one small thing

One thing I love about life with kids: How something that is SO challenging or SO frustrating one day can be nearly forgotten within such a short time. I took pictures of all of this the other night because it seemed like SUCH a big deal and now, a few days later, it seems kind of silly. Just another normal night with kids, right? The trick for me is to try and remember what worked...and what didn't...during those frustrating times, so I might as well document it.

Monday night was really frustrating and challenging with James. He was just in a rage, talking super snotty to me and yelling...just being a beast. I ended up making him go to his room and told him he couldn't come out until he A) ate his snack (I did know he was hungry but he had kind of gone past normal hungry, I think, and was totally irrational) and B) cleaned up his room. He sat in there hollering for a good 10 minutes, demanding a different snack on a different plate, saying his room was too messy, until I brought him up this little check list. Shortly after, there was total quiet. About 20 minutes later he opened his door and called for me to come and see his room. He had made his bed...

and cleaned up all of his toys.
The checklist really made a difference for him. I think a whole floor of toys can be overwhelming to anyone (especially because MOST of his bedroom stuff gets sorted) and while I still help him a lot of times, this was a consequence for the foul attitude. He liked the checklist so much that he stuck it on his door, to help him other times, he said. (insert heart breaking) He had eaten his snack, finished his milk, cleaned his room, and was a different kid the rest of the night. (tormented his sister, played Legos, chased his father, etc.)

I use checklists all the time so I'm going to try and remember to use them more often with him. A small thing that made a huge difference.

I suppose that is worth remembering. :)



  1. That checklist was a genius idea! Who knew??

    Good for him for getting himself and his room together--and all thanks to that short little list. Very cool!

    That's kind of like me feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with a job that seems enormous, but when I chip away at it or make a to-do list I can get it done.

  2. AWESOME!!!! James did an INCREDIBLE job!!!!

    Mason is a list boy and visual boy, so any charts or lists I create for him make a huge difference. We used to have pictures for getting all his winter garb on. He would get the picture of snowpants, when they were on he would give me the picture back and get the picture for the next item. Of course, he tends to be a bit more extreme for certain things :) Poor kid having a therapist for a mom! He will probably need therapy because of all the charts we have used:)

  3. nicely done james! Now can he come and teach Odin?

  4. Grace is definitely hypoglycemic and it SO obviously affects her behavior. Unfortunately we too often realize it after she's been fed and feels better. The list was a great idea!

  5. thanks all. I'll let you know if it ever works again. :)


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