Saturday, December 26, 2009

The List: Evidence of Discernible Progress

Earlier in the week, I took to cleaning out my office. It wasn't terribly messy but the paper piles were beginning to take over and it was time to battle them back.

Armed with a shredder, I quickly cut the piles down to size - or at least to a manageable level. At the bottom of one of the piles, I came across a list I'd made on a piece of paper from a legal pad that surprised me. The list was titled:


I created the list last February, when we were at the height of our concerns about Robbie in school. I wish I could remember what inspired me to write the list. Was it a book I'd read? Was it a conversation I'd had? More importantly, why did I misplace it?

All in all, I listed nineteen items off the top of my head that I wanted Robbie to be able to change. After finding the list, I judged whether he's learned to change these behaviors at least 80% of the time (hell, I don't do all of the 100% of the time). I was shocked to determine that he'd changed all but five of the items. The five items I was unable to check off were among the five least worrisome behaviors he exhibited. They are:

- Play a board game without cheating or on his own terms
- Eat more foods, especially fruits and vegetables
- Improve his writing<
- Eat breakfast
- Sleep in his own room through the night

If I were to create another list, I'm sure I could find more than five behaviors I'd like to change. But knowing that those fourteen items will no longer be on it, will make it a much more enjoyable task than it was last February.

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