We've been working on the boys getting dressed independently recently. By we I mean me,of course, because the boys are going along with the idea dragging their feet and kicking and screaming (I know, I know, they can't drag their feet AND kick them, but you know what I mean). I've been trying the "beat the clock game" where I set the timer for two minutes and encourage them to get their pajama tops off and their new shirts on before the timer goes off (I've giving them plenty of time to ensure success). When I told my sister about this she quickly started using it with DN-A. I'm happy for her, but it's a little (ha!) frustrating to hear how DN-A now is able to get dressed completely independently if she lays the clothes out for him. Woohoo. Good for DN-A. Now back to my kids who are a full year older: we had a couple days that went well. And now they're not. A today totally shut down. "Take off your pajama top and put your shirt on." A began crying, "I can't!!! I need help!!!" He wouldn't even try. I tried encouraging, I tried threatening, I tried complimenting his brother who already had his shirt on (not comparing, just focusing my attention on B), I even tried picking up his one hand, putting it on the sleeve, and pulling with him so he could get his arm out. He still kept saying that he couldn't do it. FINALLY I left the room for the second time (yes, I also had tried just walking out) and called back in for him to hurry and get his shirt on so I could give him a great big hug. That finally worked, and using that technique I could get him to dress himself, as long as he got a hug after each step.
After breakfast, the rule has been that the kids clear their breakfast dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Today A again became "helpless." I don't know where this is coming from!!! I finally directed him to get one piece at a time ("Go get your milk cup and put it in the fridge. Good, now go get your plate and put it in the dishwasher.") just as I would a child who has auditory processing difficulty, giving one direction at a time. I would say, aha, maybe that's part of his problem, except he has been clearing his dishes by himself for a while!
And then I have J who is responding no to every thing I tell her to do and hitting her brothers every chance she gets. She sits in time out every time she hits, and tells them she's sorry after her time outs, but that doesn't stop her from hitting them whenever she wants just for the fun of it.
I love my children, but some days I just want to go back to bed and stick my head under the covers and let them fend for themselves!