As a mom of 5 kids, I find parenting can be overwhelming at times. I can’t keep track of everything the kids need in my head. I just can’t.
Consequences for discipline, which house each child is at, where my teenager is when he goes out at night, school projects and their due dates – yes, multiplied by 5 kids, I can find myself going crazy with the details. Add in keeping my husband in the loop. Ay karumba!
A Hole in my Family Management System
While picking up school supplies for my kids, I found the back to school organizing section at Target. I knew I needed to add something to my Command Central in the kitchen. I love our wall calendar which the kids depend on for information. I love my Erin Condren planners for managing family life and meal planning.
Yet something was missing. Last year, we struggled with staying on top of school projects, especially when my kids got really sick for several months. We got behind on building my son’s Pinewood Derby car because there was no place to write a reminder for my husband and son to work on the car.
Later on, I realized I also wanted a place to write down where the kids were when they went to play with friends in the neighborhood. And a place to write down when a kid lost a privilege or needed to do a consequence.
The Solution: A White Board for Each Kid
Looking at the white boards in Target, I decided to try something. I would designate one white board per kid. The boards would be in the kitchen next to our wall calendar. If the boards failed to help, it wouldn’t be too difficult to take them down and repair the wall. What did I have to lose?
I set up the boards with my oldest son at the top and my youngest kids at the bottom. I told the kids they could write on the boards items I needed to know, but they couldn’t erase anything I wrote like disciplinary consequences.
Immediately my 8 year old daughter started using her board. She wrote me a funny note, and came back later to write a note for herself about a friend coming to visit for the day. Today, she wrote me a note about being at a neighbor’s house, all on her own. The boys have been slower to embrace this method of communication.
Once the boards were up, I realized they were perfect for keeping track of disciplinary consequences, a parenting skill I’ve been working on this week. If someone dropped their dishes in the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher, they owed me a chore. The issue was my remembering to tell the kid about the owed chore. Now I write “Owe Chore:” on the white board for both of us to remember.
Writing disciplinary consequences on the white boards will also help my husband. Occasionally the kids have asked him if they could do something when I had taken that privilege away during the day. Most of the time I remember to tell my husband, yet there’s the occasional lapse. Now he’ll have the information he needs, and the kids should be more responsible about asking for privileges.
Do You Use White Boards in Your Family?
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