Three kids; one shower (well two, but only one that anyone seems to find acceptable to use in the morning), and a complex fusion of personalities – at least two of whom are most definitely NOT morning people (I’m one of them) makes the daily routine in this house an absolute nightmare.
I’ve tried everything from the pasta jar (intermittent positive reinforcement) to boot-camp-style order barking (your basic venting) and we always end up in the same place, so this is my last ditch attempt to find a method that works for everyone.
The first thing I did was source a bunch of giant (well, 16cm) sand timers. They alone are a wonderful thing; suddenly my flipperty gibbet, dreamy daughter seems to understand what 15 minutes is, and what can (in theory) be achieved in that time. They’re also great for limiting screen-time (obvs the Boy Wonder will work out in no time at all that all he has to do is flip it over again when I’m not concentrating, but we’ll gloss over that for now.)
The wallchart I created is the biggest success though. I printed off multiple copies onto photographic paper while the kids were out. There’s a copy over each of their beds, one outside the bathroom, and another in the kitchen. I’ve tried to build in enough options that it at least feels like they’ve got some elements of free-will whilst still ensuring that deadlines are met. And.They.Love.It. Especially my youngest, most obsessively punctual child who likes to leave the house 20 minutes before we actually need to…
So far, so good. We’re a week in and everyone has been ready to go well before 8am. I call that a success.
A few people asked if they could have a copy, so I’ve created a couple of downloads*. You can download a full copy of the poster here if you like, but it’s probably easier to download it as three separate pages here.
And if you’d like an editable version where you can change the times, and even the messages to suit your family, just drop me an email here and I’ll happily share it with you.
*non-commercial use only – obvs