had a hard time getting Cope to look at the camera. He was fascinated with the cars.

We road on the boat. It was colder and the Kailey was still sick so we chose more mellow rides that day.

Cope's favorite part of Toontown was getting to "drive" the cars that were around.

I love these two pictures of my little family.

In the picture below we are riding the teacups. Todd was trying really hard to get us all in the picture. Cope kept moving his head so not much of him is in the picture.

The picture below is us in front of one of the kids favorite rides. It was "spaceships" that went in a circle, much like the dumbo ride, only shorter lines. I was tickling Cope in the picture.

This was the kids very favorite ride. Mickeys' Fun Wheel. It was a Ferris Wheel, but each cage was on a track as well so we would swing back and forth as the wheel turned. So much fun!

Cope loved being behind the glass!

We found Mickey with no line! Awesome!

This was our princess meal. Cinderella was the only princess who asked to take a picture with Cope as well.

Kailey was "mad" so she refused to smile for this one. I love how saying you'll be done riding rides for the day automatically makes a "mad" child a "happy" one.

This was on the little circus train.

This is a panoramic veiw of California Adventures at night. The big purple wheel with Mickey in the middle was Mickey's Fun Wheel, and the kids favorite ride.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Raising a Stroke Survivor

During these two weeks of Constraint Induced Therapy I've learned many things about myself, about my son, and about life in general.

One lesson I learned is that one of the most important things we can do in life is to overcome our human tendency to take the path that seems the easiest at the time. The easiest path for both Cope and I would be to not do CI at all. He has one good hand, he could simply choose to not use the other one. He wishes I would let him do that. The problem is I see that life will be easier later in life with the use of both hands. Although that means more work now, that will save him trouble later. In most peoples life they have something like that. Something that were they to work harder now, would make life easier later.

With Constraint Therapy I've learned two important things: 1) The constraint is the most important aspect. There are many things about Constraint Therapy that are just like normal therapy. They play in much the same ways. There are slight differences, like they don't care about his feet at all, or what he is doing developmentally. All they care about is that affected hand. They do a rating scale to determine a starting place, and then at the end of the two weeks the goal is that he has moved up on that rating scale. 2) It really depends on the child what they will do. With Cope his range of motion is very good and muscle tone is fairly good as well. He simply has learned that he doesn't need to use that hand, so he doesn't. A practice he has taught himself is having to be changed.

That is true in all our lives. Each of us have bad habits that are hard to break. Our brain tells us it would be easier to just keep on living as we are rather then improve. In some ways it would be, but once we have use of our affected hand, once those bad habits are no longer holding us back, we can see why the work was so important.

Raising a stroke survivor has been equally the best and worst experience of my life. Although I would never wish a stroke on anyone's child, I am so greatful for my son and the lessons I have learned on our journey. I've learned to understand and love those with medical and mental issues more then I use to. I've learned to appreciate and empathize with their parents. I've learned that to have a child, no matter how damaged their brain or other parts of their body may be, is an amazing gift. I am so blessed to have my son. He is healthy and now we just have improvement to look forward to. One day at a time is still one day with him. One day to love, one day to laugh, and one day to grow together.