You probably have heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life”, I like to take this another step further by saying “happy family, happy life”.
I have seen so many frustrated and overly tired parents, who are trying to raise a happy family and yet somehow it ends up with yelling and tears instead of kissing and smiles. This was true in my household, and I only have one 5 years old and another in the way as I write this post.
Every morning we started with smiles, hugs and kisses, and with in less than one hour, I would find myself frustrated because I had told my daughter too many times to come to breakfast table and get ready for school. This trend would continue on the whole entire day to a point that we would go to bed both, in fact all three (including my husband), frustrated and tired and full of regret.
Disclaimer: before I go any further, I like to mention, that I am no parenting expert and this post is completely based on my own experience and the solution that I found working for my family. I am hoping you will find this post helpful as well.
If you are a mom, dad, or caregiver of young children, you will probably find yourself in the above story and are impatiently looking for a way to end your and your kids’ frustrations.
few weeks ago, as I was listening to a parenting podcast, I love podcasts, the speaker was suggesting that every household should have a mission statement. This would give the children a purpose in their life, something that would define them beyond everyday tasks in life.
Since my experience from life before motherhood has been in corporate HR, this clicked immediately. every company has a mission statement that is written big and bold in almost all the common areas. Another thing that each company has in order to keep their employees accountable, is a set of rules. You can probably guess the rest of my solution.
After talking to my husband, we decided to set a set of rules and create a daily planner for our household. It wouldn’t be fair, if we, as adults, decided on the rules and just gave our daughter the set of rules, so we decided to make these rules together, the three of us. This way everybody is clear and accountable for a set of common rules and responsibilities that we all agree on.
Next day, as we were driving to our friends home, we started talking about the idea and my daughter loved it. So we started taking turn and talk about what we would like to see more of in our home and should add to our household planner/rules. and I took notes on my phones note app so I wouldn’t forget and could type it into a spreadsheet later.
The interesting thing was that she came up with most of the rules and they were all in line with what we had in mind. I guess we got lucky in that area. We also replaced the time that we would normally watch TV every night, with family game time. One of the biggest rules, which was hard for both my husband and I, but mostly my husband, was no electronics after 6 pm.
I will attach a downloadable version of our household planner/ rules below, so you can adjust and use based on your family needs.
Our plan is to revisit our goals/ rules and adjust them quarterly (another thing I learned from corporate world).
In our planner our house’s mission statement is located on the top, followed by a general schedule and columns for each day that my daughter gets to color as we complete each task, and our household rules at the very bottom of the page. this way we all can see what is coming next and there are no surprises.
It has been more than two weeks that we have started this in our house and I feel everyone is much happier, because we all get what we need, without constantly having to remind each other.
I believe our kids like to have plans in their days. they like to have a set rules, so they don’t need to keep guessing about what is going to happen next. Also it is important to let your kids now that some days, you might not be able to stick to your plans. because you get invited to a friends house, or one of you gets sick or other things happen, and it is okay as long as everyone gets back to plan as soon as possible. If we start teaching our kids about planning and unpredictable things in life from early on, I think, we would help them to be more flexible and resilient as they grow up and they will learn not to give up with the smallest set backs.
I know this post was not completely in line with what I usually write about, but I think it plays a big role in bringing you happiness.
Stay Happy and healthy