Getting The Kids Involved

Getting the Kids Involved Means Letting them Participate 

work is worthIt sounds super obvious to most parents that if you want kids to follow a daily routine, they have to help create it and then feel supported as they practice mastering the routine on their own. Well, that’s not always how things play out. We often “let” the kids participate when it’s convenient for us or when they are doing things “right” but as soon as they fall behind, or don’t do things exactly the way we want them, we step in and muddle everything up. Creating, executing and mastering routines takes time and while the kids are practicing, life happens. But if we can shift our thinking, if we can let the routine lead the day, we’ll find that children can take on more responsibility, become less dependent on us for everything and we can all enjoy that time between activities vs. rushing and hurrying things along.

What does this mean? It means, if your child is supposed to pack a backpack for school, you wont jump in and do it as the clock starts ticking louder and louder. And so, yes, you’ll be late. Yes, your kid will wear PJ’s to school. Yes, they won’t have a lunch if they don’t feel like making one. Once you learn to let go, the child will know you trust they can do it and that’s when the magic happens. Obviously, allowing a kid to go to school hungry because they forgot their lunch or left their homework behind, is a hard lesson to learn! Most parents think they just can’t let that happen. But they soon find out they can and it only happens once or twice.

IMG_6573Over time, once your children realize you’re going about the routine and that you trust them to manage on their own, they begin to master tasks that lead to confidence and capability. After the peaceful, relaxed and orderly routine is established, you’ll never look back!

Are you ready for a routine?

Kids CAN Do So Much! With a solid routine and less interference, kids of all ages CAN and WILL:

  • get dressed
  • make lunches
  • bring a backpack
  • get ready for bed quickly
  • wake up for school on time
  • finish homework
  • brush their teeth
  • feed the pets
  • and so much more!

Head’s Up! It’ll be bumpy for just a short while. Once you master the routine, it’ll get smoother and sweeter. In the beginning, you’ll have to focus on these few things:

kid workPatience. Don’t step in, even if you’re late.

Correcting. If a kid packs three granola bars for his lunch, hey it’s a start. It’ll get better- don’t get caught up in the little stuff.

Let go. You’ll just have to sacrifice a few events (like bball practice or dinner out) in order to learn the routine.

Once it’s in place, it’ll be just fine.
Trust the kids. Just trust them. They will find a way if you’re not there doing everything for them.

5 thoughts on “Getting The Kids Involved

  1. Have a 3.5 year old who will return to school in September. Would love to support him to pack his own lunch. Can you do a post about ideas on how to set them/us up for success in this process? Do we make a sandwich and put it in the fridge for them to take and they pick supplements – or is this too much support? Do we have them make their own sandwich? I use a sandwich only as an example obviously but I’m sure you get the drift. I read your book and loved it, but am looking for guidance on how to implement these changes too!

  2. Thanks for your comment Kelly. Here is a link to a blog post about lunch making. Give it a read and let me know if I can go in to more detail for you. LOVE that you’re thinking about this for your 3.5 year old – you’re off to a great start!

    1. Thanks so much for taking time to respond! Lovely. Maybe just my finicky computer, but I don’t see the link. I’ll keep hunting though~ thanks~ Kelly

  3. I agree with many of your precepts, but I have one frustration. In reading your book and blog, you use the term “noodling/noodler” frequently. There is no definition for this term provided so I tried Google. You can’t be referring to the urban slang definition of “failing to maintain an erection” or the most common definition of “catching fish with bare hands”. So what the heck is noodling??

    1. Sorry for the confusion. Noodling by Vicki’s definition is dawdling. “to move slowly or idly.” Does that make more sense? Thanks for checking in.

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