In part 1 Peaceful solutions to minimize family strife there are some ideas for getting things done the by teaching and reteaching, often.
Many times we apply blanket solutions to problems but maybe this time we need to look in more detail at this child and this place:Peaceful Solutions to Minimize Family Strife with Specific Solutions was part 2.
We can find things if we know where they live. Everything has a home.
3 Where does it live?
There are no magic clean up fairies that live in our house permanently. One or two fly in every now and again, muttering quietly to themselves as they return books, toys, pens, LEGO, paper back to the right place.
We’d gotten lazy with reminding the boys to clean up and clear up so here we had a rod for our own back. Everyone needs to know where everything goes back and…..where to find the replacements! The replacements that magically appear don’t train the children to replace things themselves.
One way I like to share to make this relevant is when family, friends or guests come to stay. When the children can refill the liquid soap, find the extra toothbrushes, stock up on the toilet roll, know where the replacement batteries are for the clock radio. They are joining in with getting the home ready for the new guest.
Have a game with your children and collect a few things like toilet roll, kitchen roll, extra tube/can of something you always have a spare of., cereal box, pens, backpack etc things that are kid related and well used. Ask the question, ” Where does XXX live?” This one question really helps because those that don’t know will do and when they live it out you can ask the question as a reminder to put it away.
Much time is lost when we are searching for things. If only they were put back. Much time is lost when only certain people know where the extras or replacements are kept. As part of a peaceful home we all need to be able to function when some of us or all of us our here.
Start with writing a list of where you have things. Here’s one I did for our family.
Questions to ask yourself- Does everyone in the family know these answers?
- Where do I get the blank paper to draw/write on?
- Which paper is for the printer only?
- Where does the construction paper live?
- Where does the crayons and coloring things live?
- Where are the extra toilet rolls, kitchen towels, napkins etc kept?
- Where does the washing machine soaps and detergents live?
- Where are the cleaning products and what to do if they are running/run out?
- Where do papers go that come in from school?
- Where do shoes and boots live?
- Where do the coats live?
- Where do the musical instruments and sports equipment live?
- Where do I leave my bike and other outdoor games and toys?
- Where does the tape, envelopes, string, scissors, glue live?
- Where do the pencils and pens live?
The final part of where does this live after the family can find, replace and use these items is finding a way to know when they are almost finished or finished. With multiple people refilling and replacing we often rely on someone else to say that it’s almost done or assume that everyone knows you finished the last part.
Also talking about leaving an area as you found it or better. As part of his contribution, he needed to replace the toilet rolls. But if that means opening a new package and leaving the empty bags on the floor it’s only a partial solution. We need to remain vigilant to teach the whole sequence including tidying up and reporting back.
This is the third part of the series : Peaceful solutions to minimize family strife.