I have been so excited about our little guy coming and so frustrated that our children with RAD just can't seem to dig out of their holes. On top of that Forrest and Jose had gotten into a rut as well. It seemed that might never dig out. I decided several days ago that Friday would be the day to grant "clemency" to them. I knew that if I did it before Friday, then there would be no chance of them making it to the weekend and still having priveleges. I really wanted them to get another good taste of what life SHOULD be like.
While we were homeschooling today I let them know. I said "I have decided to grant clemency to everyone, but I need to know if you want it." I knew that they wouldn't be sure what it meant. I also knew that we've been working on better dictionary skills and using it when needed. (Homeschooling moms are always teaching!) Dayton and Jose said "Well, we don't know if we want it because we don't know what it means. What if it means that you are going to kill us or something?". I have to admit that made me laugh. It also made me feel accomplished, because we've also discussed making sure that you don't just "follow" others without knowing that they are doing what is right. lol
Andrew spoke up at that point. He said, "I think it probably means MERCY and I want it!". See I always tell people that he is a smart kid. I know that if he'd use half of the energy to do the right thing that he does to try so hard to do wrong, then he could accomplish tons!
Dayton spoke up next, "Well I am getting the dictionary!". He went to get it and looked the word up quickly. He then declared, "Andrew you were right!". They got a little noisy at that point. I quickly realized that the ones who get into the most trouble were planning what else they might be able to get away with now. I had to quickly remind that "clemency" would get rid of the writing assignments and give them normal priveleges, but that any further behaviors would land them with more consequences.
They quickly started to chat about "how this could happen". I never give an inch. I quickly learned that they were very smart. They declared that this had to do to my happiness over "child #13". I told them that I had decided that since I got that blessing, that I would give them a chance to receive one as well. Dayton told them, "Smell . . . . your taste of freedom!". He was even excited for them! I got hugs and listened to lots of happy chatter.
I don't know how long it will take for them to get into more trouble. History would make you believe that it won't be long. I want to believe that maybe they will take the opportunity to learn something. I want them to know that I do love them and want them to have a happy life. I don't want them to think that I will do this again any time soon, but I don't think they would dare bank on that. I do want them to know that I would do anything that I can to help them. They started to try and take advantage a few times this evening, but quickly backed down. We will see what tomorrow holds!
The RAD kids do know that they still have very strong limits. They still can't receive attention from other adults. They still can't be roaming the house unattended. They still have other rules that aren't rules for others at our house. They also know that those rules are not punishments, but rules in place to help them get better and not sabotage themselves.
What will they do with this clemency!?!