When a Child’s Routine Brings Calm and Consolation
The kids have reached an age where Laurie and I can finally leave them at home alone. And tonight is the first night we let her cook her own dinner. We think they can handle putting a can of soup in the microwave.
So I go to the gym and Laurie has a coffee with a friend. I arrive at home first and am greeted at the door by Jasmine, who ran out of her room sobbing. “Isaac [cough] put mine [sniff] suppinabble !!! ” I ask her to take a deep breath, calm down, and try again. “Isaac [snort] put mine [hack] SOUP BAR !!! “
“Isaac put her soup in a bowl,” says Vivi, Jasmin’s signature panic translator.
“So?” I say.
“I want my soup in a cup!” Jasmine is crying and stamping her foot. “You know that, papa!”
“Sure, I know that, of course,” I say. That was a big deal for Jasmine. Soup is one of her favorite dishes and she loves to have it in one of my large cups. In fact, there are three specific cups that she prefers. There is also a certain type of spoon that she needs – not the large spoons or the long teaspoons. There’s also … well, Jasmin’s soup routine has a lot of quirks, and if you do it right, she’ll think you’re walking on water. I had learned all of this some time ago, and I had also learned to calm her down when she got nervous, when I forgot something.
[Get This Free Download: Sample Schedules for Reliable Family Routines]
“Dad!” she said, stamping her foot. “There is not enough broth in the cup!”
“Girl, you’d better say it in a nicer voice,” I would say.
So she and I had shut down our soup routine. You and Isaac didn’t. He put her soup in a bowl and she stamped her foot on him. Apparently he did not agree to it. Words were said and she was sent to her room. Then I came home and everything came to a head.
“Dad!” says Isaac. “She threw the big spoon at me and said she didn’t like me anymore and wouldn’t eat my disgusting soup.”
I look at jasmine. “Fountain?”
“He said, ‘You can’t offend me!’ and that I had to eat it like he said. “Jasmine starts crying again.
“Apologize to your brother immediately!” I say.
[Read: Parenting the Child Whose Sibling Has ADHD]
“But he put my soup in a bowl!”
“Go brush your teeth right away and then go to your room and put on your pajamas and then you can apologize to your brother.”
She crosses her arms and says: “Hm. Yes father. “
“Thanks, Dad,” says Isaac.
“Son, you know you can’t flatten her like that. You know she’s losing her cool, so you need to find a way to help her with this. She didn’t offend you; she was just frustrated. “
“Okay, I see,” he says.
“And by the way, I’m her father. Not you. She can’t annoy me, but she can annoy you. “
He smiles at me, “Yeah, OK.”
At that moment, Jasmine comes out of her bathroom, her fresh, clean pajamas covered with toothpaste. “Baby Doll, I told you to brush your teeth first and then put on your pajamas. I said do it in that order so you don’t get toothpaste on your jammies. “
She laughs and hits her knee. “Oh yes,” she says. “That makes sense.”
“Come on girl you know the routine.”
Kid Routines With ADHD: The Next Steps
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