How to Tame the Chaos in Your Home
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
1) Build a Frame.
This will forever be my Number 1 tip. Build a frame for your children that lets them explore life. Creating these boundaries for your children gives them the security they need to thrive, learn, and succeed. Boundaries are necessary for your children, spouse, family, and friends to know what is expected of them, what you will tolerate, and what you will not allow in your life/family. Making these limits clear will not only help your sanity, but they will be paramount for your child’s future endeavors. Your children are works of art, and beautiful art deserves to be framed.
2) Don’t yell across the house.
I know this is hard, and you have too much going on to stop what you’re doing, walk across the house, and talk face to face with your husband/wife/nanny/plumber for a short conversation or one word answer. Do it anyway.
3) Make sure everyone knows the agenda.
If you’re a busy family, and I know you are or you probably wouldn’t be reading this, make sure everyone knows the agenda for the day/week/month. Its hard to keep an entire family on the same page, so make sure it is abundantly clear what the expectations are for the day, activity, trip, house, or whatever the current chaotic situation is. Setting expectations helps everyone know what is going on, and is the first step in holding all parties accountable.
4) Have a solid and predictable bedtime routine.
People in generally, but especially children, do best when they know what is coming. Provide consistency in their bedtime routine. This will help them proceed into a good night’s sleep, and we all know how beneficial quality sleep is for everyone involved. If your children are old enough to talk, I highly recommend including “lay time” into your routine. This is what we call the time right before bed when we lay down with our children, and they get to tell us one thing that was good about the day, and one mistake they made that they would like to improve in the future. Normalizing the word “mistake” and the fact that they’re made on a regular basis helps take some of the pressure off kids.
5) Pay attention to what sets off the downward spiral.
This goes for you, your partner, and your children. Often times meltdowns can be avoided with just a bit of care and attention. In our house, hungry kids turn into tyrannical dinosaurs fast. So its paramount for us to make sure the kids have an adequate amount of protein even when we’re on the go. Many kids are sensitive to routine changes (see #2), itchy clothing, poor sleep, light, sound, and major weather changes.
6) Don’t try to be a superhero.
I know its disappointing, but the truth is you’re not a superhero. The cool part is that no one (except maybe you) expects you to be. So let some stuff (or people) go, say no sometimes. Really sift through what you’re hanging on to, and decide if all of those things truly make you a better parent/person. Let go of what isn’t serving you or your family right now.
7) Put your kids to work.
Your family is a team. Make sure everyone on the team is doing their part by giving them age appropriate expectations for helping out. This takes some effort in the beginning, but it pays off in dividends. Teach each member of the family what is expected of them. Help them do their job the first few times to make sure they understand what outcome you are looking to achieve.
8) Make success easy.
We all want to be setup for success. If you expect your children to hang up their coats, make sure there is a coat hook or hanger near where they enter the house. Limit the amount of toys they have access to in order facilitate an easy clean up. Have a safe and comfortable place for them to do homework with limited distractions.
9) You only get to control your attitude.
As frustrating as it may be when your child doesn’t respond to a situation the way you would like them to, that is not something that is within your control. As a parent, it is your job to teach your children to be respectful even when they’re unhappy with a situation. The best way to do that is to show them respect. Let them know you hear them, help them label their feeling, and model a better way to react. Many times a child’s frustration stems from not having the cognitive ability to comprehend that something comes after what they’re currently stuck on. Try to help your child overcome this by communicating future events: When you finish the dishes you, then you can play on the Xbox. After we all finish dinner, then you can see if your friend wants to come over.
10) If you are drowning, get help.
No one is meant to travel this journey alone. If you’re frustrated, overwhelmed, or don’t know where to start ask for help. You could need as little as your partner taking over the folding the towels, a family member keeping the kids for a few hours, or professional help from a parenting coach.
To keep these tips handy you can download the full list by clicking the link to the right.