Remember the Newlywed game? One spouse answers personal “couple” questions while the other is locked up in a sound proof room. Spouse #2 comes out and has to answer the same questions to see if their answers match. You either win the game or end up in a HUGE fight. How would this question have gone over in YOUR marriage?
“In the morning, would you describe your wife as a Sunflower or a Snapdragon?”
I thought I was fairly happy and easy going in the morning. Perhaps not joyful, but certainly pleasant enough. So Sunflower I must be! Do you know what he answered?
And you know what was even worse? When I told the kids what he said, they AGREED with him! WHAT?!! Turns out I didn’t do as well with the stress of getting kids out the door for school as well as I thought I did – go figure! And the Snapdragon reared its ugly head afterschool too. As embarrassing as it was to have my true temperment exposed, that embarassing discovery lead to more structure and a system that was better for all of us.
Creating good routines for your kids can change you from a Snapdragon to a Sunflower!
- Start by considering the specific block of time that you need to create a routine for and list all the tasks your child needs to accomplish during that time.
- Next, remove any tasks that are not absolutely neccesary. The shorter the list, the easier it is to complete it!
- Finally, put these tasks in the most efficient order to minimize distractions and prevent wasting time. (Example, if “make bed” is part of the morning routine, make that the first thing your child does when they get up and are standing next to the bed!)
With younger kids, use simple images on flash cards that are linked together with a ring. When they complete the one task on the card, they flip to the next. This helps prevent them from becoming overwhelmed. For older kids, create a list tailored to each of them.
Here is the routine I made for my 2nd grader using PicMonkey
(This is my FAVORITE site for creating and editing images).
Simple, yet specific.
No matter what the age of child, make sure the routine SIMPLE TO FOLLOW and EASILY ACCESSIBLE. I would suggest hanging a copy on their bedroom wall or bathroom mirror. Then hang another in the kitchen on the fridge or cabinet. Make sure the routine is at EYE LEVEL for your CHILD!
I slip each of my kids’ lists into a clear plastic sleeve with a wipe board marker near by. When they have checked everything off their list for that block, they are free to move on fun activities. Now “Snapdragon Mom” isn’t nagging them about whether or not they got everything done. If they seem to be slacking or distracted, I simply ask where they are on their list to get them refocused.
These routines have put the responsibilty
ON MY KIDS where it belongs!
Of course, a routine is only good if you consistantly STICK TO IT! Yes, there are days where we have shift things around, but the concept is stays they same and the consistancy pays off. I have stopped breathing fire and everyone is happier about that! 😉 Creating good routines for your kids can help YOU too!
(Check out my post 4 Cleaning Habits You Should START (or STOP) for more ideas to help you control the SNAPDRAGON!)
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