Time management can go to pot in the school holidays as our day-to-day routines suddenly become redundant.
So here are some time management tips to help you through the school holidays.
Grab a notebook and do a bit of brain storming. Committing your thoughts to paper is the first stage to sorting out what changes or compromises you might need to make to your old routines to have a more successful school holiday.
Think about what your personal pitfalls are, or the things which drive you absolutely dotty about school holidays. Normally there is something.
Here are some common irritants.
Problem:The kids lying into midday while you are working your socks off.
- Negotiate on a time that both you and your kids feel is fair and reasonable to get up by. If that does not seem to be working, use incentives, a nice breakfast, activities or arrange for them to see friends.
- Use your kid’s lazy mornings to do something for yourself.
Problem: Your kids slobbing about in PJ’s and leaving a mess in the kitchen
- Insist if they want to slob about then their half of the bargain is at they must leave things tidy when they do, and put stuff, (normally cereal packets) away in the cupboard.
- Agree a time or days of the week when they should be up and dressed and not slobbing.
Problem: More washing than you can cope with? And certainly more than usual.
- Well ask yourself the question whether these clothes really do need to be washed. Can they be re cycled back into their bedrooms and kept for another day?
- Dedicate old clothes as their messy play outfits to be worn until they desperately n need washing. Make sure the kids wear wellies or old shoes when playing outside in the garden to save you or them having to clean them..
Problem: The house is getting messier than usual.
- Rather than trying to keep the house looking pristine allocate a little time each day to a quick tidy round and accept that the house is going to be messier than usual. Schedule a set amount of time for the chores and stick to it. Remember the house is there to serve you – not you the house.
- Do not allow the kids to move from room making and leaving it in a mess. Limit where messy play is allowed, and encourage toys to be put away when they have finished playing with them.
- Make housework and tidying up a team effort. Get the kids to help you with the chores. The trick with this is to do things together. Don’t send them off to tidy their bedroom – they will probably be up there for hours. Tidy the bedroom up together. Put the music on. Remember doing things with others is more fun and it is an opportunity to chat and have fun.
- Compromise on your standards. Tidying up, household chores and cooking are all good life skills which take practice. They are not going to be as quick or as efficient as you – compromise and praise them for their efforts.
Problem: Bedtimes – meal times and out of routine.
- If lots of late nights are making the kids grumpy try to reduce the amount of telly they are watching, encourage plenty of fresh air and reduce sugary drinks and sweets. The combination of exercise and not too much sugar will help prevent highs and lows in their blood sugar – which will help your children’s moods.
Problem: Kids being awkward and unhelpful
- Star charts are a great way to incentive good behaviour and helpfulness and they are not just for small children. Kids of all ages (including teenagers), will respond well, and this may well help to encourage good holiday habits and chore doing.
- The star chart I invoked awarded blue stars for helpful behaviour and black for unhelpful and thoughtless actions. The black stars cancelled out the blue stars. When they got 10 blue stars they got a treat or extra pocket-money. I have to say this has worked very well for us and saved a lot of time telling the kids to do the same things over and over again. They just went and consulted the star chart.