The list that brings peace in the morn­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT -

IF I’D said “brush your teeth” one more time I might have gone mad. Bonkers. Just like those car­toon char­ac­ters whose heads spin so fast they shoot right off. That was me ev­ery morn­ing af­ter ask­ing my al­most seven-year-old to get ready for school.

My nor­mally gor­geous, con­sid­er­ate, school-lov­ing child is great ev­ery­where else, but un­for­tu­nately for me, not so much in the morn­ing.

And that is de­spite start­ing ev­ery morn­ing with the best of in­ten­tions.

But ev­ery day was the same.

Cue anger. A scream­ing match. Frus­tra­tion. Tears — and we were only one sock in.

What do you do when you don’t know what else to do? You whinge to a girl­friend.

Even bet­ter than kind words, she had a so­lu­tion. The so­lu­tion? A To-Do List.

Now, it might not sound as earth shat­ter­ing as it is, but I im­plore you to give it a go be­cause in my ex­pe­ri­ence, and hers, it works.

That very af­ter­noon, my daugh­ter and I wrote it to­gether, de­tail­ing the sim­plest of morn­ing tasks.

Then we put a lit­tle box next to each task, and found a clip­board and a pen that were all hers to care for. She woke up ex­cited. I woke up smil­ing.

“Mummy, I have to have break­fast, that’s first on my list,” she said at pre­cisely 6.18am. Tick. Make bed, clean bed­room. Tick, tick.

I know that em­pow­er­ing a young per­son makes sense. But when you’re in the trenches, when you’ve got three kids to wran­gle, a kitchen to clean and a time crunch to get out the door – well the “lead by ex­am­ple” way can get lost in the wash.

I’m hop­ing this is my change that will make a change in her. In us. That we can work to­gether in­stead of learn­ing be­hav­iour that is sure to drive us apart.

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