Simplifying with Little Kids

Are your children slowing down your simplifying progress? Here are some things that help me get my projects done with small children hanging about.clutter nick 2

Don’t forget your priorities. Don’t get so absorbed in your project that you speak crossly with your children or ignore them when they need correction. (Believe me I am speaking to myself on this one.) These children are forever and you are their world.

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When I am going to tackle a project  the first thing I do is sit down and spend some special time with my younger children. Something simple like reading a book or playing a game. This fills up their little love tanks and they seem to be much happier and content to play independently.

When I’m ready to start my project the youngest child gets put into the ERGO and the toddler is given a task to help mommy. Usually running items here and there or fetching things for mom. If I’m cleaning then he gets a damp rag or perhaps even a spray bottle and cloth to help clean.

When he tires of helping mommy, I usually have some idea of activities or toys for him to play with. I also like to use a gate so that he can be in the room with me, but not be in the middle of the mess.clutter nick 1

Take occasional short breaks to love on and tickle those babies. Play some fun music and stop working to dance through a song with them. It doesn’t have to be long. They just want to be part of your day, everyday.

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4 Responses to Simplifying with Little Kids
  1. Nikki
    April 1, 2009 | 10:20 pm

    Ahh- what a sweet reminder! It took me a long time to figure this out. My oldest especially thrives on quality time. I realized that putting him off and saying, “If you’re good for 10 more minutes then we can play,” didn’t work. I needed to give him 10 minutes at the start if I wanted to guarantee me some time of my own. And it’s amazing how giving that 10 minutes right away could satisfy him for an hour!

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  2. Angela
    April 22, 2009 | 11:59 am

    I am having a VERY hard time with this myself. As you know I have 4 kids (plus timeshare baby makes 5). I expect the boys to keep their room clean, and to help Sissy with hers. I have even tried going in their room and doing alot of it FOR them. Then asking them to finish up. I took the tv out of the boys room, and the toys out of the boys room too. All they have are their beds, dressers and clothes. They should be able to do a 5-10 minute sweep 1-2 times a day and keep it spotless. I have given them as much as 45 minutes to get both rooms done, only to come check from my own cleanin, and they be worse than before. I have tried being nice, and loving, and they seem to take that as… oh mommy is being nice… we can do whatever. I do not like being harsh with my kids, but telling them I will take ___ away or keep them home from ___ is the only way I get a reaction out of them. I do not know how to modivate them possitively, and it is killing me. I want so much to be the loving, warm, nurturing mom, but they do not listen to me when I am. I am at a complete loss. I tried the treasure box thing, and that worked for a little while, but being on a budget I have a hard time keeping the treasurebox filled, and had a problem with Joey riding on others chore doings, just to get a treasure. IE Danny and Austin would do all the work.. he would claim the clean room… then all 3 would get a treasure. There is something I am missing or not doing right. I know this. I have no one to guide me though. I have the largest family IN my family. No one knows how to deal with more than 1-2-3 kids, and half of them have issues with that. I need someone to help stear ME in the right dirrection, so I can be a better mom to my kids, and we can all have happier more possitively productive days. HELP?!?! PLEASE?!?!???
    –A

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  3. Lesley
    February 22, 2010 | 1:16 pm

    I have 2 boys, ages 3y6m and 12m… The little one scares the daylights outta me climbing on furniture- he’s been walking since 8m, trying to have big-kid fun, and we have had a few scares, despite that I am blessed to stay home and watch him myself…though I also watch my (six) nieces and nephews a few times a week, so that I am distracted. How do you keep safe and handle the little ones when you are dealing with the older ones?!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I think the key to this is keeping them with you all the time. When I give my kids an activity to keep them busy it is something that they are able to do right where I can see them. It is a defined activity that takes place in a defined space so I know where they are and what they are doing.

    Our children are accustomed to staying in their defined space playing or working on the activity that they have been given. This allows me to get some bigger projects done around the house.

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