If you’re doing it right, everyone in your house has their own personality and wants to do the things they enjoy, which is GREAT… and also absolutely terrible in certain situations. Those situations include a home quarantine forced by a global pandemic because everyone you’re with has their own idea of what fun is and how they’re going to fill their time, which leads to fighting and stress. Parents, I’m happy to report that I’ve found a fix which has worked wonders in my house. It is having a family goal.
What we started doing in my house is creating a large goal for the family to focus on that in and of its self has smaller goals that cater to each kid. For example my wife and I told the kids we were going to have Fancy Dinner (you have to capitalize Fancy Dinner). This was a nice big goal that was simple enough for all three of my kids to wrap their heads around.
First we sat at the dining room table to chat about what Fancy Dinner was going to be like over breakfast, which was great because breakfast is always the first fight of the day. Then the wife and I divided and conquered. The kids cleared the table so they could start working on the menus. Mia created the menu, LeRoy IV wrote the items down, and Brayden helped add color. While they were creating the ideas for dinner, I was able to sneak away to get my work done.
From there, the kids followed me around the kitchen to take inventory of what we had. We sat down at the table to create an online store order to fill in the food gaps and to figure out the evenings attire over lunch, which was a win because lunch is always a battle. While we were working on the food, my wife was able to get her work done.
When the food arrived you would have thought it was Christmas with how excited my kids were. Working together we started on dinner. My son read the recipe that my daughter and younger son followed. As I was plating the food, the kids set the table according to the plans that they had laid out over breakfast. They used the fancy glasses for their fancy cranberry juice (cranberry juice with sparking water), they put out the place settings, used the fancy dishes (what ever that means), and ate with a pinky up.
We all got fancy and sat at our assigned seats to enjoy fancy dinner: Quesadillas.
Later that evening my wife and I were talking about how great of a day we had. There was no fighting, they worked on reading, writing, and drawing when creating the menus. When they were making the food, they followed multistep instructions, worked as a team, and problem solved. My wife and I were able to get our work done without popping the kids in front of YouTube the babysitter. Having a family goal that included something for everyone won the day. It has worked every time since.