Most weekday mornings feel a lot like trying to get a cat into the cat carrier to go to the vet.
Actually, come to think of it, getting a toddler to decide between this purple shirt or that purple shirt is a lot harder, and waaaay more frustrating! The chaos was making for a stressful start to all of our mornings and I was frazzled by 8am and the kids were heading off to a day of school with lots of yelling fresh in their minds.
Besides the morning fun, the evenings consist of a short period of time to get in homework, dinner, playing, and the bedtime routine. Some days there just isn’t enough wine in the house to wind down after all of that!
In order to save my sanity and keep my kids from talking about all of this one day to their therapists, I devised a simple task chart that has really made our mornings (and even our nights) run a lot smoother!
Even in adulthood, to-do lists help to keep us on task and on track. It reminds us what we have accomplished and what still needs to get done. There is a gratification at crossing off something on the list and we feel like a million bucks when the list is ALL DONE!
So why not create a task list for the kids to do?
How to create your own Task Chart:
– I got a couple of frames at the craft store for $5 and inserted their favorite color felt inside to distinguish who’s was who’s. You can also use a piece of poster board, a dry erase board, or anything else you have laying around the house.
– I also picked up some blank gift tags and Velcro dots to make our “tasks” and “check-marks.”
– I came up with the list of things I wanted the kids to accomplish in the morning in terms of getting ready, but also any chores that they were in charge of. On the 3-year-olds list are things like getting dressed, going potty, while the 7-year-olds tasks include feeding the dog, doing homework, etc. We also have an “Other” category which is things that come up occasionally, like bath time (not and every night occurance in my house).
– Every task that gets completed gets a star or a smiley face next to it. It helps visualize their accomplishments and they actually get really excited about it.
– In the mornings, once the list is finished we set up for the afterschool tasks and go over what they expectations are and vice versa at night time. This helps to remind them of wht is coming up later and to get them thinking about their mornings.
We have been at our charts for over a week now, and I must say that our mornings (and nights) are sooo much easier! We have more time and the kids and adults feel much more relaxed in our still chaotic life.