To be fair, I never did tell her.
Ok, let me back up a bit. We have been working really hard on expectations and being very clear and consistent with the kids. Mostly they have been doing great. Really great. Somedays I forget just what challenges the kids have. We have one child that has some, lets call it executive functioning difficulties. That means that generalizing and applying things learned and carrying out instructions is tough. Like really tough. We have had a couple of issues in the past couple of days that have really brought this to the forefront.
Usually we see these issues when there is a gap in the clear instructions given. For example, when we walked this child through the steps to scoop the cat litter and said to put the grossness in a plastic bag and throw it away. However, we never specifically said what to do when we were out of bags or there was another question. So she tried to solve the problem. Admirable really, but when you have executive functioning problems the way that she solves the problem leaves something to be desired. Her solution to the cat litter problem was to put the used cat liter in the large covered hole next to the cat box. The large covered hole just happened to be the sump pump. 😦 This was discovered while she was at respite (and I’m glad because it gave Joel and I a chance to collect ourselves after the bill and form a coherent approach to this issue. We knew it needed to be dealt with but were unsure how. It wasn’t done out of maliciousness, but still cost us a good deal of money. We settled on explaining the situation to her and using this as a learning opportunity to remind her to ask for help when she is unsure and then having her help with some outside chores.
So that was all done and dealt with last night. Then today she gets home from school and asks to go ride her bike around the block with her friend. This has been something she has earned trust to be able to do, and we were clear with the rules. Or I thought we were. We said, don’t go into her friends house and check in with us each time around the block. Always wear helmet and be careful. So then I went to run an errand and saw her bike outside her friends’s house with daughter no where to be found. I drove around the block again and pulled into the drive way as she and her friend came down from the attic in the garage. When I told her to come put her bike in the car and she can run an errand with me. I explained that the attic was inside the house, that anything other than the driveway was inside the house. We went home after the errand and talked about how if something was not specifically said to be ok or not ok than she should ask. Also, if she isn’t sure if something is right or wrong she could listen to her body. That sometimes people feel something in their stomach to show if something is right or not.
Until this sinks in, I’m going to be annoyingly clear about what to do, and not to do!