Does a tight schedule work for you?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AK0603, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. AK0603

    AK0603 New Member

    Okay as some has read I have a 10 yr old that was misdiagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety. They now tell me since being hospitalized for threats to kill himself, that he is mood disorder = bipolar, and not those other things, they have switched his medications and began a new one.

    I get to bring him home Monday night, hopefully, and we want to change some things at home that will help him the most.

    He seems to do good with a schedule, I noticed at the hospital everything is outlined for his group. Example: 7:30 AM wake up/take medications; 7:45 AM dressing time; 8:05 AM breakfast hall to eat; 8:45 AM - 9:30 AM shower, brush teeth; and so forth and so on. It does allow "free time" "school time" and all that. Now there were also levels, 1, 2, 3. Best behavior is level 3, which meant you were allowed to watch a DVD, have your "free time" including computer time. Level 2 meant you got into some trouble and you loose the ability to watch a DVD, still have free time though for sports, etc, but no TV, DVD, Computer, etc....and level 1 meant basically like grounded. No free time, you were to spend time at a table, or in your room and could read or draw I believe.

    I'm thinking I should do something like this. We have 4 children and things are chaos most days, between dr. appointment, counseling, orthodontists, the schedule is always a wreck, so I'm thinking if I have a set plan it would vary at times due to these appts.

    Does anyone use this type of thing? I've seen it on the nanny shows and stuff and it always looks great. What type do you use, how do you display it?

    I did mention this during my phone time with my son today but he didn't like the idea, but handled his emotions well. Stating, I don't like the idea, and before I get mad I would like to end the phone call. I said I love you and he said Good bye. Usually I would get, Your dumb, I hate you, so forth and a smash down the phone. So that is a good step I think. :smile: I hope.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Lori4ever

    Lori4ever New Member

    I've heard that this is a good plan for kids with ADHD and/or Bipolar, but I couldn't manage it with mine. Partly him, partly him. He doesn't listen to me as well as he'll listen to them, apparently. I hope you find it works for you, though.
  3. Janna

    Janna New Member

    A strict routine works well for me and my 3 children. I don't know about a "tight schedule", not sure what that means.

    I put my kids to bed at the same time every evening. They wake up at the same time every morning. When they come home from school, it is the same routine every, single solitary day: homework, shower, eat dinner. Every day. Every time. Always the same. Once that is over, they are given Playstation/computer/movie time. That is monitored and timed. Bedtime is 8 PM. Every night. Weekends, too.

    Bedtime routine is the same. Brush teeth, pee, play a card game (we always do this to wind down). Everything we do, we do with routine. It makes all our lives much easier.

    Don't know if that helps you any. We started out with charts (dry erase board) explaining what was to be done, when, times, etc. Now, 3 years later, they don't need prompts or charts, they have the routine memorized. It's nice.

    FYI - if your difficult child is non compliant with the "routine" you outline, make sure consistent consequences for non compliance are outlined on this chart ahead of time. He will either do what you ask, or suffer the consequence. Make the consequences reasonable, maybe you and he could compromise and make them together. However, once you have the routine in place, I would absolutely not bend any of it because difficult child doesn't like it (and speaking from experience, and been there done that).

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree about a consistent consequence, and something that works for you. I tend to blurt out things like, "You're grounded for the rest of your life!" and then I'm stuck at home with-him on a beautiful, sunny weekend. Sigh. (I've learned not to do that, LOL!)
    Someone on another thread mentioned learning to think b4 you speak. VERY good advice!
    I like the idea of a specific schedule and also earning privileges. We're not as strict as we could be but getting better. In general, all kids, regardless whether difficult child, do well with-structure.
  5. AK0603

    AK0603 New Member

    I am curious to know the levels of punishment? I was thinking to do something as the hospital he is at does. the green, yellow and red levels, and using a clothes pin with each child's name on it clipped in the colored area they are in.

    So for instance, he refuses to follow the schedule what would be your first course of action? Take away "game time" which will be in the schedule to "wind down" or mabye loose computer time? I'm just curious what is appopriate because right now he complains the most that he's ALWAYS grounded, which is pretty much true, lol, about 2-3 days a week it seems for the last several months.
  6. Sharon1974

    Sharon1974 New Member

    We use checklists. One is for morning routine, one if for afterschool routine, and one is for evening routine. I try to keep it positive, so JK earns stickers for completing each item in the routine on time and earns a reward when the sticker chart is full. If an item is not done correctly or on time - no sticker. It seems to work for him. The evening routine must be completed and he must be IN BED by 8:00pm in order to have a story. Any item completed after 8:00pm does not earn a sticker. His reward for completing a sticker chart is a dollar and he can save them up to buy what he wants. I think this helps with money management too since everytime he wants something I tell him to save up his money.

    I keep the sticker chart taped in an area that he can easily see so that he can monitor his progress and tell him how proud of him I am when he is earning lots of stickers. I try to downplay non-compliance with the routine so that he doesn't know it bothers me - and that seems to be working because he gets his charts at the appropriate times and checks the items off himself. If homework is not done then he can't have a playdate. Late out the door to school means you have to get up 10 minutes earlier the next day. Not in bed on time means no reading time, etc.
  7. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    My difficult child does much better on a strict schedule. THen she always knows what is next and what is going on. It doesn't always work out that way but we try to stick to it especially during the school year.

    We kept the schedule on the fridge and she would check off the items as they were accomplished. She also earned points for her behavior. With enough points she got to do "extra" things like watching cartoons, favorite dinner, etc.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think all kids do better with a routine and structure. If you try to set it up exactly like the hospital it wont work though. You have more than one kid at home and that will be chaos.

    One thing you can do is try some sort of reward system...either a sticker chart, reward bux or maybe a marble jar. Something that is very visual so that they kids can see that they are earning towards a goal. Its important that all the kids are on the same game plan too. We did a bux thing where we used the kids pics on fake dollars. They earned them for specific behaviors and chores and then could turn them in for specific items at the family store. They might buy staying up later on a weekend, a little debbie snack, a dollar store item, a trip to the park with dad, etc.

    The boys made the rewards up themselves.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My son literally tore apart the first calendars and charts we made him. He was not only not going to comply, but ruined the record keeping system, as well. The hard part was "catching him doing something good," because after a few rages like that, it was just all punishments. So we rewarded tiny things with-a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, like if he went for an hr with-o hitting his sister. That way he could see we would actually give him a reward.
    It's SO HARD!!!

    I like the idea of stickers and goals because they teach delayed gratification and goal setting.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When my kids where in a day treatment center as little guys...aged 4 to 7 they used M&M's to reward immediately. They would walk around the room and pop candy in their mouths when they would do something good. I guess it was like Pavlovs dogs...lmao.

    We also had the sticker charts with smiley faces where they got to pick something from their treasure chest at the end of the week for so many smiley faces. I had so many spider rings and plastic airplanes and army men I could have choked.
  11. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I didn't regulate everything in their lives, but we were big ones for routine.

    NF is a very visual kid. I remember when he was a toddler making a visual "calendar" for him with the day we went to the grocery (a picture of a grocery cart and bags) the days he went to preschool (a picture of his backpack) the day we went to church (a picture of the church), the day he had music lessons (a picture of the piano) etc. on flip cards. Not only did he know what today would bring, he could also look ahead to see what tomorrow would be.

    Bedtime has ALWAYS been at a given time. I still have to remind NL to take a shower beforehand, but he knows he must be in bed at a certain time. He'll often choose to go earlier if he's tired.

    I've always tried to schedule doctor's appointments, ortho appointments, etc. directly after school. Both kids had allergy shots every 2 weeks (NL is finally at every 3), they have ALWAYS been on Wednesday. This helps ME remember, too. Ortho is usually on Monday (I think we have 2 more to go and NL will be done - YEAH!).
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Like Skeeter we had a bedtime that seldom varied unless it was a true emergency. Someone better be dying or close to it for the kids not to go to bed by 7:30 or 8 even in elementary school. They moved to 8:30 in middle school. I consented to 9 in high school but with mine you couldnt keep them up past 10 at nite on a school nite and seldom past 11 on a weekend even when they were late teens. Now granted they got up with the chickens.

    When mine were very small they had a pretty tight schedule because I was in school so they were in daycare all day and then I had to study at night so their dad took care of them. I often think it would have been better if I could have been much more consistent with Cory over the years. That was my main failing. Even a so so plan done consistently is better than a super plan done haphazardly.