Chaos - How do you deal with it?
It is often mentioned on here that some of us have children who come from chaotic backgrounds and thrive on chaos.
I was wondering how people have dealt with it and what had worked the best?
Our position is that we have a DD (8) who loves chaos and control of the chaos. The advice from professionals and indeed from the community seems to be to set routines and boundaries, stick to them and gradually the chaotic child will begin to settle into the routines as this is actually what they are craving - Parenting.
Well, as always not all children are the same and general advice can't possibly cover all eventualities.
For the first 18 months we set strict routines for everything. We had meal calendars, getting up and going to bed routines, when to watch TV, when and what we were going to play and frankly it wasn't working.
My DD pushed back against everything from the moment she started to settle with us. Routines, as far as she was concerned, were something that happened when she was in care and she really didn't like that. In retrospect, this approach was probably causing more problems than it was fixing.
For the last few months we have changed to a less routine and more free flowing way of life, closer to how we (and I expect most people) lived before we had children. Last minute decisions on where to go and what to do, no meal plans, no routines for anything.
So now we have a calm child who seems to have started enjoying life. Organises herself, takes some responsibility, no longer refuses school every few days, hasn't destroyed her bedroom for months. Goes to bed when she wants to (Which is actually before the old routine suggested) gets herself up and dressed and often gets her own breakfast in time for school.
Now, some may say we are playing into her control behaviour and she is making decisions that are beyond her age. We seem to have found a way of living that works for our family and its quite nice to have your daughter bring you a sandwich now and again.
Right now, we are both dazzled by the transformation, and are in the mindset of "This is possibly too good to be true".
Thoughts from the forum would be appreciated.