One of my colleagues at Bonnie’s, Babs, has two children aged 9 and 5 and a shift-working husband…
Babs is a Family Worker and, like many parents juggling multiple commitments, she is a hardworking woman prone to giving herself a hard time. A few months ago, Babs arrived at work, upset, after a chaotic and stressful morning at home, trying to get everyone out of the house on time. Sound familiar?
According to Babs she felt deep shame about spending so many mornings in a state of stress, lecturing her children about the tasks that needed doing and their non-compliant behaviours. She worried about the negativity the whole family were starting their day with, and the impact of this on her children. She was determined to find a better way.
Recently Babs shared with our team, the results of a new system she has implemented at home, to minimise the early morning chaos, stress and guilt that she was so familiar with. After only two months, Babs seems so much happier, more relaxed and lighter. She reported that the change in her home is nothing short of miraculous: “Our mornings are peaceful now. Everyone knows what they have to do and they do it. It’s become a new way of thinking for them – it’s automatic!”
Seeing the amazing change in Babs, I wanted to know more!
Babs explained that she created a weekly schedule, on a sheet of paper, for each of her children, like the one below.
The children marked one point against each activity they completed (without being pestered to do so!), in the relevant column on their individual chart. At the end of the week, points were tallied and rewards allocated.
Babs reports that now the children are performing the tasks automatically and without requiring rewards; the tasks have become ingrained new behaviours for her children and whilst nothing is ever perfect, generally, her household now experiences significantly easier and more positive mornings!
In our increasingly busy and task-saturated world, where adults are frequently required to single-handedly juggle multiple responsibilities, including parental tasks, finding a system that works can be life-changing.
Thanks to Babs for sharing a creative solution to a challenging situation that has been working for her and her family. May Babs’ story inspire you and your loved ones to address any stressors in your life, by exploring creative solutions that fit for you!
Written by Catherine