After the mayhem of the holidays, getting the kids back to school can be a great time to set up new routines to help the day run smoother.
Admittedly, I'm fairly new to this whole school rush vs holiday chaos balancing act, having moved in with my man and his 9 year old just over 12 months ago. But trust me, I've heard and said plenty of "have you brushed your teeth yet?" and "I'll do it after this cartoon!", and the organiser in me is looking for ways to get a little relief!
The first thing we're going to try this year is a checklist on the fridge. This serves as a visual reminder of what needs to be done at each part of the day. Some kids will be motivated enough by getting all the boxes ticked but others may need a reward tied in with this. Our plan is to have a reward if everything is done each day without having to be asked. I've seen some lists like this that are laminated and a whiteboard marker used to tick the boxes, but we're just going to start out printing one for the week so that we can tweak it if needed as we get started. Also, if the kids are younger and still learning to read, you might want to use pictures on your checklist.
As mentioned above, some kids need that extra encouragement to go along with new routines. Of course there is the good old pocket money for chores done, but it could be as simple as getting their favourite meal for dinner at the end of the week or choosing the movie for the family to watch on DVD night.
We have the technology!
If your kids are a bit older, they may have a phone or iPod that could be used to set up reminders at certain times of the day. Other techno trick that may be handy for some, is to set the parental controls on your internet or TV to not give kids access at certain times when they should be busy with homework or getting ready for school.
Your Own Routine
Lastly, now that the kids are heading back to school (Yay!), we can get our own routines back on track. And remember using some of the above tips for yourself could help as well. Some of us remember things better when we see them visually, so finding a spot that you will see regularly, like the bathroom mirror or above the coffee machine may be a good spot for your own checklist. And who doesn't love rewards right?