We’re on the road, trying to make it to gymnastics by warm-up with enough time to pull on leotards and hit the restrooms, and the kids are squabbling: “Gimme, it’s mine.” “You’re going to break it.” “Well, you’re a rooty-tooty face!”
What is up with these kids? And what the heck is a “rooty-tooty face,” anyway?
Then it hits me. In our rush to grab the older kids off the bus and get flipping on time, we forgot snack. With my kids, you forget snack at your own peril!
I fling a few cereal bars into the back seat and the cranky kids happily munch away, insults forgotten and crankies calmed.
After school is busy around here. The primary school doesn’t let out until 4:30 and the kids have just a few hours to practice their instruments, go to activities, finish chores, squeeze in a couple of play dates, and do their homework before family dinner. Everything goes much smoother when we program in a snack.
For days we are “on the go,” we bring individually wrapped cereal bars, which are convenient to pack and eat.
With four kids, anything they can do independently is a big help to me. Once we have a routine in place, the older kids can take care of a lot of daily tasks for themselves, like picking out clothes for school, bringing plates to the sink when they are finished eating, and remembering to grab that all-important, after-school snack.
Kids can create a visual reminder for themselves with a simple printout–this way I don’t have to feel like I am constantly nagging them to get chores done. I add three tasks in the first three boxes, like practice piano, check that your soccer gear is packed, do your homework, etc. …don’t forget a snack! Then, I put an incentive in the fourth box so they know that once they are done they can play their favorite game or chat with their friends.
Once kids see the expectations (and the incentive) in black and white, they are much more likely to follow-through without complaint. A smooth after-school routine means less whining and more time for fun and family bonding. For that, I think mom deserves a trophy.
What are your tips for keeping your team on track after school? Check out more helpful tips from Team Kellogg’s at Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips use this printable to make your own after school routine:
Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.