At the start of 2020, my wife and I decided to implement a special “Commitment to Consistency” exercise we like to call the “Kid’s Korner.” It’s not hard to create, it’s easy to manage, and most importantly, it’s a wonderful bonding experience for you and your kids.
Here’s how it works:
Purchase a whiteboard calendar (or buy a paper calendar if you want) at any Walgreens or Staples near you. When you get home, place the calendar in an area where it can be seen and accessed easily.
Our family is not small by any means! Without counting my wife and me, we have a total of 5 knuckleheads under our roof. So, each day is dedicated to a different child. Before writing your children’s names on the board, first begin by numbering the first week from Monday-Sunday only!*
*Why only 1 week at a time? Every week is different in our home. So if my son’s day falls on a Monday, the next week we will change it. We do this because it prompts the kids to look at the board every Sunday night which helps keep them engaged.
Now that your calendar is numbered, start with writing down each of your children’s names, filling up the week. For us, this worked out perfectly because we have enough kids to cover Monday through Friday. If you do not have as many kids as we do then we suggest that you either try every other day, plan for each kid to experience more than one day per week, or just leave other days open for yourself and your partner.
Side Notes: Remember when we said that getting a whiteboard calendar with an area for notes was needed? Well, there is a very special purpose for that. In the “notes” section of the calendar, we want you to write down the names of each child and their primary Love Language.
You could choose to do what we did and write down their secondary Love Language as well for good measure. These notes on the “Kid’s Korner” board are there to serve as a reminder, for both you and your partner, when you are planning creative activities throughout the week.
Do you know your kid’s Love Language?
Do you know your partner’s Love Language?
Do you know YOUR Love Language?
If you already know their Love Languages, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Ok, the week is numbered, the month is at the top, the names and the Love Languages are in the notes area, and each day is assigned to a child. All there is left to do is START. Begin with Monday and check back in with each other on Sunday.
Wait, what do you do about Saturday and Sunday’s? Great question!
I dedicate Saturdays to speaking my wife’s Love Language and I keep Sunday open for family activities that we can all do together. It’s important to remember that in order to maintain a successful “Kid’s Korner” you have to fully Commit to the Consistency and HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Example: Yesterday was my youngest daughter, Aften’s, day. Because I have read and studied The Five Love Languages for Children, I know that her primary love language is Quality Time, so I began the morning by waking her up for school. But on this day, I spent some extra time chatting with her about her sleep and her dreams. By simply sitting down and talking with her it really put her in a state of happiness and joy.
This is important to remember because she went to school that morning with her “love-tank” full. Now, I don’t get to see my daughter again until around 7 pm because of dance, but when she walks through that door she can barely contain her excitement. The thing she loves to do with me the most, (which drives her little brother crazy), is to lay in bed with me and watch a show called Bunked until her bedtime. By taking the five minutes in the morning and around an hour at night (2 episodes), I successfully filled her emotional “love-tank” and continue to develop a deeper bond that goes beyond the simple words, “I love you.”
This is just one example of how the “Kids Corner” works in our home. Each child is different and each one of my five kids is unique in their own special way.
As a parent, I found that it has been so much easier to communicate with my kids and my wife because I took the time to truly understand not only who they are but WHY they are as well.
If you really want a better relationship with your kids and your partner, I suggest that you begin today to implement fun and new family habits and values. For me, and for most of you, the odds are already so stacked against us as stepparents, so why not go into this next year thinking differently? Start to learn how to better communicate with the amazing people in your life.
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Featured Image Credit: TONL