Sunday, October 25, 2009

Start Small, Think BIG!

Our new family theme: Start Small, Think Big

This week we are focusing on the little tasks that can become habits that fit into our daily routine.

I must admit, I always think Big and then try to accomplish the end goal all at once. The end result? An unfinished task and an overwhelmed and frustrated Mama!

So I have thought about some of my goals and have broken them down into smaller ones.

For example: I am trying to manage my home better and not be the only one who does everything for everyone. The latter may produce the results that I want but it is not helpful in equipping my kids or helping me focus on other things that interest me.

So my goal: to equip the kids & hubby to be responsible for various jobs around the home

Smaller goals: identifying specific areas that need attention
1. Entrance: keep shoes orderly, pick-up clutter, sort incoming mail
2. Dining Room- meal prep- silverware, plates, napkins, drinks, meal, sweep floor
3. Hallway Bathroom- wash around the toilet, wash down the sink, straigthen towels
4. Kitchen- dishes loaded & unloaded, sweep floor, mop floor
5. Living Room- pick up clutter
6. Boys Bedroom- clean up, maintaining individual routines

Now that I have narrowed down some main problem areas, I pick one area to focus on and assign jobs to various people. They own that job and I teach them if necessary how to do it. Then I follow through with the most important part: Inspection. They have to know I'm serious and that consequences will follow.

So for this week:
6. Boys Bedroom-
7:30 am- the boys understand that they need to be dressed w/bedroom picked-up for breakfast. If they do this everyday they get 1 minute added on to their 10 min. video game playing on Friday.
7:30 pm - the boys understand that they need to have brushed teeth, use potty & in pjs for a story before bed. If they do this everyday they get 10 minutes added on to their 30 min. video watching on Saturday.

Now if they are not ready or they get out of bed after saying goodnight (except maybe to use the potty), then the consequence is subtracting the appropriate amount to their overall time.

Bedtimes have been such a struggle since school started we are focusing on this one first in terms of applying consequences.

2. Dining Room- we are also giving each child a little job to help prepare dinner. There are no consequences at this point since we are teaching this idea (although I did share the story about a mom who served food directly on the table since the child responsible for plate setting was watching TV and the other kids quickly got his attention and made him do his job!) The kids loved this!

The tasks:
Ready to Go (almost 2) - puts her plastic plate and her brothers on the table
Eager to Help (four) - puts the napkins out
Mr. Active (six) - sets the table with silverware
Hubby- gets drinks & side dish
Me- all things food related

It has been so helpful just to think through this! I must admit it requires me to let go of the "control" factor that I like to depend on but it is SO freeing knowing that I can delegate and expect results. We will see how this week goes!

Do you have any helpful routines or tips on including the kids in getting the job done? I'd love to hear them!

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