Raising children didn’t come with a handbook, and I’m definitely learning as I go.
My hubby and I work pretty well together as a team to raise our children in hopes that they’ll continue to be good human beings, go for their goals, and have a heart that loves the Lord and others. My son is 9, and my daughter is 6 (going on 16). Some of y’all know what I mean!
I have found that my children thrive off of routines, and it makes parenting a little easier when they know what to expect.
There is less debating and more understanding. Once I realized this, I made an effort to be consistent in certain routines that I found to be beneficial for my children now and well into their future. Now I know things might change as they get older, but for now, I’m calling it a win and going with the flow.
Here are just a few of the things that we’ve done consistently that we rarely need to debate or have a discussion on. At this point, it’s a way of life:
I know most parents give their children chores, but in our house, we have made Friday our clean-up day. Everyone knows we can’t indulge in the fun stuff like movie night, game night, or eating out until the house is clean. Now we know that life happens, so we’re flexible, but Friday is the launch to fun and the weekend, so everyone knows that we need to work together as a team to get to the good stuff! Consistency is crucial and helping my kids to understand that we all have to work together to maintain our home has helped a lot.
It took us a while to help the kids understand this concept, but after opening their bank accounts and allowing them to see their monthly statements, they have since gained an understanding of how and why we save money. My kids used to argue with me about saving some of the money they received for various things, and it’s still a work in progress. When we go to the store and they want to spend their money, I question them about their purchase, especially if they don’t need it.
I’ll ask a question like, “Do you want to spend all your money on the coloring book when you have five at home, or would you like to save that money for dessert at the restaurant?” Most of the time, they reconsider, but kids are still kids and sometimes they want the coloring book that they don’t really need.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule!
There is nothing like a good old “when you get home” after school routine. It’s been a long day, and we still have more to go? Yep, my children’s school does not play any games about homework, so it’s been real, and the fact that it’s a great school and a K-8 Center, means it’s going to be real for a good while. Nevertheless, when the kids get home, they know what to do because we’ve been consistently doing this for some time now.
Of course, things might change here and there, but they understand the routine to wash hands, eat a snack, talk about their day, take a breather, and then it’s back to business. It’s not always easy, and I get it. I have to try and keep them engaged by reminding them that the sooner they get their work done, the sooner we can shower, have dinner, and get to FREE TIME!
Rockell Bartoli is a professional speaker, author and scholarship coach. She has spoken to thousands of students, delivering empowering messages for notable organizations such as TRIO, The National Student Leadership Conference and Carnival Cruise Line's Scholarship & Mentoring Program. As a first-generation student, she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in school counseling. Rockell is a mother of two, enjoys watching Netflix with her hubby and therapeutic trips to TARGET.