Seems like these past few months have been full of trying to find new ways to do things to help our house run more smoothly. Most of them have been implemented to help with parenting Peyton and consequently they are used with Graham. Parenting a strong willed child is a challenge.....parenting by itself is a challenge. I feel like with Peyton I am constantly having to be on top of things, consistent and looking for ways to help us achieve success as opposed to always entering into power struggles. I so very much want and desire that her strong will stays intact and that she grows up to be independent, strong willed and a force but that I have given her the tools to still be successful in relationships and in life.
Anyways....after a couple of rough mornings getting her ready and off to school I knew I needed to come up with a better system. My goals were to give her the power and responsibility to do things on her own while still making sure that there was a guide/system to get the things done I needed her to do. So, I created a morning and evening checklist for her that is hanging up in her room. This gives her the steps to follow and also the responsibility and ownership to work through them on her own.
She responded really well to them, was excited and worked through them in the morning and evening. She often even has Graham following her and doing everything in the morning routine which certainly helps me.
Everything was going great for a couple of days and then I encountered the problem of getting her started on the checklist and we had a ROUGH morning getting her to school. She is always pretty slow in the mornings getting going and always very particular about what she wears...this itches, this hurts, the sleeves are too tight....which can lead to rushed mornings and I get so frustrated. So, after another morning of feeling rushed, and losing my patience which leads to me yelling and her getting upset, I sat down and try to brainstorm what was our problem. The major issue was that we were not leaving ourselves enough time and that I felt that I was constantly nagging her to get started.
So, I came up with the clock.....
The clock is in our playroom, next to the TV. It has the three tags next to the times for when key things should be starting. I kept the start times on the hour to make it easier. I contemplated getting a digital clock but I figured this would help in exposing her to telling time and could serve two purposes and I had this sitting around and didn't want to buy a new clock. The three activities are the morning routine, evening routine and then a TV off time in the afternoon which is designed to help her prepare for evening activities without a hassle.
I explained it to her and she was somewhat receptive but not impressed that I found another "rule" or system to help guide us. And this morning we started with the morning routine. I also went ahead and set the timer 15 minutes before to help her start looking at the time. I told her when the timer went off to look at the clock and that the small hand would be at 7 which meant to start the morning routine. I left her to finish her breakfast and cartoons to finish the dishes. The timer went off and she didn't move, I came in and reminded her that the timer went off and offered the solution to pause the cartoon so if she was done her routine quickly enough she could finish it and so she agreed and off she went. She did GREAT! There was no whining, she did it on her own and quickly and it was so much smoother than normal. Certainly a big help. I did the same thing in the afternoon with setting the timer 15 minutes before to help her transition and then again in the evening and it went really well.
I know we will still have some rough days but I am hoping this is something that can give her power/ownership and help guide us through those times better. I certainly do not have this figured out in any way BUT I do always want to share things that work and don't for us in hopes of helping another parent out there. I certainly do not come up with all of this on my own and am so thankful for the blogs, Pinterest boards and friends who help me find solutions for my parenting techniques!