I keep waiting for life to get simpler. We have downsized – we have simplified. Or so I thought.
Then comes the last-minute rush to get out of the house and I realize that we really have a LONG way to go.
“Where is my (insert item here)?”
“Who has seen my (I need it now here)?”
“What do you mean you still haven’t packed your dinner or filled your water bottle?!?!”
It can become overwhelming.
One of the mantras we are working on that I have borrowed from the Birthing From Within classes that I mentor: NEXT BEST THING. It fits in with the idea of focusing on solutions instead of berating our children for not being ready…again.
What is the next best thing we can do in this situation? Our answer has been to make a checklist so that we have a clear vision of what has to happen to get out of the house without anyone having a meltdown.
Puma and I are taking turns making “Get Out Of The House” checklists on our whiteboard. This is going well when we use it. We put it up the night before or in the morning.
Putting it up the night before lets them start getting used to the idea of planning ahead. And now, when the kiddos have break in during our homeschool day, they get to start working through their checklist. And then they can get back to playing when it’s not their turn with me.
I am enjoying seeing Puma take charge of this project – I did the first two and she has pretty much taken over the rest. Every once in a while I get to sneak in a chart if I make it before she wakes up in the morning 🙂
It is great for each of the children to take some responsibility for their part in getting out of the house without anyone breaking down in tears, present party included. They can look at the board and figure out what they still need to do and have the pride of getting it done and checked off the list. I am a big fan of seeing them build self-esteem from personal accomplishment.
It helps me feel less overwhelmed, the “I have to do it all” feeling that I find self-defeating and pitiful. Having the markers right there on the board so each Sweet Pea can take charge of their destiny is amazing. They help, I can take care of what I need to in a timely manner, and we are leaving early which makes our time-driven children VERY happy.
And who knows…if they take after their father and design the latest and greatest in software, they better get used to using whiteboards and dry-erase markers. This is a good start!