What works for me is a mindset. Last summer I did tons of things just to keep everyone busy. We had a lot of fun but it just added to the number of things in my day. This summer we're still going to have fun but I'm going to focus on seeing my kids as part of the solution (to managing our family) and not part of the problem (making my busy days even busier). Hopefully, we can have a lot of quality time together this way and help them gain some new skills. My big kids (6 and 8 year olds) are going to do(and are excited about helping me with - some things more than others):
- menu planning (weekly and "party")
- grocery shopping (produce picking, price comparison, etc.)
- freezer cooking
- meal serving (table arrangement, centerpieces, "presentation")
- gardening (planting, weeding, watering)
- painting an outdoor shed
- organizing cabinets and drawers
- little kid supervision
- preschool skills for little ones
- home speech program for 3 year old (they are amazing at this)
I'm planning to give choices and lots of rewards. I haven't fully implemented it yet but already it's made a huge difference in my attitude. I'm excited about what we can accomplish as a team AND the fun we're going to have!
Works for me! Head on back over to ROCKS IN MY DRYER for oodles of ideas!