Thursday January 18, 2007

Pulling in the reins!  Tightening up the ship!  Whatever you choose to call it, there are times when things just get away from us and we need to STOP in our tracks,  re-group and get back to the tried and true.  We need to get back to what we know works!  Life has a way of bringing bumps into our days that derail our little trains; and before we know it, things are WAY out of whack!  I was writing this post in my head last night, and then was pleased this morning to find that Pamela, at The Welcome Home blog, was in the same mode in her home.  Pamela calls this process re-righting, and I like that!  The thought of making what has gone wrong, right again is very appealing.

As I mentioned yesterday, there are some things I need to work on with my boys in the area of chores and such.  It dawned on me, as I was working on the best way to implement this, why my poor seven year old was really struggling.  We had Christmas, along with an almost three week break from our school routine, then Copper and I took a very rare trip away together.  For a little boy with Tourette’s/ADHD/OCD/plus a bunch more letters, this was disastrous!  For him, pulling in the reins, or re-righting things (thank you, Pamela, for this GREAT term!), meant putting things back on track.  For him, this means going back to the clipboard!

This clipboard thing works well for him, and I think it would work equally well for most kids, especially those that need/crave organization and/or those who are easily distracted.  It works great for Moms, too!  Basically, my seven year old has a clip board with his entire day written out for him.  He can easily see what he is to be doing, what he’ll be doing next, and what will be required of him at any given time of the day.  He takes great satisfaction in crossing things off his list throughout the day as they are completed.  Another benefit, he knows why he is in trouble when he’s off task.  Now, I know a lot of you would say that disobedience is disobedience is disobedience and needs to be dealt with accordingly.  Before my little guy came along, I would have said the same thing.  God humbled me greatly in this area!

Everything is listed on his clipboard sheet for the day.  It’s a bit labor intensive for me to set up, as a different list is required for each day of the week, but it is well worth the initial time spent typing it into the word processor.  Once it’s typed in, I simply need to print each day’s list (Monday, Tuesday, etc.)  Everything is on his list from the time he wakes up in the morning, until the time that he goes to bed at night.  He asks that I put the next day’s papers on his clipboard on the dresser in his room at night so that it’s there first thing in the morning.  I have a master list, that looks more like a chart, on my own clipboard that allows me to keep track of his day, too.

Another thing I did yesterday for my boys and cleaning their room (sigh), was an idea I gleaned from my friend, Kendra.  She wrote out a detailed list for her older daughters on what she expected them to do to clean their room.  I adapted her idea for my boys and the room went, I kid you not, from pit to fairly neat, in just a few minutes.  You see, each boy now knew what his part of the room cleaning involved.  No more “but those are HIS Legos”, or “that’s his hat that’s on the floor”.  Brilliant, Kendra!  My boys now have a checklist taped to their wall (tacky, I know, but it works for me for now) with what they need to do before they leave their room in the morning, what needs to be done in the late afternoon, and what needs to be done before bed.  It takes them just minutes, but it keeps things fairly neat all day long.

These are just the first steps we’re taking to pull things back into order around here.  As far as the house goes, my daily/weekly/monthly schedules all still work for us, I just need to put all the holiday/vacation mode completely behind me and jump back into the schedule where I am.  Having a good working plan for maintaining your home is essential!  Of course, it only works if you do (speaking harshly to myself as I’m still trying to get my mind and body out of holiday/birthday/vacation mode!).  Time to get to it!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

Remember to pray for Karen!

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4 comments to Thursday January 18, 2007

  • Good to have you back. I’ve been SO busy, sorry I didn’t welcome you back sooner.

    I know what I dislike about travel the most…the laundry when I return. :p

  • I like this.  As a matter of fact, I’m doing this same thing at my house.  (Isn’t it weird how alot of us blogging moms seem to be on the same wave length?)  I spent some time tonight working out a schedule for tomorrow and we are going to stick to it!!  Good luck with yours…

  • Glad to know I’m not the only one with boys’ rooms that look like that! 😉  Let me know how it’s working for you.  And posting it isn’t tacky- it works!

  • I was all ready to tighten things up around here last week and then I got this cold! I’m am almost 100 % better and we were back at school work today. Each of my children have a clipboard for their schoolwork. I fill it up with new papers as needed, it is a great way for them to stay organized and they think it’s fun too! I like your idea of having the whole day planned on paper.
    We cleaned bedrooms last night, they looked just like the picture you shared! We’ve had alot of fort building around here lately..LOL
    Have a great weekend!