My girls live with me and my amazingly awesome boyfriend, who I'm a wee bit crushing on (lol). They spend alternating weekends, and every Thurs-Fri at their dad's. They seem to have adapted really well, we had our moments of acting out but they seem to be subsiding.
An overview, this being March tomorrow... Bri just turned 8 and Nika just turned 6... they are crazy... and awesome... and well... growing up. Bri has had some behaviour issues but seems to be getting through them... Nika is just now starting to really show her wish for independence. She never used to assert herself with her sister, she never used to really fight against me, either. I knew the day would come and it's finally here. I'm actually glad of it, I'm really happy to see her not taking any crap from her sister... and as much as it upsets me to put her in timeout... the fact that she actually does *earn* timeouts now, when she never used to - NEVER... I see it as a good thing, as much as I am frustrated when it happens... at least I know she's not a pushover and she's starting to make her own decisions and mistakes.
Mornings are my biggest downfall, but I had a conversation with a children's counselor and she suggested the checklist thing, which I have successfully used from time to time - again, my downfall being "time to time"... my downfall has always been lack of consistency. But what she suggested was starting small. A morning routine with times set out for points... with their bathroom time swapped so they don't share space too much in the morning.
So... as it stands, I wake them gently at 7am and have an alarm set for 7:10am. They have til the alarm, to get up. (I thank SuperNanny for that idea, actually).... and then they have a checklist - and it's their own responsibilities to get through it. Up by 7:10 -check. Get dressed by myself by 7:15 -check (which is easy because I get them to pick their clothes at bedtime and put them out)... have my hair and teeth brushed by 7:25 -check. Be at the breakfast table by 7:30 -check. Finished breakfast by 7:45 -check. And the important one; EARN FREE TIME until 8:15 -check. And then, boots/coat/backpack on by 8:25 (when the "teacher bell" rings and we need to leave). I use Handipoints for this checklist, and at the counselor's suggestion, they'll have actual little "tokens" that they earn for each checkmark at the end of a week - and the last 3 mornings I've used the checklist for have been smoother than any morning I have ever had - and it places the responsibility on their own shoulders, to get their own selves ready. I'm lovin' it.
On another note, Bri's been sick all weekend apparently. Argh. She's off school today and still in bed. Poor ween.