Remember I wrote about being stumped for solutions about Child1 wrt the aftercare situation next year?
For the past two weeks, we’ve been doing a combination of things to see what will work best. I must say that he’s open to trying new things, even though he’s nervous and occasionally needs very detailed instructions. I LOVE that. This is what we’ve been doing:
- I have collected him at school and brought him to the library where he hangs out and reads and waits for me. This works well but I can’t see him doing it ALL THE TIME. Poor kid!
- I have collected him at school and have dropped him at home where he stays alone and unsupervised. He has a list of things to do and, each thing must be completed and ticked off the list before he can switch on the x-box or read or whatever. No internet is allowed under any circumstances and he’s not allowed to open the door for ANYONE – because nobody has any business coming to our house during the day. I have informed our neighbour (she of the dogs ) when he’s home, and she’s been really good with keeping an eye out. I must say that this has worked out really well too. He’s become extremely safety-conscious and I do leave my cell phone with him just in case. He’ll be getting his own BB this weekend.
- I made him walk from school to my workplace. He arrives at my office, we have a quick bite to eat and then he goes to the library and waits for me. I must say I was a bit nervous about the walking thing (so was he) but he has managed REALLY well. His school is about a 10/15 minute walk to my office and it’s basically on a straight, busy road. I gave him very specific instructions as to which side of the road he needs to be on and which landmarks he MUST pass etc. He now does it with confidence and I am so proud of him! A lady in my office asked me how he manages to cross the road at the big intersection. I told her that I have no clue – I didn’t coach him on crossing an intersection but I guess that at some point he needs to figure it out – he’s 13 years old already!
- Today the instruction was to walk from school to my office. Then to have them call me so I could give him money because I needed him to go to the post office to send off a letter. HE was SUPER nervous as he’d never done something like this before. I was talking to my friend Cams about this last night, and it turns out that her 13-year old daughter has never needed to go and do something at the post office either! Can you believe the very different lives that our kids lead compared to when we were kids? Going to the post office was a normal thing in my childhood. I used to go and buy stamps and post things for my parents all the time! I told him that I would make a list of instructions for him and that, if he followed them, he would be fine. Here are the instructions that I typed and printed out for him.
I was actually going to write it by hand but he’s told me numerous times that he can’t read my scrawl.
A trip to the post office in 10 easy steps: ( this is what I printed off for him – have copied and pasted it in here, just removing the name of the shopping centre.)
- Enter xxxx Centre. Walk past that drunk man who sits outside. DO NOT make any eye contact with him.
- When you enter the centre you’ll see escalators in front of you. Don’t go up the escalators – instead, turn left. You will see two clothing shops on the left and an optometrist and a health shop on the right. ABSA bank is in the corner.
- Walk past the health shop and turn right.
- Walk straight ahead until you find the bookshop. The post office is situated directly opposite the bookshop.
- Stand in the queue.
- When it’s your turn to be served, walk to the counter and tell the assistant that you would like to post a letter.
- They will take the letter from you and glue some stamps on the top right hand corner.
- They will then stamp the letter and tell you what it will cost.
- Pay them and make sure to request a slip. Don’t forget to check your change before you walk out of there. THEN, drop the letter in the big, red letter box. They will direct you if you are uncertain.
- Walk straight back to the library – I will get the slip and my change from you when we go home.
FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. Go through these BEFORE you step out of the Post Office.
Ps….no going into that book shop unless you are struggling, in which case, speak to Emma who sits at the counter. If Emma is not there, then come back to my office and I’ll go through it with you again. Go STRAIGHT back to the library when you’re done!
Pps..DO not go to that R5 shop either. Go straight back to the library!
Ppps…I know the people at ALL the shops (including the bookshop and the R5 shop) so I WILL find out if you’ve been there. Don’t do it!
Pppps…Love you and am VERY proud of you! We can get the 2nd and 3rd Spud book for your kindle tonight? Are you interested? It will be a “Mommy-is-proud-of-me” kind of gift from me. Xx
Ppppps…leave the library at 16:58 (two minutes to five) and meet me at the car.
Anyway. The post office errand went well and I just LOVE seeing him gain confidence every time he manages to successfully master a life skill. Next week we’ll involve my parents and he can spend 2 days there after school. We are also going to attempt to go on the train and I will have my Dad meet him at the station because I’m really, REALLY not comfortable with him taking the taxi as well. He took a train a few weeks ago with my DH and feels OK to do it alone. Our line is very safe and it’s not a long train trip – his journey will last for 12 minutes exactly. HE also took a taxi a few weeks ago with my DH and is not keen on doing that EVER AGAIN! I really don’t blame him!
Was going to the PO and buying stamps and posting snail mail etc a regular part of your life when you were a kid?
What has your child done lately that has given him/her A LOT of added confidence? You are welcome to brag in the comments!