We have a morning routine chart.
First it was a graph with pictures that I made in Word. As Tornado E did his morning chores, I would put on a sticker to mark off his chore. He liked the stickers, and the chart was cute and fun. But with two little boys to get ready as well as a baby, placing stickers on the chart became more and more a forgotten hassle.
Back to the drawing board.
Then I made a larger chart. This time I had both boys on the chart. I had stickers for every chore. Underneath the stickers, I had Velcro. As the boys each finished a chore, they would place a home-made pirate coin on the chart. It worked well. When we moved, I made a nicer chart with a pirate theme.
The problem was that the boys quickly figured out that they could do the chores all at the end of the morning before we left. I still was nagging and scolding. We were still barely making it out of the house on time. Did I mention my boys are early risers, so we had a whole two hours to get ready?
Then I pleaded for help here and on Facebook. Behold, one of my college friends, a preschool teacher now, suggested to have a morning playlist for the boys. Each song would represent a chore. She explained how it taught the little kids about time and time management. I was skeptical. But since I had tried everything else, I was willing to try this.
That afternoon we sat with Tornado E and Tornado S, playing them songs from my collection. They set up an eclectic mix. Metalica and Beach Boys. “I Will Survive” and “Barking at the Moon.” Rammstein, Evanesence, Jimmy Eats World, Smash Mouth, Destiny’s Child. It was a heart-pumping, head-bangng, feet-moving playlist.
The next morning the boys rocked as they ate breakfast. Two songs were played. They ran upstairs. I moved the iPod to my room and cranked up the music. It took two songs to get dressed. The raced through their chores, dancing, jumping, moving. We were done with an hour to go.
Every morning since, the boys have jammed their way through their chores with plenty of time to play a round of “Plants vs Zombies.”
And I am still in shock a week later. And I like not nagging. It’s nice. Even if I had to give up my morning playlist.