Well last week my 30 minute post was Se7en Silly Reasons Why Mom’s Say No… and did you guys all have something to say. Go and read the comments folks, they are well worth the read!!!
So I thought I would write a follow up with “se7en sneaky ways to say yes to their silly requests…” Let’s face it they do have silly requests and lots of them!!!
- Meet Them in The Middle: Our priorities for the day are not their priorities!!! They are looking for a fun day and we are looking to get things done!!! Seriously, I am looking to get up and get going with school in the morning and my kids are looking to hang in their pajamas as long as they can. I meet the little guys on the couch for a story each and that gives my older kids a chance to catch up. Once we have listened to a couple of stories we are ready to roll. Just getting up and go, go, go never works and always takes longer.
- Slow and Steady: Sunday nights are my favorites… My three big kids go to church with their “father person” and I am left home with only five (and the oldest is six) we do a long bubble and play in the bath and tackle a mountain of stories until we just can’t do anymore… the panic of the nightly “get through the shower and bed routine” is so gone. And here is the shocker. I always thought it took hours longer, it doesn’t. It takes the same time to be slow and steady as it does to be frantic – we get to bed the usual time, just far more relaxed. (I could learn something from this – really!!!)
- Give Them the Power: Nothing like taking the time to teach your kids a life-skill – big or small – and then leaving the task up to them. And I mean leave it!!! Turn the other way, grind your teeth and leave them!!! The job gets done because they have mastered the skill. You really need them to “be able to water the vegetable garden.” Oohhh the shock when those tomatoes didn’t (ahem) make it to the table… and the heady pride when the salad was from their garden. Kids spot the difference between a real task and a time filler straight away. (And I have to sneak in here: give them the great jobs too, not just “make your bed and tidy the socks,” kind of jobs)
- Snack Attacks: My kids will say: “I am so hungry” when actually they want some attention, just before dinner or when they know I am going to be busy on a call. Now I could say NO, but it works better if I ask what they are after. Sometimes they say: “Well lets have waffles…” “Yea right!!!” But if I don’t say outright no instead I say: “What a good idea” lets make a list of what we need from the store, and we can do that later in the week. They are usually happy to comply, especially if I follow up instead of “forgetting.” !!!
- Change the Game: If you are inside or doing something quiet, then go out doors and be loud… Mix up their day a bit. I get really bad at this during school time and some folk round here have a lot of ENERGY. If I don’t think about this then I will have a six year old leaping on the couch next to a “not so sleeping baby…” and my wheels will totally come off. If, as the little guy goes to sleep I say lets have some races and head out doors we might all survive.
- Surprise Them with Little Things: While you are running errands go a different route, nothing tweaks their interest more: “Where are we going?” Not to mention stop at a park and let them run… I know madness!!! But that’s because our schedule is not their schedule… and lets face it the ten minutes spent running across a field will most likely put everyone in a much better mood and cancels out the extra ten minutes you won’t be spending whining and cajoling through the store.
- Rock the Routine: Now you can’t do this always because then it wouldn’t be routine!!! But sometimes I will have prepared dinner in advance and instead of catching up on chores, I can do something obscure: go outdoors and pick flowers for the table, sit with my guys and draw pictures for place mats. It really is a little thing!!!
I could have, should have, written this post in one word: “Distraction.” – It is not a cop-out, we use it ourselves all the time. The trick is to not be too tired to really to engage your kids before things fall apart. It is so much easier to be creative and positive when you have had enough sleep – so good-night!!!
This Post was hammered out as part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom. The photographs were taken from my flickr pool, so didn’t need load up time.