Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom As Motivator

Well.  We're floundering again.  Lily sprained her foot and is prohibited from putting any weight on said foot for 6 weeks.  We're halfway through, but the restrictions are making all of us bonkers. 

I was able to get a used wheelchair for longer treks as Lily can't manage crutches for more than short distances.  I imagined long walks on the cliffs, museum visits, getting out and about.  But it's out of Lily's comfort zone.  When outdoors, Lily becomes hysterical if she sees bees or other flying insects nearby.

Lily likes shopping.  She's up for a trip to the mall, and loves to go to the market.  Here's the but.  She doesn't like to wheel herself around in her wheelchair.  It's not easy, so I've been pushing the chair when we're out.  Which is mostly okay, unless I also am managing a shopping cart.  I'm a Dr. Seuss push-me-pull-me, live action model.  The other shoppers don't appreciate my predicament.  I'm in their way. 

My crankiness meter is on the upswing.  My bad mood doesn't help Lily.

So it's easier to stay home.  But, here comes another but, I'm lousy at setting healthy boundaries for my kids.  So, I fetch and open doors and turn lights off and on all day and well into the night.  Crutches plus OCD equals a level of disability I'm not prepared for.  I'm awful at this.

It comes down to expectations.  I had expectations of afternoons at the beach, excursions to the public tennis courts and swimming pool, visits to the library and lots of walking.  Notice that most of those activities are outdoors, because I love being outside.  I'm an outie.  Lily is an innie.  These expectations are unrealistic.  I do however, believe in the power of negotiation, and an occasional parent directive for the well being of all.

Positive expectations for Lily's behavior are also in order.  We're working on putting those boundaries in place.  She can't carry something heavy while navigating on crutches, but she can open household doors and turn lights off and on.  She has disinfectant wipes and rubber gloves to manage her germ phobias.  She's trying.

The efforts include modifying behavior towards others.  Lily is always hardest on her younger brother.  I've been consistently stopping her when she's unkind or unreasonable.  She gets pretty angry and needs an outlet, so it's time to get creative again.  Lily is extremely verbal, so a new journal may be in order.  I obviously believe in the power of the written word when the need to vent arises. 

Because she's fourteen, I run the risk of discouraging her by suggesting something, but I don't know how to manage this without being direct.  But this is a great tool, and she can be in complete control of what she expresses on the paper, no limits.  Maybe that will appeal to her because it would be private and uncensored.  Let freedom ring.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, let freedom RING!!
    Her words can pour onto the page rather than into her brother, I pray I can get my daughter to do the same when she wants to vent; her harassment of her brother is unforgivable when she starts and it is sooo hard to get her to stop. When I discipline her about it (and I certainly do) she screams that I hate her and that HE is Killing HER. It is so infuriating and exasperating. There have been very few times when the journal thing has worked for her, but I am overjoyed when it does!

    It completely sucks that L has been lain up with her ankle. BOOOOOoooo!
    I agree that having to change your expectations and or plans about something in order to accommodate the constant needs of our children is a very taxing thing. When it is compounded as it has been with Lilly's injury it is NO picnic. I feel your pain. Thank you for stopping in and saying hello the other day! I am trying with the kiddos as best I can. In addition.... No I'll email you the rest....