This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life after high school - what to eat

Living on your own - what to eat?

On Sunday we had the kids write up a weekly menu plan. Some of their choices were highly entertaining - Kitty chose to have American cheese slices and crackers for breakfast every day and sandwiches for lunch every day. Kitty had NO vegetables or fruit until we reminded her - she added salad to every lunch (in real life this means she added salad dressing with a little lettuce! *grin*). Kitty chose to eat out on Friday night, but picked the McDonalds' dollar menu so was looking at a whopping $3!

We gently teased Kitty about her dinner choice on Saturday night -she chose to eat with the family - because she was one of the kids who had chosen to live away from home. After we pointed out that it was a 14 hour trip one way, she amended this to eating out with her Nebraska family.

Some choices were encouraging - ALL of the kids (except Bear) chose homemade meals that are frequently family favorites (Lemon chicken, Chicken parmesan, Tatertot casserole...), instead of Pizza and Mac n Cheese as I expected. Ponito has obviously just been through lots of classes about nutrition so his meals were pretty balanced.

I was surprised that the kids (except Bear) planned to eat leftovers. In our house they act like I'm being evil when I suggest it (but then again, they are only making their favorite foods so I guess they won't really mind).

Bear's choices were discouraging. Granted he was under the impression that he would still be attending high school, whereas the rest of the kids were talking about college.

Breakfast: Nothing (although he often eats breakfast at school apparently - he did not include this).

Lunch on school days: school lunches except on Monday when he would eat Taco Bell.

Lunch on weekends: Saturday - eat out with girlfriend. Sunday - whatever is quicker (as a family we eat lunch with Grandma every Sunday, but I guess we can assume he's not choosing this option - actually Bob is the only one who chose lunch with Grandma, but that's because the others were planning on moving to another city)

Dinner: Steak, hamburgers, sausage, (apparently nothing on Wednesday), buffalo meat, steak, and Saturday night: Subway.

The kids were supposed to take their sample menu and plan a shopping trip on a preprinted grocery list I'd found. This is where things got really interesting.

As expected this is where the kids started adding "interesting" things to their list.

Ponito added lots of desserts and baked goods, and every cleaning product on the list.

Kitty added chips and dip and ice cream, but nothing else - not even frozen pizza! She also got every cleaning product, tons of preventative meds (like aspirin, cold/flu, vitamins...), and even insecticides and insect repellent. Bob's was similar although she added gum instead of chips and dip.

Bear... ah, Bear. (As we here in the South would say, "Bless his heart.").

He did go back and add some fruits and veggies (mostly for putting on his meat). He also added alcohol (beer and champagne) and condoms - We'll be having a looong talk about the drinking age, safe sex and alcoholism believe me! He chose to use all disposable plates and cutlery and was the only one to have fresh flowers on his list!

None of the kids chose to have pets after finding out about apartment pet deposits and thinking about the cost of food.

The plan is to take their lists and find out how much each item costs (we'll prorate for some things) so we can figure out what their monthly food bill would be. I made a list from their grocery list that included a space to write the cost of the item and how much it would cost if prorated for one week - since some items will last for months (like cleaning supplies, first aide stuff and light bulbs). We'll also talk about buying in bulk (which we do for our large family) versus buying for a single person and freezer meals too.

I'll also start having them cook more. We don't do this much right now because:

Bob thinks it is a chore and fights it (but is good at following recipes and likes to bake - especially desserts!);

Ponito would rather be outside playing although he's pretty good with a recipe too;

Bear is no fun to have in the kitchen and thinks he knows everything (he likes his meat black!) and is not good at reading recipes if you try to back off and let him do it himself;

Kitty often wants to help, but she's pretty messy (stirring stuff on the stove means the stove needs cleaning!), can't really follow recipes on her own, and gets overwhelmed or just wanders off after a couple of minutes. I keep reminding myself she's "only 6!" (developmentally speaking).

Kitty came home early from school yesterday with a tummy ache (she's not been taking her Miralax regularly) and Bob's hurt too so we haven't gone shopping yet, but that will probably happen today. This should be veeerry interesting!


waldenbunch said...

You are an amazing mom. You are just what your kids need to help them live as an adult. I know how much time and effort it takes to teach real life "stuff" but you are right on target. Our kids have no cause and effect thinking so it is amazing how they thing life is managed. God bless you!

marythemom said...

Oooh thanks Waldenbunch!! I needed that!