I’m in a frame of mind to tighten things up around here.  This always happens after a really busy season of life where I do let some things go, but by the end I am frustrated with these little things that have become sloppy.  Things have got to change!

[Tweet “Not all our parenting deals with the big stuff. Sometimes its the annoying little things we need to work on.”]

When we are extra busy we tend to revert to our base – this is where habits come in to play.  If something is a habit, you do it without thinking, that action will carry you through a busy time.  Conversely where there is an area that hasn’t had discipline and training, you will fall back to the more negative habit.  For example:  If you are in the habit of putting things away when you walk in the door, then come a busy time, this will be a habit – you won’t think about it but it will happen.  Conversely if this hasn’t’ become a habit then things will pile up on any flat surface during a busy time.

We’ve had lots of comings and going s lately and it is the little things that start to slip.  I’m asking myself

  • What are the little things that are not working well around here?
  • What are the little things that we could change, that could make a big difference?
  • What are the little attitudes that we need to tweak on?

Here is my top 5:

  1. We all need a to-do list every day.  This list needs to include our chores, our study, any commitments, or projects
  2. We need to practice putting our things away when we walk in the door – shoes, handbag/backpack, waterbottle, mail, stuff…
  3. We need to practice pushing in our chairs when we get up from the table
  4. We need to get back to a regular bedtime – including a bedtime routine
  5. We need to leave a room tidier than when we entered:  in particular the bathroom and the loungeroom.

My kids know how to do all this… as do I… but it isn’t ingrained as a habit.  If it was, I wouldn’t be writing this list!    So it is time to make everyone aware and start working on it.

Character traits for us to focus on:

  1. Consideration for the other person.  Always thinking about how my actions affect others is central to most of these issues.
  2. Orderliness – arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve the greatest efficiency
  3. Diligence – giving all my energy to complete my tasks

So this morning we are going to have a little family meeting and discuss these things.  It won’t be a telling off, it is simply bringing these things to everyone’s attention, reminding them of the reasons these little things are important, and sharing solutions.  And then for the next period of time we will encourage one another (yes, I need the kids to encourage me too) to tighten up on these five areas.

Do you need to tighten up on some little things that have slipped by lately?  Take a pause from putting out spot fires and come up with a strategy that will help you and your family today.   I can only deal with 5 issues because my kids are older and on board.  When my kids were younger I would have only dealt with one of these at a time because we would have been dealing with training and attitudes – now we are just dealing with remembering and practice!  So only take on board what you can be consistent with following up.  No point telling the kids you are going to work on these things and then be inconsistent with making it happen!

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