So, what did we do? One, we've tried to let the kids take care of something alive. Like a plant. Simple. Snake plants are fantastic b/c you really can't kill them even after months of neglect. Trust me, we found one in the boys' room. Anyhow, plants are easy yet show me if the kids know responsibility and to care for something.
Fish are another. We always start out w/ betas. Easy fish to take care of. Once they master that, we let them get an aquarium, if they want it. Some don't. Let's just say the boys' record of getting an aquarium is zip. Irina has her own aquarium, Yana doesn't want one, and the younger girls are getting their larger aquarium once the new room is done. Trust me, they've reminded me of it everyday. Found a very nice one on Craigslist for free so we're good.
Another "therapy" tool we use around here is the dogs. Dogs seem to be great healers. They will listen any time. They won't talk back. They're soft, etc.
Reni, working things out, just being with Kota. Kota at that moment in time was comfort enough. Her and I had a round so she needed some space and time to "zone" out. She's gotten better at not stomping off, not mouthing back(still working on it), and not being as upset for so long. Old habits are hard to break. We'll get there slowly but surely. You just have to teach them the right way to react and that takes time. She no longer flinches at yelling but instead has found her voice. That is both good and bad. Great that she feels safe here. Safe enough though that she thinks she can mouth off and say whatever she likes. Of course at this age, it is NOT all PI stuff. Some if this is normal preteen girl stuff.