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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

List Makers

There are a myriad ways Aspen is just like me. A love of list-making is one of those ways.

Lately I've been exhausted by the amount of times Aspen asks me if she can watch TV or play the tablet. If there's ever any downtime whatsoever during our day, she immediately asks to do one of those things. It's so annoying.

One morning during breakfast, I told Aspen I was coming up with a schedule for us. Since she knows how to tell time, I wrote out our school day in various increments with an activity in each slot.

It varies depending on the day because some mornings I take the kids to work with me, but this schedule has dramatically improved my life like I can't believe. No more do I have to listen to someone whining about watching TV! No more do I have to listen to someone whining about playing tablet! Aspen can now just refer to the list and see what's happening. And if it so happens that something (like a meal or shower) doesn't take up the allotted time, I tell Aspen she has to find something to do until the next activity time. AND IT WORKS.

My favorite part about this list is that Aspen will now willingly go into her room two times a day and have play time. Before the list, she would endlessly complain. I think because the instruction isn't coming directly from me, Aspen is willing to heed it.

We've been doing this about a week and I'm just so relieved. Sure, there's still some grumbling when she's in-between time slots, but for the most part there is a huge improvement. When I leave the kids at home with Kev while I work, I basically command him to follow the schedule with Aspen. She thrives on it!

Now, when summer comes and I don't have three hours of school to fill some of the day, we'll see how it goes. I'm hopeful with the new (secret-yet-to-be-revealed) sandbox I bought from Kid-to-Kid, I can make the kids play together in the shade outside for many hours every day.

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