Here’s another idea I totally snagged and adapted from someone else, but this simple trick has saved me quite possibly the equivalent of years of unnecessary refereeing in my house.
- My day, your day: At the beginning of each month, I put a tiny M or O in the bottom corner of every single day on the calendar. M days are Maddy’s days; she gets to — (Wait. I’m actually slightly embarrassed to type the rest of this. Please tell me that these seemingly ridiculous issues are not only big deals in my house but also yours, if you have multiple children under the age of 5 . . .). Gulp. Anyway, Maddy gets to pick her cereal first, she gets her vitamin box first, she gets to pick her seat in the car, she gets to pick the television show (from my three options) after rest time, etc., etc. On the O days, Owen gets to run the show. We have yet to add Cora to the mix, but we’ll probably take that plunge this summer when she’s a little over 2.
There are times, of course, when we have to work through sharing issues, but for the most part, this Quick Trick has kept everyone in my house smiling more often than not. When an issue arises throughout the day, we just go back to whose day it is, and that person gets to make the choice. Knowing that his or her day will be here tomorrow usually is enough to end the issue and put a smile back on even a tear-streaked face.