I have three kids going in three different directions. I have a hubby who is better at other things than communicating his schedule. I also work at home, homeschool one child, public school for another child, and adult mental health program daily for the third. To say we are in the running in circle stage of life is accurate.
Because I don’t do well with focus, I will never be one of those perfectly put together moms. But I had to come up with something that would allow me to keep up with each child’s schedule as well as all the things that I needed to accomplish. All of our kids have a bit of a passive aggressive streak in them. It must be inherited. So often times there will be a whole lot of bickering and attitude before a blow up that finally settles what the issue they are struggling with.
Enter Family Council.
Once per week we all sit down at the kitchen table. Before we start I say a prayer for no bloodshed. Most of the time I disguise it as a reminder of kind words and good attitudes. Going around the table we all say something good that happened to us through the week. Then we go through the process of discussion of six main items.
This can be anything from I need to find nail clippers to I have to have paperwork for school tomorrow. This topic goes pretty fast. They are only allowed to speak to their own needs. For instance it is not ok for one child to say that another needs something. Little Floating Feather can not say to Miss Ma’am that she needs to get her belongings up out of the floor. They are only allowed to address me or my husband. This makes it go quicker and stops arguments.
We go over the last week of chores. Either the chores were done each day the way they were supposed to or if not we discuss why not. I speak directly to each child. The other children are not allowed to speak unless it is giving praise or encouragement.
This is where we usually break down. My son is mad because the 8 year old won’t put the cap back on the toothpaste. The 14 year old keeps teasing my son. And the cycle continues. The characters of this bit of drama never change but the issues they bring up will sometimes change. Once again they are not allowed to address one another unless it is positive.
This is a crucial part of the process. Our 14 year old is in many extracurricular activities in public school. We do co-op with some homeschooling friends. This is a time that I am sitting down focused on making sure that I have all the information I need for who goes where and when. My ADD will not allow them to simply walk in the door and tell me something or hand me a sheet of paper and me remember it.
Honey Do/Things to Fix
This part is my husband’s favorite! The kids notice things around the house that needs attention just like I do. Half the time I notice something I forget to write it down. The kids remember when I don’t.
Having a written record if these things gives me something to go back to when I get that feeling that I have forgotten something. Comment below and let me know what works for you.