On Friday while discussing the issues at hand with the kids, especially Julia, D and I came up with a course of action:
- Discuss with Bebe our concerns, and help her to be a part of the solution.
- Structure our Saturdays to meet everyone's needs.
- Whatever we do or say, follow through.
Most of these rules are positive, but those that begin with "NO" are ones we want to be especially careful about (hitting for Dois, complaining/whining and watching TV before being ready for Bebe).
After brainstorming those rules, we decided to follow what will be our new Saturday pattern:
- Bebe does 30 minutes of chores (whatever we give her to do: this weekend it involved sorting laundry, picking up the living room, and helping unload the dishwasher).
- Since she did 30 minutes of chores (therefore saving us 30 minutes of housework), she earns 30 minutes of one-on-one time with us while Dois is napping. We played Apples to Apples Jr. this week, but she can choose any activity we can do while he naps.
- After that hour of chores and 1-on-1 time, she has 45 minutes of quiet time. That's where she has to either rest or read or something. This weekend she used her 45 minutes of quiet time to start research for a school project.
Sunday went smoother than usual although the end was a bit harrowing due to bored, overtired children.
So far, so good, when it comes to enforcing and following the rules. Whining hasn't been eradicated, but it has lessened. One of the challenges we are still facing, though, is getting Bebe to bed on time and having to poke and prod her every morning to get moving. It's tough. :( Any suggestions for that one? We start waking her at 6:30-6:45 and need to leave by 7:40. It's always a struggle.
Little by little I'm confident we'll get there...