For years, Ricki has spent the afternoon with “Mommy”, doing homework, sometimes cooking together, and often, when I am busy, watching films on the computer.
About two months ago, I started sending Ricki to an afternoon program. The program is pretty good, and they are excellent with behavior issues. The only problem was that one mother from the group the Ricki which would have normally been put into decided that she doesn’t want Ricki in that group (for partially valid reasons), so Ricki was placed with a group of less-high functioning girls. The manager assured me that anyway most of the activities are geared to each teen’s individual level This would give me a break in the afternoons, and make it easier for me to work partime. The drawback is that I would have less time to study and do Life Skills with Ricki myself. However, since I don’t always make time for that, I decided to try it out.
All seemed to go well for a month or so. Ricki was upset that she was not with girls from her class, but seemed to enjoy the activities. Than suddenly, two weeks ago Ricki started refusing to go to the “activity center” after school. I figured that perhaps some of the activities were too childish, or that she had no real friends in the group. (She told me that she was not friends with different girls from the group who she might have befriended.) In addition, I decided that she should attend fewer days each week (something I had originally requested, but which city hall had initially blocked), since she is not used to being away from home so many hours each and every day. But her heart has been soured, and she is not interested in continuing.
I guess Mommy’s afternoon program got better rating from her. (At least I take her to an exercise club once weekly, so she is not completely isolated from her friends.) So, at least temporarily, I need to keep Ricki active in the afternoons, probably helping me Pesach clean……