How do I organize my family?
Organizing a family is a big, never ending job. There are many things you can to and not one answer to the question; How to organize my family? But why not try some of the basic Organizing techniques like; routines and habits with your kids in silence…..are you curious on how this works?
As a mother of two young kids, I know that it isn’t always easy to get people out of the house in the morning (I live it). Or on the end of the day, getting people back into the house. That is without fighting, repeating chores 20 times and my children taking forever to complete a handful of small tasks.
This week I trailed a new technique which seems to work quite well……….it’s working in silence.
Several weeks ago, I introduced a chore app for the kids. There are many apps on the market, we have gone in the past with Chore Monster. However this app seems to have stopped.
Like many other chore apps it has a “mothership” for the parent, to set up the chores and approve / monitor that chores get done. The kids have access to the actual Chore Monsters.
Fast forward a few weeks, they app is still great, the kids use of the app however was “so-so”. As with any rules, habits or routines, it needs to be reinforced many times before it sticks. The kids still preferred me to repeat what was required for them to do (whilst it was already clearly written down in an interactive and visual format that they understood) and I won’t bore you with the sibling fights or the amount of times my children can use the word “mum” in a 5-minute window of time either on the beginning of the day or at the end.
As most mothers, I felt inundated by the word “mum”, repeating simple chores and the sibling bickering, one morning I was at my wits end and decided it is time for something else. That is when I implemented; routines in silence. The kids have 15 minutes in the afternoon and about 45 minutes in the morning (depending on how fast they do their things) to work on their chores in silence.
Before we enter the quite zone, I make it very clear how to find their chores, I mention all the chores as well, what is expected and what will disqualify them from the reward. (If you are familiar with my work or my book Organising Unpacked, you will know rewards are very important in the world of Organising and Decluttering). The reward in the afternoon is a little get together with a nice hot drink, some chocolate and biscuits and a chat about the day. In the morning, the reward is having breakfast together and getting out of the house on time ready to sing songs in the car on the way to school.
It has been working wonders so far. I am less exhausted as I don’t have to listen to children bicker as much, I don’t need to repeat myself 20 times and encourage them to hurry up because all this is covered in the exercise. They know what to do, they have a time frame, they can’t fight because this is impossible if you need to be quiet and there is something positive on the end of doing their chores. Plus, the kids are happy to talk again after their chore time is completed.
Is this the only answer on the question: How to Organize my family, no, most of us know many roads lead to Rome a more organised live, but if you have kids, try this technique.
If it is just you or other adults at home, why not try the silent technique just for you. Set a time limit and a clear list of tasks that you need to do (very regular simple tasks) and work in for a while in meditative silence.
Who says Organising can’t be a (silent) joy?