Last week I talked about pulling back the arrow to move forward, and how moving backwards in our journey is exactly what we need to move forward. 

What can we be doing in the time when we’re pulling back? This week I’m going to focus on “the one thing…” If there is ONE THING you’ll do this summer to create success and harmony in your household, let’s figure it out. What is the one small thing that can knock over larger things that are in the way, like dominoes? If you could do only one thing, what would it be?

There are a lot of things that are out of our control right now. Many families I’m speaking with during my front porch conversations are on pins and needles in anticipation of the State of Minnesota’s announcement about what school will look like in the fall. And while this time is stressful, I also know a lot of us have more time on our hands and are enjoying a somewhat more relaxed pace of life, without all of the rushing to kids’ sports practices and extra meetings and events that take up our evenings. 

With that, let’s start working on determining what “the one thing” is that’s going to make our lives easier. In my house, I’ve had great success using this method to determine my kids’ chores, but you can use it for just about anything!

Step 1: Take note.

Figure out what you need. Think about how you learn. Think back to a time when you were the most productive. What was going on? What happened? What were the circumstances? Who was doing what? Run through the same list of questions for a time when you were not so productive. What’s the most stressful part of that?

By examining our family’s habits, routines, and patterns that are both good and bad we can document what happens when we are at our best, what we are doing, and how did it happen. The same type of peeling back the layers and examining the environment and root causes for the situations for when we are at our worst is also beneficial.

Step 2: Work to support each individual’s strengths.

When assigning chores in my house, I assign tasks that align with each kiddo’s strengths. For example, my daughter loves washing things. She took great pride recently in helping me remove a rust stain from the front porch. My son Caden enjoys vacuuming and sweeping, so those are his responsibility. Both my sons take turns unloading the dishwasher so it’s never something I have to worry about.

When figuring out these types of household chores, tackle it from a place of considering the things your family members have a natural inclination to do. Do you have a good sorter, laundry folder or dog walker in your house? Have them do it again, and again, and again. Don’t give up, even if it’s done wrong, or backwards, or sideways!

We have the ability to learn and practice for the rest of our lives. When we serve we feel good about it. Repetition is key. Make a list of the daily functions of your family and get everyone involved when it comes to assigning tasks. Chores need to be done and your family will be better working together. Do the one thing to structure your life for the better, long-term. 

In summary, don’t worry about summer classes. Concentrate on functioning and figure out how these puzzle pieces fit together! If there’s anything I can do to help your and your family with that process… you know where to find me. 

Cara Thorpe
Founder & Visionary
Yellow Parachute Learning Partners