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There are many approaches to life and how we manage them can be important. I am a single mom of three daughters that I raise completely on my own. So I have developed some much needed lifehacks that can save time, energy, and even money. I have learned these throughout the years and still use them today. These hacks are great for even two parents raising children but essentially come in handy for those who raise children on their own. These are valuable tools though that can help any parent.
First, write a list of five basic rules for your kids to follow. Make them more positive and make it fun for the kids to follow these rules. Don't start with too many rules, start small, then add on as needed down the road. For instance, you wouldn't want to list 15 rules at first, that is too many for the kids to remember when setting a new rule system in place, so start with a small number like five. Make sure that you turn a negative into a positive so that way the kids will be more likely to remember them as they pay more attention to positive remarks over negative remarks. For instance, instead of saying, "Don't run in the house," instead say, "Walking feet." This gives the kids a better understanding of what you expect from them without putting a negative attitude towards any misbehavior. When a rule is broken, warn the child first, then if the rule is broken again, put them in a calm-down spot, or take away television time.
Another lifehack is to set a specific bed time for each child according to their age, for example, put the youngest child to bed sooner than the oldest. Allow for an extra half hour to an hour on weekends and in summer, but don't let your child stay up for more than an hour past their bed time, even in summer, or they will expect this kind of treatment the whole year. Setting a set bed time allows the kids to get used to going to bed at the same time every night, and they are less likely to fight against getting up in the morning for school.
Another good tip for raising kids is to have a set routine on when things get done. For example maybe every Saturday you all clean the house and every Sunday you do the laundry. Setting a set day of the week to get things done can help ease the worry of not having time and can ensure that everyone knows they must help with that chore. Giving each kid specific tasks according to their age can also help the kids feel more responsible and feel like they are being treated as independent learners.
Fourthly, I have learned to choose a meat for dinner the night before. Having in mind what you want to serve the next night, you can get it out to unthaw so it is ready to cook when needed. This also helps you when shopping if you have a set number and items for meals you need. Having a plan for shopping and cooking helps reduces the stress of what to make at the last minute. It also ensures that the kids will most likely eat more of their meal since you can ask for a vote on what meal out of a possibility of two choices should be served.
A good trick that can be very useful is to remember to use coupons, sales, and bargain prices to your advantage. Saving money on regular items you buy anyways can help reduce the stress of paying for those particular items. If you have a large family, you may also want to buy in bulk as the price per pound or ounce is much cheaper.
Finally, remember that it is ok to have some alone time to yourself, it doesn't mean you are selfish. It just means you need some time to yourself to reflect on adult problems that come your way and need time to relax as well. Never feel bad for taking time for yourself as long as the kids are taken care of, there is no harm in it. Maybe wait until all the kids are in bed and set your bed time for half an hour after that so you have time to read or watch a show. You can also find time to yourself during the day if all your kids are in school or the youngest one takes naps.
I hope that this advice has helped you as much as it has helped me over the years. There are more ways to help in raising kids, but there are so many to mention, I only named the main ones that help me the most.