I like to listen to TED talks that are focused on parenting. I go in spurts throughout the year looking for information regarding kids, parenting, internet marketing, starting a business, healthy living, etc. etc. and TED has a surprising amount of interesting content on almost every topic imaginable. A 20 minute presentation definitely makes my treadmill time pass quickly.
At one point last winter, I was searching for something regarding motivation with kids and managing everyday life and expectations for them. At least a couple times a year, there comes a point where it feels like I do a lot of talking, requesting, and yelling all for nothing as my kids don’t seem to be listening. Spring is usually the worst as they are ready to be done with school and are getting a little stir-crazy.
The TED Talk I ran across was by Bruce Feiler and his presentation gave me inspiration on how to communicate to my kids what I want them to do each day without having to remind them. Check out the 18 minute presentation. It will change your family dynamics in one day! I promise you, it worked for us. We used it for 6 months and today I am wondering why I ever stopped. By the week’s end I will have it up and running again as it really helps cut down on my stress level.
Essentially, it is a task list for each child in your family; I used it for Mom and Dad too from time to time! The list includes the daily tasks that you would like them to do each day, for example:
- Pack Lunch and Backpack for School.
- Brush Your Teeth before School.
- Do Homework and Put Backpack Away.
- Feed the dog.
- Wash the kids’ bathroom.
- Brush Your Teeth Before Bed.
Your child has the satisfaction of crossing or checking off each task as they complete it. They understand that it is their daily responsibility and you don’t have to nag them to get their work and everyday tasks done.
My kids were awful at brushing their teeth and remembering to do their homework, so these two items were definitely on the list.
When I first started the lists last spring, I was very detailed, but as the kids got into a routine I didn’t have to list out everything over and over again each week. I rotated weeks and rotated jobs or tasks depending on what we had going on or what I needed to get done each week.
The list was taped to the refrigerator inside of a clear plastic sheet so the kids could check each item off with an expo marker and erase at the end of the day.
It was a hit. Thank you Brian Feiler for such a wonderful idea! I am going to implement again to make our spring and summer transition run more smoothly. More time for play with less nagging.