Taking Control

It is the last week of school where routine is disrupted in favor of special events and parties.  I was bracing for the worst, expecting oppositional behavior and bad reports from school.  But something interesting has happened…

G has always eaten the exact same thing for lunch.  A cheese quesadilla made on whole wheat tortillas, a fruit, carrot sticks, some sort of cracker like triscuits or wheat thins and a box of apple juice.  We give him choices and options but he has never deviated from his selections.  In the beginning of the school year, DH and I anticipated confusion in the lunch room.  I had visions of G accidentally getting in the hot lunch line, getting food and then getting yelled at by the lunch lady for not having money.  (not a reasonable fear on my part, but a fear nonetheless)  So we deposited $20 in a lunch account for G.  It was just-in-case money because G is so routine bound I never expected him to want anything other than his familiar meal.  And up until this last week of school, that money had never been used.

Monday, dh picked him up from school and noticed his lunchbox was particularly heavy.  He opened it to find it untouched.  Worried that G went without a meal for some reason, we started quizzing him to find out what went wrong.  Turns out, nothing was wrong.  He simply decided the lunch menu sounded good that day.   (they were serving quesadillas)  He raised his hand for the hot-lunch count taken every morning and stuck with that decision, getting his lunch by standing in line with the rest of the hot lunch children, eating everything he was served and properly disposing of his trash.

The rest of this week, he has asked us to look up the menu and let him know what was to be served.  He then made a choice based on how many items on the menu he liked and disliked.  He chose hot-lunch again on Tuesday and Wednesday but decided he wanted us to send him with his lunchbox today.

I’m also noticing that his behavior has been much better this week, as compared to last year at this time and the weeks before and after christmas break and spring break.  I really think G establishing this bit of control all on his own has made a huge difference in helping him navigate a disrupted schedule.  I’m so proud of my boy, he’s becoming such a little man now.  I’m also trying to figure out how I can leverage this idea and use it next year during transition periods.

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Published in: on June 11, 2009 at 1:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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