Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bearing with Chaos

 More often than not I get asked how I do it. Being a mama of four, running a daycare,’ having a clean house, 2 kids in sports, keeping the kids busy and running a ‘pretty tight ship. Well, I honestly think it is more routine than anything. Kids adapt well with routines and schedules, so that they know what to expect and know what is coming next. My kids love ‘stations’…they love the having one task/project/job to do and then being able to switch to something totally different. Being able to ‘free play’ is great and gives kids a wide variety of choices, but my kids will often say they are bored or don’t know what to do. If you set something up for them to do and tell them they have a set amount of time to being doing it, then they will most likely enjoy what they are doing and know that something new is coming when their time is up at that ‘station.’

Kids work well when something is ‘set up’ for them to do or play. My kids will play game after game, but setting it up takes a while and they loose interest. Set up an obstacle course and let them run through it throughout the day, set up games for them to play, make a ‘school setting’ for them to play teacher/school, have them help you bake and make washing the dishes a fun assembly line, get empty bottles and cups and give them colored water to mix and pretend they are scientists, give them markers and big sheets of paper and tell them that they are artists. The fun is all there, sometimes you just have to make it.

Another thing that works well is working in walks and outside play, in between inside activities. Getting little bits of their energy out throughout the day will help them last longer in the activities that they do. Getting them up and moving around playing things like 'Simon Says,' running races, going to a park, blowing bubbles, drawing with love being outside!

Rewards go over well in our house. If you ‘help your sister,’ ‘grab the mail,’ ‘read three books’…etc, you’ll get to pick today's snack, get five extra minutes of your bedtime show, get a sucker after lunch…etc. They love being rewarded and knowing they are doing things right and making mama happy.
Getting my kids to do things, is all about how I word asking.

"Chase, since you are so fast, could you please go grab me the milk out of the fridge?"
"Abby, since you are such a great big sister, can you please help your sister pick up her mess?"
"Kenzie, I know how you love being a big helper, so can you please help my set the table?"
{A compliment with a request...if you will}

Kids thrive off of compliments and encouraging words. They like know what they are doing is being noticed and that they are getting the 'thumbs up' of approval. 

In my opinion, being a mama of 2 is just as much of a job as being a mama of 4. It's all about how you 'run your ship.'!

What do you do to keep your kiddos entertained/busy to keep their behavior 'in line?'


Mary said...

Thanks for sharing your tips! I like the reward idea. I try really hard to praise Hailey when she does something good. She always gets really excited when she helps and I say thank you and get excited.

Have a great Wednesday :)

Angela said...

Good tips! I agree, kids thrive with routine. Thanks for sharing!

Kathryn said...

Great tips!! Mine are terrible right now about playing independently and always want me right with them...trying to break this and think of fun stuff to do with 2 18 month olds! We are on the go a lot but it's being at home they go stir crazy even though they have tons of toys!!

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