The other day a parent friend of mine came over to me citing that she needed to stage an intervention with her children because they were refusing to eat breakfast, to listen to anyone and/or do their homework and then the inevitable question came… how do you do manage with four children?!
Honestly I just do. They are what I have so I work accordingly.
There are a few things that I did share with her that made me think that it maybe helpful to others. Now I am no parenting expert but I do have some experience under my belt what with well four of my own children and on occasion my niece and my nephews.
Feeding the masses for breakfast:
Breakfast is important but most children could miss it. Well most of mine can and they try very hard to skip it. So as a rule I always ensure they have something hot to drink- Milo, herb tea, Horlicks you name it. If hot wouldn’t do try a glass of milk, pediasure or a glass of orange juice works as well.
Ackee and saltfish and cornmeal porridge are great options but only if you know for sure that your children absolutely love them. Keeping it simple may get better results.
- Cereal dry or with milk .
- Toast is always acceptable in my family. yes plain old toast with just butter with maybe a bit of cheese on the side.
- Vienna sausages or hot dog sausages with ketchup with no bread. Egg scrambled or boiled. On very rare occasions I make sandwiches.
- Oatmeal and Cornmeal porridge just may work for your kiddies.
How did I come by these options you may wonder, well after many years of uneaten breakfasts or maybe tiny little nibbles of what they shriek as being their favourite breakfast I think I have gotten wise to them.
Also, I think the limited time and the anxiety of getting to school interferes with their abilities to eat properly so I dont force them to sit and eat. And GASP i allow them to eat in the car. yes! my car is a mess, but they actually most days finish their breakfasts. Trying to get them to eat and dress in a timely manner use to have my nerves and their nerves frayed before we even left the house so I cut that out. LOL
Now this is something I am still working on. My children only hear me when they want and most days never hear their father. 3 times is the required amount of times to say something before movements happen. The best way I have found to get rapid action is when you lower the voice, lower the tone which is hard for me because I am very high pitched, and say what ever it is with conviction. Also being consistent and doing what you have said you would do also plays a part in how well you get your children to listen. If you are a push over and are wishy washy then they will take advantage.
Homework vs play:
Hmmm homework. This use to gave me grey hair trying to get all the homework done before bedtime. And then one day I stepped back and viewed homework as my children must. After spending the entire day couped up in a classroom trying to be on their best behaviour and failing possibly. The last thing they want to do is focus on homework they want to unwind, back chat, run around jump about and quite frankly not follow rules for a little. So I started allowing my children to play outside at least an half hour after school. And if you remember I turn the television off during the week. Not a crowd pleaser but hey sometimes you have to tough.
I also suggested to my friend instead of fighting with her son to do homework before she got home ( he invariably always stayed until she got home to do homework) just schedule homework to happen as soon as she stepped thru the house. So he gets his play in or relaxes eats dinner etc and then homework starts when she arrives.
Hope this is helpful.
Do you have any tips that help you with the kiddies?