Children who have lived in institutions need high structure.
And I am very, very random. That means I am not great at structure.
But now I have a daughter who has been told her entire life what would come next, what to do next. She knew what would happen next. Every day. Our first few days home she didn't know what to do.
Couple that with my random. Terrifying.
After brainstorming and discussing some coming-home-issues with another mom who has also adopted recently, I decided to try a picture timeline.
First, I took photos of everything that I wanted on her timeline (personal hygeine, chores, meals, and activities). Then I printed them.
I laminated them with my handy-dandy laminator (that I've had for 7 years now!).
I cut them apart and added magnet to the back of each one.
Every morning, I stick the activities to the front of the refrigerator in the order that Luci needs to do them.
Hopefully, as time goes on, Luci will be able to help me structure her day. But for right now, it's something that she needs me to do for her. We've been using the timeline for over a month, and things have gone better than I anticipated.
It is good for her to be able to see her day in pictures. And it is good for me to be able to change things each day. I will say that I still do a lot of micromanaging, but it's less than it was before the timeline. I can also tell that my girl feels safer knowing what's coming next.
Feel free to ask me questions as I know I haven't covered everything in this short post. I am adding activity examples below so you can grab and snag some ideas, if you so desire.
Things Done Daily
*other activities (see ideas below)
I have cards with various numbers on them: 1 Puzzle, 2 Puzzles, etc. She looks at the card and then gets to go to the puzzle cabinet and choose the puzzles she'd like to do.
A few puzzles have their own special card and are not kept in the puzzle cabinet.
Sensory & Art Activities
Free Play Activities
Apps on iPad
Other Random (!) Cards