I have five kids, two of them are not any more minors while the three, well, below the age of 18. With them, it feels like I am always on a battlefield of some sort. I am the police, the lawyer, the judge, and the executioner. At least two times or three times a day, they drive me nuts. Seriously! But I love them so much because they are mine, and I have been trying my very best to keep that inner peace. If I get angry every time one of them speaks, it will leave me heated for every hour of the day. And that is not good for the kids and me.
And so, how do I do it? How do I try to maintain the peace while letting them be, especially now that we all have to stay at home because of the lockdown? This Coronavirus pandemic has shifted the lives of almost eight billion people living on this planet. I just hope that no one suffers from suicidal thoughts since staying at home for weeks, and not being able to go out can create anxiety attacks or depressive moods.
Anyway, my rules for the five dragons were simple:
- Kid 1 and Kid 2 can stay up late until 12 midnight.
- Kid 3 can stay until ten.
- Kid 4 and 5 must be in bed by nine.
- Everyone must be down for breakfast by 9 am.
- We all eat together for breakfast, lunch (1 pm), and dinner (7 pm).
- The big kids must read a chapter of a book, and they will tell me about it during dinner.
- The small kids will show me their crafts, art, or anything that is skill-enhancing, also during dinner.
- The big kids must exercise at least ten minutes each day, without pause. HIIT is preferred, and I have helped them with that.
- I let the small kids run outside for ten minutes.
- They have to wash their plates except for the youngest, and clean as you go the table rule.
- The big kids each have an area to maintain, and it is their responsibility to clean it, which means if the small kids unleash their messy powers, it will be a riot. I do not interfere because the kids have to deal with the communication themselves. They need to be diplomatic.
- The youngest must take her one-hour afternoon nap, and the second-born must see to that.
- The eldest will prepare dinner every day, and she also cleans up the kitchen as she cooks. Tough, huh? No, that is real life.
- The middle child will have to spend one hour with the small ones for game time, preferably in the afternoon after the nap.
- The second-born must provide craft materials for the small ones in the morning.
As for the big kids, what they do with their day, apart from my rules, is up to them. Since it is summer, I do not impose a strict study schedule. But come June, when classes are supposed to begin, if it were the old world, they will be given their homework and assignments. I do not care if they whine and complain.
We may all be in lockdown, and we cannot go out. But life will not end just because there is a virus in the air. We have to live our lives with a purpose wherein we can develop ourselves, and be helpful to the people around us. This is a blessing in disguise because we are all left to supposedly do nothing when this is the time for us to do EVERYTHING. We are learning beings, and developing ourselves must never stop. This is how I maintain peace in my household – by giving my children a purpose and to let them achieve their individual daily goals. They will not understand it now, but in time, they will. It is for the best.