Last month I found myself sitting outside my 7-year-olds room. We were both in tears. He was inside his room with the door shut throwing a tantrum yelling about how stupid he is and that he wished he had never been born. I sat outside of his room tears streaming down my face, trying to calm down from the argument we had just had and wondering if I was completely failing my kid.
My husband had been out of town for a week and would be for three more. I was suddenly a single, full-time working mom, of two kids. One with ADHD and one with an array of disorders from prematurity. I knew it would be hard on me but I never realized how that would reflect onto the children.
I tried to put myself in his shoes. All that my seven-year-old had heard this past week was, be quiet, settle down, don’t wake your brother, have you done your homework, clean up your mess, please stop, please calm down. Most of these ended up in arguments when he chose not or was unable to listen.
I realized if that’s all I heard from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed I would be feeling pretty worthless myself.
I had to get a handle on things and find a system that worked with him so we could all live in a more peaceful environment and I could survive the next three weeks.
After he finally fell asleep for the night, I sat down and started digging through my bookshelf.
Aiden has always been to the extreme. Whether it be behavioral, emotionally, energetically, he’s always been more of everything than your average kid.
Needless to say, I had been buying parenting books since he started to walk. The book that seemed to call my name was 1-2-3 Magic. It claimed to be geared towards kids age 2-12 and was a quick read. I sat there and skimmed the entire book that night.
The book talked about over parenting. After thinking it through I over parent constantly. I wanted to find a way that he could self-direct himself so I could stop the constant nagging.
Hence my creation of Daily responsibilities checklist!
(click above to download an editable word document)
It’s broken down into three times of the day so I can just say, Aiden do your morning checklist, instead of 15 different reminders. He is self-motivated by checking off each box and he feels more responsible and grown up when mom isn’t over parenting.
We went over the list and he requested something be added or something things broken down even further and this has been a great solution. We both love it.
We also implemented the 1-2-3 strategy which he thought was very fair and loved the idea of not being yelled at. I bought a mini trampoline to jump out his extra energy when he was hyper and have made a point to sit down and spend quality time with him each evening after work.
I can honestly say our home is much happier and my husband hasn’t had any more tearful phone calls!