First things first: I know you're all dying to know how our bedtime scheduling went.
We introduced it on Monday Night at Family Home Evening, and the girls were totally fine with it. Tuesday it went without a hitch. Wednesday we decided to watch a movie as a family and we didn't get around to it until a lot later than we should have (I can't remember why) and the movie wasn't over until nearly midnight. Oh well, it's summer, no biggie. Thursday night we had some friends sleep over while their parents went on a little getaway. It was difficult to keep these children off the walls, much less make them stick to a bedtime schedule. So, there went that. Friday night was our turn to babysit for the babysitting co-op that we do (by the way, this is such a great way to get a weekly date and not have to pay a sitter) and so that was a bust. Saturday we were at some friends' house (where the above picture was taken) and we swam at their private beach, roasted hot dogs over a campfire and talked and played until way past bedtime. And then we went to yet another friend's house to watch a movie out on their back lawn--we got there just in time for the closing credits, and of course some socializing. Tonight is Sunday. And we tried. That's all I can say.
I'm giving myself a pass because it is summer. But we're hitting it harder this week, that's for sure.
Because, two more weeks until school starts.
At the same Family Home Evening, we introduced the Family Rule Book. It took nearly two hours, but together we came up with about 30 family rules and their attached consequences. At first, the girls seemed to think that things like "not spitting on people" and "don't slam doors" were the most important rules to worry about, but we eventually got them to come up with things like "be kind to your sisters" and "quickly obey" and a bunch more really good ones.
I think that so far it is making a huge difference in our household. Partly because they helped to make the rules and the consequences that are attached to them (many of them are more harsh than I would have thought up if I were doing this myself)(and I'm a mean mommy)(my kids tell me so all the time), so they know exactly what to expect. The only thing I'm seeing an increase in is tattling. Which I never know how to deal with, but if you have suggestions, I'll certainly try anything.
This next week the focus will be on Consistent Consequences. Basically, consistently and unemotionally administering the consequences that are already written in the book. Really, I look at it as extra practice with the Family Rule Book, since that's what we've been doing this week already. The hard part is to drop what I'm doing and just do what needs to be done. And staying unemotional sometimes is hard, but I'm getting better at that, and I promise it works.
Here's to another week of becoming the mother I want to be.