Mar 7, 2012

Getting Back on Track

As a parent do you ever feel like things are just flying at you way too fast?  ...figuratively of course...not literally!  Well, I do.  At times it's just overwhelming to me to keep up with Ella's development and make sure she's being nurtured, challenged, disciplined etc. in all the ways she needs. There are so many things to think about!  It is times like these that I am thankful for prayer, God's Word, Pinterest, and friends that have either gone before me or are right in the same stages and have rockin' ideas!

Since the days of blasted first trimester sickness where I became the kind of mom I dispise, we have improved.  Life is back to normal in play, learning, evenings, outings etc...but  but it's hard to break bad habits...even newly formed ones!  Our mornings are still not the way I'd like.  Breakfast is usually in the living room in our PJ's and although we've cut way back, there are still way too many shows.   This makes it super hard to get going, get Ella motivated to do other things and get ready for the day and we usually end up running late and both frustrated.  Not how I want life to be.  Not what I want for my Bella. 

SOOO, I divised a plan to whip things back into shape during nap time yesterday...layed it out for Ella last night...and implimented it today!  It is as follows:

In the morning before she can watch cartoons, she needs to:
get dressed (we pick out and lay out the clothes the night before) and
make her bed (pull her comforter up) before she leaves her rooom.
feed Hunter
eat breakfast at the table
brush her teeth.

She gets to put a smiley face on her chart for each of these tasks.  She also has the task of picking up toys throughout the day.
So, TV can go on after those things are completed, if we're home for the day. However, she now has a mason jar with popcicle sticks in it.  When she wants to watch a show, she has to go to the jar and get a popcicle stick and give it to me.  (Popcicle sticks can be taken out of the jar by mom or dad as a consequence for behavior.)
I'm not sure she can grasp it now, so this will wait until later.  But later we'll move up to adding up the smiley faces she has on her chart at the end of the week and she'll get that many popcicle sticks for shows for the following week.  Later we'll also add more everyday chores that are just her part of keeping up the house and next year we'll add extra chores that she can earn money for each week.

Today has gone swimmingly!  She's super excited about it, loves putting the smiley faces on, loves getting the popcicle sticks and handing them to me, and keeps coming up with other chores she wants to do.  I pray this great attitude continues!  It makes me get ready for the day and do the same things and OH how much smoother and happier our day has been!  Praise the Lord!

It's just so important that our children learn responsibility for themselves and the household.  Self discipline is so crucial in life!  It's so vital to have order and routine and predictabilities to our days!  It takes a tad more work and thought on the front end, but it saves SO much time and energry that it's a no brainer.  And believe me folks, 2 and 3 year olds are NOT too young to start learning this stuff.  The sooner the better!  So glad to be back on track!

What helpful tips/routines etc. do you do with your toddlers/preschoolers?  Wisdom always welcome! 

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