A favorite term that I picked up while parenting was “It’s time to re-group!” I learned this phrase from friend, Priscilla Stewart who, with husband John, had something like 47 kids. She seemed relatively calm and focused and her kids were remarkably obedient. So I gleaned as much from her as I could.
I discovered that re-grouping can easily be done once a month, once a week, or even once a day. There are a few things that necessitated re-grouping for my family:
- I was yelling and no one was listening
- Junk (toys, shoes, game controllers, clothes, etc.) covered the floor, and/or
- Spontaneous crying (me, not the boys)
Then the fam was called together for a meeting which covered three things:
- Specific problems identified (i.e., there is junk all over the floor and it ain’t mine)
- Expected behavior spelled out (i.e., when you’re finished using your junk put it away)
- Consequences clearly defined (i.e., if you don’t, it’ll go in the “Buy Back Box“)
Their job was to obey. My job was to HELP them obey. Kids learn quickly. They follow our lead. They can learn to ignore the yelling as well as repetitive (and idle) threats.
Kids also love boundaries. LOVE THEM. The actually CRAVE them. No, they won’t say, “Mom, I desire boundaries, please,” but they really, really do want them.
Savvy little creatures they are.
They can also DO STUFF; LOTS more stuff than we require of them.
One time I went to friend Leanne‘s home and noticed her 5-year-old daughter, Foy, was emptying the dishwasher. With my mouth agape and I managed to splutter, “She can DO that?!?“
Leanne laughed and said, “they can do A LOT more than we think they can!“
With that in mind I ask several mom-friends what THEIR kids were able to do. TA-DA, the results are this compilation of age-appropriate things that kids can actually do!
As a bonus (I love that word) there are eleven tried and true IDEAS at the end of that document, such as the BUY BACK BOX that is mentioned above.
It may be time to re-group….and this compiled list is a great starting point!
[YOU are invited to share your ideas and insights in the comment section below.]