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Anyone else have trouble corralling kids to help at meal times? It's the same thing every meal - set the table, get food on the table, clear the table, etc. Rarely do we "mix it up." The process is the same each meal. The table has to be set so we can sit and eat. Pardon me if I'm sounding a bit snarky. I really don't mean to.
One day I was again repeating myself. "Clear the table, wipe the table, get napkins on the table....how many times have you guys done this??" I was getting frustrated and they were getting exasperated. Well, a light bulb moment came to me. (So grateful when those happen!) I decided to make a list.
The list was steps for how to get ready for dinner (or breakfast or lunch). I put the list on the fridge. The next night at dinnertime the kids wandered around like lost sheep. Then I showed them the list. It was their list to help them help the family get ready for meal time. They read the list and did every step to a "t." It was beautiful! They even "owned" the list adding two steps. And they corrected a numbers error on my list - that made them feel pretty smart.
We implemented this about seven months ago. I can honestly tell you it's brought peace and order to meal time. Even my husband uses it with the kids. When they start walking around like sheep we simply say, "Look at the list. What's next on the list?" It redirects them and puts them back on track and helps us stay in our happy place. Cue the heavenly host melody!
Feel free to use our list to bring some order to meal time in your home or customize the list for your own family. It's easier to prepare the meal when you don't have to supervise the setting of the table too.
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