I had a lot of hits yesterday, of course on a day with a negative post.
Today I am feeling better about everything and I have to step up and say that part of the issues are on my side of the fence. MB is my daughter in oh so many ways. I can become just as intense and locked-in as she can which I believe cause part of our stress. So the first thing I need to remember is for me to step back when things get tense. I need to work on my reactions and understand better that what she does are not done to aggravate me (although it feels that way sometimes) but because it is her temperament. When I don't let it become a her vs. me personal thing, then I can focus easier on how to reach and teach her.
It has been easier for me to sit down and think through new strategies while she is gone. And I have some plans. First of all MB and I are going to sit down and create some Family Rules. I have been wanting to develop this for a long time, now I think is the time. She can understand right versus wrong and this gives her a chance to be actively involved in creation of a document that both of us can refer too. Not to mention it will help to reinforce the rules rather than just posting them one day.
Second I want to do more inclusion of MB and K in preparing meals. Both the girls love to help in the kitchen and while I am preparing dinner can sometimes be the most stressful time of the day. Unfortunately with a kitchen the size of a walk-in-closet it can be difficult and stressful for all of us to try and work in there. I need to be more proactive and really keep up with a family menu. I tend to do this for a few weeks then drop off the menu for awhile and then try again. But with a family menu I can schedule meals that the girls can easily help with and know ahead of time what needs to be done and decide who is able to do it. I have also thought that I can schedule K and MB each days to be kitchen helper. Granted K is all of 2 1/2, but she gets in there anyway and I tend to have to find ways for her to help - so if I plan for it I can prepare myself better and not become so annoyed when she is in there anyway. Last night K totally helped me with dinner. We made Sloppy Joe Casserole. She helped me mix up the beef and sauce, pat down the biscuits and spread the cheese. There is no reason I could not find other ways she could help. And of course MB already does well in the kitchen. They want to help, so I need to find the way for it to happen without them squabbling and possibly getting hurt or driving me nuts.
I know that some sort of schedule needs to be incorporated into our day. It will make homeschooling and life in general easier. I am just leery of schedules. We have never seemed to find one that focuses us without getting in the way, or one that will reflect our day in a general way, day-after-day. Sometime they lead to more stress, at least on my part. We have always been irregular people - all of us. And we are gradually adding in more regularity, especially with night activities. I just need to do the same thing for the rest of the day.
The last thing I need to do is just remember the positive things and be more positive in general. This is easier for me in the beginning of the day, but by evening my energy and tolerance levels have dropped and I can handle a lot less button pushing then.
I leave tomorrow to get MB. I am looking forward to having her back. I miss seeing her and talking to her. We will spend some time with family before we come back.