Lack of school is proving to be difficult for a certain someone in our household. Actually for both boys, just one's behavior is easier to manage than the other.
Being a preschool veteran, I played around with behavior charts a couple of months after the boys arrived home with us. It worked really well helping them to learn our routines: waking up, having breakfast, clearing our plates, playing and cleaning up, brushing teeth, getting ready for bed, etc. They liked the charts a lot, and when they were able, began to talk about it and helped us make the smiley/sad faces on it. Once things started going smoother, routine-wise, I focused on different behaviors (Lire not waking Habtamu up at 5 am, Habtam using gentle hands).
Anyway. The chart, which is a large dry-erase board, had been disbanded and used as a fun drawing surface for the guys. No longer. Unfortunately, we've had to reinstate a chart for Habtam. Oddly enough, he seemed relieved by the whole thing. He is someone who requires structure, likes concrete and consistent rules (though he bucks against them like a goat), and is visual. I think the very visualness of the chart, with the ability to concretely see his behavior throughout the day, helps him consider his choices. Maybe I'm giving the chart too much credit, but he responds to it.
The day is divided into three sections --- morning, afternoon and evening. Each section has three time periods within, and we check back with one another throughout the day to see how he's been doing. We use simple sad and happy faces to illustrate it, and at the end of the day, if he's got enough smiles, he gets a sticker. If there are enough stickers at the end of the week, we'll talk about a privilege, a toy returned, etc. Are you tired reading about it? I'm tired just thinking about it.
The difference this year to last is that H and his Dad and I can talk about his behavior, his choices, and his feelings SO much better. Of course, it also means that H can tell me and Lire how much he hates us, that Lire is stupid, and he never wants to talk to us again! More sophisticated expressions of anger. Sigh.
I'm not sure if Lire is responding to H's renewed misbehavior or the loss of the school structure, but he is regressing a bit. It takes the form of him making baby cooing sounds, attempting to suck on our fingers, and needing to be held more. Fortunately, he bounces back quickly, and if we allow him to act out being a baby, he reverts back to his old self within minutes.
Very much looking forward to camp starting next week for H, that's all I can say. I'm going to be working half-days at the same camp, but with the 3 year olds, so H will have his own space, his own experiences and I'll just happen to be nearby.