Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Force or Not to Force...That Is The Question

Sometimes Kalisha is just too much of a teenager. She was told about a cooking class at Bethesda for their clients. It was every Friday and included shopping for the groceries, preparing the meal, eating lunch together and cleaning up. She was excited and wanted to participate (after I assured her she didn't have to eat the chicken if that was what the group decided to prepare.)

Decision-Making Cartoon for Getting It Right-Occasionally Blog
We didn't hear anything about it for a few weeks. During that time, I was struggling with letting her have more say in her activity decisions and encouraging her to speak her mind. We-e-l-l, when the person called to make arrangements for a Friday, like picking her up at 9:30 and bringing her home by 1:30, she said, "No, I can't do that. I sleep until 10 o'clock and I don't want to be gone for that long and I don't really want to go."

Now comes the hard I force her to participate in activities that I know she will enjoy once she gets there, or do I let her make her own decisions?

Kalisha, her Behavioral Consultant, and I discussed this. The end decision was that I had to force her to go and at least try it. There are several other things and groups that I have let her say 'no' to, but I think I am doing a 180 on this avenue of choice. She has LOTS of things she can make her own decisions about and lots of freedoms, but as you would do with a young child, some things have to be: "Sorry, in this you don't have a choice. You have to try it."

She has already accepted the cooking class by calling the director and saying she will come tomorrow. When I let loose of the 'decision reins' too much, Kalisha decides, "Ok, I won't do anything." That isn't good either so we are working towards a happy medium. Somewhere between, "You can't make any of your own decisions." and "Okay, you can make all of your own decisions."

I will give you updates on the progress. Until next time...

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