I've already written about how much fun we had visiting our friends for vacation recently... how fantastically our kids all played together and how the mamas and papas got to enjoy some great longs talks and prayer time and fun. Well, I'm so eager to share with you my favorite parenting gem gleaned from these wise parents!
Bedtime for us used to involve multiple instructions (oh so many words needed from us!) sometimes sending one kid with a task from dad and a task from mom in two different directions at once! Get a drink! Get your PJs on! Did you go potty, darling?
Laura said they had the same difficulty until recently when she posted her own scrapped photo "Jobs Chart" on the kids' door. We saw Matt and Laura tell their kiddos one thing: "JOBS!" and their cherubs scurried off knowing exactly what they needed to do...
Here's how it works:
The kiddos know that when we say it's time for Jobs, they are responsible to finish the seven tasks on the photo chart in their room.
1- Serve Each Other. (This is my favorite!) As Laura said, this isn't about "but those aren't my toys," this is our chance to serve and bless each other as a family. We pick up together. Sometimes mom or dad will assign a certain Serve Each Other for the night.
2- Dirty Clothes, PJs, Drawers. Bet you can figure this one out.
3- Milk - Water. I love to be together as much as I can with our kids so if we can catch a moment drinking milk at the table all together.... I'm all the more glad! And then our kids know they need to bring a cup of water to the bookshelf if they want a sip at night. Their responsibility.
4- Potty. 5- Brush Teeth. Clear enough.
6- Sleep Stuff. Our kiddos love to have their favorite toy of the day, a blanket, a sleep toy or book with them on their beds.... and for us, they can have any of it so long as they get it to their beds before the lights go out.
7- Bed! The earlier they get to their beds, the more time there is for rewards: cuddling, hymns, praying together, grateful things, back scratches, flashlight books and shadow hands, silly songs and.... whatever else they can come up with for the night!
1) Start early with jobs- no need to rush them!!
2) Allow even more time to checking thoroughly that their jobs are all done.
3) Sometimes, depending on timing, jobs can even be done before dinner if need be! (usually the Serve Each Other job)
We're just about a week into this new bedtime routine and I think in another week or two we'll start seeing even more pay-off for this wise plan for bedtime, once they speak the language of JOBS more fluently, so to speak. So far our kids enjoy it like a game and really take pride in completing their jobs well. And when they do, there is time for such joy rewards!
We are So Grateful to the Lord for you dear Matt and Laura! For you and your kids, and for letting us pick up on this great plan of yours! Thanks guys!