Oops my kids think we live in a barn...

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

Restructuring my kids responsibilities-- How I did it? What worked, what bombed! The other day I was throwing away the 20th gold fish wrapper, collecting water bottles from literally the strangest of places, cleaning up cough drop wrappers from in between couch cushions (keeping it real!) and I said to myself, "Franki, it is time to make a change. What would you say to yourself if you were your own behavior coach?" See, when you work for yourself and you are your own boss, you have many of these conversations. I instantly got sidetracked thinking about WWFD (What Would Franki Do) merchandise and if it would sell. Then I took a deep breath, reread my own blog article about how to have a parent/child meeting and got to planning.

1. Come up with an ideal time

I talked with my husband Jeff and he was instantly on board. We came up with a time that all of the kids would be home, no one should be overly hungry or tired and no one had an activity (not an easy task with three kids!).

2. When you start the meeting, set the tone. Be explicit!

I began, calling to order our family meeting, fake gavel and all. My kids appreciate my flair for the dramatic. OK, everyone but the tween does! I explained that I thought our house was way too messy. I had the kids give me some examples, and we were all in agreement. Jeff and I honestly talked about how we weren't naturally neat! The kids gave examples of friends they have who had perfectly tidy lockers and desks. Avi, my youngest, exclaimed that he had a friend that even made his own bed (mom fail on my part that that was so newsworthy).

3. Keep your tone warm and inviting

This is why I infused some grade A "mom jokes" with my "air gavel!"

4. When you start the meeting, see if they can come up with the reason why you've asked to talk and let them describe in their own words