Friday, August 24, 2012
Speaking of things that I say over and over and over again, bedtime has its own set of phrases:
"Have you brushed your teeth yet?"
"What are you supposed to be doing?"
"Why are you dancing around the living room right now?"
"Did you put your dirty clothes in the laundry?"
"No, you can't have a snack now, you just brushed your teeth."
"What could you do next?"
repeated over and over multiple times to multiple children. Sometimes it can be pure chaos figuring out who has done what, what they are supposed to be doing, and how on earth to get them all to bed in a timely manner. My husband has been calling it "herding cats" because its that easy. ;)
For some reason, even though we have a fairly set routine, my children often forget what they need to do. They seemed to be under the impression that I should personally come to each of them and tell them what to do, every step along the way. If they had pajamas on, it certainly wouldn't cross their mind to go potty, because I hadn't told them to do that yet.
Enter, the bedtime chart:
I listed out the steps that we go through to get ready for bed: pick up toys, put on pajamas, snack, go potty, brush teeth, story time, goodnight. Each of the three girls has a laminated chart with a clip. The clip has their initial on it, and is moved down the list as they complete each task.
When I first created the charts they were very excited to use them. I saw a huge improvement in their staying on task. We do not currently remember to use them every night, but the effects have lasted. They have a better idea of what needs to be done before bed and still enjoy running to find their charts when I suggest it. Two thumbs up for a good idea!