Sometimes I run around like I have my head cut off. I think my plate is so full and my schedule is just too jammed-packed. Then, I look at a neighbor friend of mine who not only is very patient, but along with her husband has a thriving family of eight.
She has become a huge role model in the sanity department and offers fabulous, sanity-filled parenting tips.
Here are the top tips I have observed in visiting her family that are worth sharing:
- Each child has a wall (or computer) calendar and the entire family has an online calendar for major events that they color code.
- Bunk beds are great space-savers! She finds that if they are not using bunk beds that washable comforters are much more practical than pillow shams and dust ruffles, that have a tendency to rip.
- Her kids have distinct chores that they rotate and work as a team to help prepare meals or clean up if she needs help. She has stations in the kitchen assigned with presumed duties that go with each area! When I observed her, I noticed it was very similar to sleepover camp from my Girl Scout Days!
- Ahhh, homework! She assigns two afternoons a week for all of her kids to do their homework together and she walks around as if her house was a classroom. She keeps tabs of each kid’s daily assignments via their log sheet and makes note of what they each need extra help with and works on that the other two days.
- She keeps a notebook for each kid and has color tabs in each one! Seems old-school, but not everything is paperless yet. She has their medical, school and recreation documents organized as well as phone numbers for friends for each kid. The most important dates, holidays and do-do items are on her i-phone, however.
- Most impressive is the use she makes from her egg timer. When she is in a bind she tells me that she times the kids’ showers and bathroom visits when necessary. She also teams up the kids to tidy up their room for privilege points (she keeps a chart), which are great incentives her kids to earn “days off” from “KP” (kitchen pick-up) or earn shoe money (for those supposed “must-haves” that are actually in the “extra” category!
And the socks!! She has her kids put initials w/magic markers on the bottom of her kids’ socks and it is their job to match them!! I am sure you can imagine why she buys white socks for everyone, too!