I’m a mom of three. Three boys that is, and boy, life is busy. My oldest is 8 years old, and my twins boys are 6 years old. I know kids will be kids and boys will be boys, but I’m seriously trying to encourage them to use their inside voice when they’re at home. It seems like they’re always screaming, whining, arguing, or fighting for something on the top of their lungs. Also, they are VERY competitive! They compete about who gets inside the car first, puts their seat belt on the fastest, gets in the house first, changes their clothes first, finishes eating first and the lists goes on. 😩
I’m just tired of saying shhh…., stop screaming, or you’re yelling at me. Oh yeah, and they all want mommy’s attention at the same time, so they yell and scream at each other to get a turn to speak.. And then comes more screaming from frustration because no one is getting through. So last night, I decided to do something different to cut down on the noise in our home.
Since we were eating leftovers for dinner, I did not have to cook dinner. Hooray! We all changed and headed to the basement for some groovy exercise session. I started as the exercise teacher and modeled movement for them to follow for about 3 minutes. Then we took turns being the teacher. We did jumping jacks, jogging in place, rolling on the floor….yes…, bird flaps, high kicks, among others. This was my attempt to get them on a structured play time, burn some energy….more like wear them out. They enjoyed being the teacher and took it very seriously. However, I think I wore myself out. 😩
After 20 minutes of exercise was over. I headed to the kitchen to put dinner together. Five minutes had not passed and I had to give several warnings such as be nice, play fair, stop screaming. It was time to separate them and get them doing something on the individual level. In comes coloring pages and colored pencils.
Family Coloring Time
I had the boys coloring pages, and once again some reasonable quiet time. This activity works well because their attention was focused on coloring and not on each other. We had enough pencils to go around and therefore no arguing or fighting over anything.
However, I warned them ahead of time that we’ll color for about five minutes, take a break to eat dinner and continue later. They received this warning well and were motivated to eat well. Then, they had 15 more minutes before night night prep time.
I have to say I was thrilled with how the evening went and how much I was able to cut out some noise. These activities will most likely not work on a school night, but I’m sure looking forward to next Friday to implement this plan again.
I don’t know what it is about this modeling compound that gets my kids quiet and creative. They can spend at least an hour molding and creating with playdoh. The ideas they come up with are endless, and sometimes I find myself joining in or they might ask me to help them make something and I get sucked in. This is a really good idea to get them to wind down after dinner but I set a timer and remind them that it’s for a limited amount of time.
Reading Time in Different Rooms
Bedtime can be a little daunting, especially when the boys are really tired and cranky. They know its bedtime and will try to do anything to avoid going to bed. The list of excuses include “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty”, “I need to poop”, “I need to pee” and sometimes “something is in my throat.” 🙄 I recently tried getting them to wind down in separate rooms and it worked!!!