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Old 03-01-2013, 08:38 PM   #13
Melinda29
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

I do simplify trips and consolidate errands whenever possible, for the gas savings as well as time savings (and also because I get a high from crossing off as many things from my list in one shot as possible ), but I actually look for ways to get us out of the house everyday. We live in the country, so seeing anyone other than each other means a car trip. Maybe that's part of it.

What I learned is that the more my kids experience something, the better/easier they get about it. I grocery shop with 4 kids under age 7, without DH, every week, and have since my oldest was born. They are so good at the store. Of course I am continually reminding them to be polite, keep one hand on the cart, asking for their help when I don't really need it, etc. And whoever happens to be in the terrible twos at the time will probably get a timeout in the corner of walmart for tantruming, but that only happens 3 or 4 times before they get it that I AM serious, they can NOT behave that way. They stopped whining for candy ages ago--I never cave, so they don't bother anymore.

Another example--we went to a fancy shmancy clothing store for the first time ever today (I normally buy all their clothes from garage sales or online). They had NO prior experience in department stores, and I didn't even think to prep them on it. They didn't know this was different than the childrens museum, that it was a "look, no touch, talk quietly" place. They went nuts, it was so embarrassing. But they had no experience, no frame of reference for how to behave. I think they honestly thought it was like a kids fun house place, with little tables to climb on and life-sized toy people (mannequins) to play with!

My point of this rambling is, they will learn how to behave "right" in whatever situation you expose them to frequently, after the terrible twos anyway! My kids are great in church, but wild animals when we first get to a restaurant--because we just never go. As long as you gently correct them, stand firm on your expectations, tell them in advance what to expect ("you can help mommy load the vegetables or sit right next to me and watch, but we can't run around) and provide transitions ("we are doing ___ in five minutes"), they will learn and it will make errands much smoother.

Also make them hold your hand, or have the older ones hold onto the stroller at ALL times (I love the stroller for that reason alone) and stop dead in your tracks if they disobey. Deal with it instantly. Be polite but dead serious. Do a timeout by the side of the road if there is tantruming in the car.

Plan for a trip to the post office to take 15 minutes minimum. It's no big deal--your schedule is pretty open anyway. This kills time .

Last edited by Melinda29; 03-01-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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