“Mom said she set the timer for half an hour, but I think she made a mistake. Finally, I got to get up, and I made my bed.” from “Jonathan’s Journal”

I have talked in length on this blog about Preventive Parenting—doing those behaviors ahead of time that cause things to go more smoothly with our children later—giving children the expectations ahead of time, discussing things with our kids in order to create “learning hooks” that our children can relate back to in future situations, setting up workable schedules and routines that provide consistency and predictability for our children, and more. Today’s excerpt from “Jonathan’s Journal” is more about those Preventive Parenting ideals.


First of all, this excerpt reiterates what I described a couple of days ago—that parents, not the child, determine the child’s schedule. Again, this provides safety for the child (i.e. as in the child not being up unsupervised at night or in the mornings), but it also provides predictability for the child—and a framework for Mom to build her schedule around. How can Mom possibly know if she is going to have an hour to get kids up and ready, spend time talking, and put them on the bus if she doesn’t know when the littles will be up demanding her time and attention? Likewise, how can a homeschooling Mom know that she will have thirty minutes for Bible and character before her olders start their chores if the preschoolers and toddlers may or may not be up and around?


Secondly, today’s section of the story reveals Jonathan doing something as soon as he gets up: making his bed. This was the first part of Jonathan’s “morning routine”—a Preventive Parenting tip that I discussed for all ages of children—and for those who go to school as well as those who are homeschooled.


At Jonathan’s age in the story (age five or so), he had the same exact morning routine every morning—“mess, dress, room, groom”:


1. Mess—he had to clean up any messes he had from the previous night—water cups and story tapes away; make bed; etc.


2. Dress—he had to get dressed for the day; put away his pajamas; etc.


3. Room—he had to clean his room


4. Groom—he had to brush his teeth, wash up, etc.




As the children got older, we added to this—a private devotional time in which non-readers listened to Bible story tapes and/or looked at picture Bibles and older children had picture Bibles (or Family Bible Library described in an earlier post http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/search/label/reviews ) assigned to them.


Additionally, we usually attached the first family chore session of the day following the morning routine. Thus, all children had one or more morning chore to do. (Stay with us—in several days, I will share a complete list of daily chore ideas and age appropriateness for them.)


Tomorrow we will continue with the next few lines of “Jonathan’s Journal”—and discuss rewards and praise.

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