After a wonderful day spent together as a family at Kennywood Park, the following morning seemed more like a thrill ride gone bad than a return to peace! My first kid encounter was with my six-year-old who enthusiastically asked if we had any empty boxes. She woke with the brilliant idea of giving away all the toys that she no longer played with. Before I even had a chance to get excited about this prospect, she began pitching in toys one by one. However, these toys belonged to her younger sister and brother! Then, my eight-year-old powers down the stairs, forgetting to even strike step 5 through 8 on the way down! Apparently, he really needed to know when his cousin was coming over to visit? Next, my five-year-old turns the bend and bursts with the most demanding, “So, what are we doing today, Mom?” as if waiting for fun to fall in her lap. All the while I’m thinking, did these kids just have the kind of day I had yesterday, and can’t they just give it a rest?
I had absolutely no game plan for the day after our big amusement park adventure, nor did I have the energy or patience to come up with one on the spot. This only left the kids to spiral even further out of control with their demands and wild abandonment as they began to turn on one another. That’s when I decided to get out pen and paper and began charting my way to freedom from the antics of children with no direction.
It is an all-too-familiar seen when children with too much time on their hands begin spinning their wheels, yet accomplish very little! One of the worst combinations is having a person with a lot of energy, but no outlet to make use of it. Well, that’s my family! For me it always pays to have a game plan, and when I don’t, our days aren’t nearly as productive. We usually start our task list off small and work our way up. Chores and assignments are handed out or placed on a clipboard. Each child has her assignment next to her name. Then, only when the list is completed, do we move onto more amusing ways of spending our time. When you put work and play in the right order losing sight of direction becomes a thing of the past that hopefully won’t return anytime soon!