I have not blogged in the month of April. I have been so busy like many other parents trying to work remotely, come up with a feasible plan for the future which appears so full of uncertainty, prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and struggle to keep my daughter healthy and occupied.
For me as a parent and an OT, my daughter’s health translates to physical, mental well-being but also keeping her somewhat organized. Organization is defined as keeping her on time for her zoom classes, bed time routine, decreasing forgetfulness/carelessness and/or lack of preparedness and procrastination. Yes it may sound silly considering our predicament at the moment. However, if I let this go, everything we worked hard on all year (actually a lifetime) will fall by the wayside.
Especially when dealing with kids who have a learning disability, keeping organized is the difference between sanity and insanity. This is what I decided to do now that my daughter is at home all day.
1. I have her on a somewhat of a consistent schedule of work and play. I’m using a timer (really she sets her alarm on her cell phone) so she knows when activities are about to begin or end. This diminishes not eliminates (one can stay hopeful) the typical teen responses of “why now”, “later”, “soon”, “stop annoying me”…
2. I’m incorporating new activities into her life such as cooking, baking, drawing, playing games, family time which usually were more difficult to integrate daily or on a weekly basis in the past (before COVID-19).
3. I’m building in activities that help her get some exercise such as taking a daily family walk or taking a walk on her own — great way for her to burn off energy and stay active. If I didn’t implement this, the result would be phone, phone, phone and computer.
4. I have a checklist of basic responsibilities she needs to do everyday such as making the bed, not staying in PJ’s all day, washing her dishes, taking out the trash, and keeping her room neat. This again doesn’t eliminate the whining but diminishes it some.
Remember: Organization starts at home and there are many opportunities that parents can seize to help keep a child organized so that when we go back to school and “the new normal” way of life, we don’t have to start from scratch.