Our first family meeting with a 5 year and a 3 year old.

As you can see in our family’s newyears video, breakfast at our place is always a “heroes happen here” event.

When my partner has breakfast with the kids alone: it works fine.
When I have breakfast with them it is ok too. The challenges start when we are both there.

We tend to have both our own way of dealling with the kids in the morning. And smart kids as they are (who does not think his own kids are smart.) They take advantage of this. That is, the kids play wih us to have whatever they want.

This results in stressy breakfasts and lot of arguments between Els and me.

We never took the time to become aligned. Untill wednesday 19 march. Els and me sat down and discussed how we would organise our mornings. We both were aligned on the fact that we wanted the mornings to be easier. Especially as she had started working again.

So on thursday 20 march, we held our first Family meeting. We asked Joppe (5 years), Bent (3 years) to sit down and we put Geike (5 months) in her relax so she could see us all. We told them the new morning rules. When they tried to change the rules, they quickly realize their parents were both very aligned on the subject.

And yes we have made some changes based on their requirments, after we checked with eachother.

So what are our rules:

6:45 Yves & Els get up. We wake the kids, and they have time to become fully awake untill we(Yves & Els) are dressed. Yves takes a shower.

7:00 Yves & Els are dressed. Joppe gets 15 minutes to get dressed on his own.

Bent also get’s 15 minutes, but we help him by telling him what to put on.

They get an hourglass to help them with the time. From the moment they are finished they can go downstairs to play a little.

7:15 Yves & Els leave the boys room. If the boys are not ready we won’t stay. We dress Geike and give her milk. We put the food from the fridge to the table. (The rest Yves has already put in place the night before.

7:30 We go to breakfast. We now use an hourglass of 30 minutes. Joppe & Bent have to say what they want from the moment they sit down. They can not only leave the table to go to the toilet or when they are finished.

8:00 Joppe & Bent put heir trousers and shoes on. They can play a little bit.

8:15 We leave the house.

The Result:
The next day was the best breakfast we had in years. Both Els & me were relaxed before, during and after the breakfast.

Did everything went smoothly?
Depends on how you look at it. Compared to before ==> definetely. They are still kids. And we are very agile. In fact we changed our plans already for the next time. Now we will use 2 hourglasses at breakfast. One of 15 minutes and one of 30 minutes. As we see they already understand the law of parkinson. (Everything takes at least the amount of time you have set to.)

Update: A lot of readers ask where I bought the hourglasses.

I am Yves Hanoulle, your virtual Project Coach and you can reach me @ Yves at my agile training company .net

 

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2 Responses

  1. I never heard of Parkinson’s law before. One to remember.

    Great story by the way.

  2. today my kids proved they knew the law even better. Joppe had found a 5 minute hourglass, he wanted to use it for him. (To be haf ready at 5 minutes and to be completly ready at 15 minutes.)
    Bent had eaten his bread after 5 minutes.(Instead of + 30 minutes before)

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