My Most Genius Parenting Move Ever
Okay, so I pretty much have only one genius parenting move besides establishing an early bedtime when Camden was a baby, but let's pretend I have more than this.
Side note: ever since Camden took health last year, he is constantly spouting off random facts. One of them is that kids need 10-12 hours of sleep a night. And not that he had trouble going to bed before, but he reminds me often that he's ready for bed so that he can get 10-12 hours of sleep and have the most energy possible. Yes, my kids school go to bed 7:30ish on school nights when there is no baseball or church. And, yes, it's kind of fabulous.
I'm a big believer in teaching your kids how to do housework. Not because I necessarily need the help or don't have time, but because it's a life skill (their spouses will thank me one day) and because it helps promote the whole family/team concept we've got going on around here.
So every Monday is laundry day. The kids know it. Before they leave for school, they bring down their baskets overflowing with clothing that may or may not actually be dirty, and I spend Mondays doing all the laundry. Since we bought a new washer and dryer in the spring, Mondays are not nearly as difficult as they used to be by the way!
And every Monday afternoon when Camden and Rory get home from school, they know all their clean clothes will be waiting on their beds. They are in charge of hanging their own clothing up (we don't have dressers, unfortunately). In addition, I always leave the white load for them and the towel load for them. Now there is generally many moans and groans, despite the fact that they have done this for a solid 4-5 years now. I don't totally blame those moans and groans because I hate the white load too - that's why they're doing it. :)
They went through a phase where they spent HOURS doing these 2 loads of laundry because they would fight over each piece of clothing. Then they went through a phase where they would spend HOURS finishing up the task because they would get into clothing fights (think food fights, but with socks and underwear).
About a year ago, I had the genius idea of reading to them while they work. So now every Monday afternoon, they pull out the baskets while I pull out whatever book we're reading (I try to have one at all times that I'm reading to the kids - this summer's choice was the second Harry Potter book), and they fold while I read.
Granted, this system doesn't mean that I have extra time because they're helping with housework, but that's not the point for me. The point is teaching them a skill, and this gets it done while I do something valuable, which is read to them (a.k.a. spending time with them).
And because I'm sure you're wondering, the chocolate chip cookies yesterday were a hit. Of course!