High Five Routine
*Activity: Incorporating a High Five in your home*
"I looked down to my watch and found that we should be making our way to the car so we could head out of the house for school so I hollered a 5 minute warning. I could feel my patient start to run away with the kids last pair of shoes that seemed to have walked out the door. How did they disappear from last night to this morning I thought to myself and so had my keys. After finding only one shoe under the bed, I knew that we were going to be late."
The story above isn't too far away from the truth for most household that have young children. Life can simply get a little out of control sometimes. But there are things that you can do every day to make things run a little smoother. Habits that you may already have can put you a step ahead of the rest. Normally they are simple things like making the bed when you get up in the morning, Feeding the animals before you feed yourself, making the school lunches if it is your day. Putting the plate in sink after breakfast so that you don't have the walk around and collect all the dishes later. These are likely things that you were told to do when you are a kid.
Have you considered these things, in regards to the kids. Are there simple things you do for the kids all the time that you think they can do for themselves, you just do it because it is easier? Are there some age appropriate activities that you think the kids need to learn?
The High five is designed to help the kids learn something new and make life a little easier around the house. Do you pack their bag for them every morning before school? Maybe they could trial doing that for themselves for a while in the high five.
For us, this system started out simple. The original high five for my family was,
1- Make bed
2- Get Dressed
3- Make lunches
4- Pack school bag
5- Have breakfast
All before turning on the TV in the morning.
The reason why we started the system was because I had spoken to a friend about it and she had a reward list that she used. She would give a sticker when all the tasks were done for the morning. This worked well with a chart that she also used. I am not the type of Mum that has an endless supply of stickers in the house, so I said to the kids that if they did these things, then I would give them a high five and they could turn on the Tele' for the last five minutes before school.
Before the high five, there was no routine. The kids would do the bare minimum and leave the rest to me. Then I would be running around after them to finish the basic things that they could be doing themselves. They still could watch their shows in the morning if they completed the tasks quickly. This was a win, win.
Since we have been doing it for a while, we have evolved the system as the kids have grown. They have different responsibilities. They are proud of getting their high five done early and want to get it done in enough time to watch youtube on their devices.
Encouraging the kids in these simple habits may lead them to have more confidence in other areas of their life too. They will use the kitchen more to experiment with recipes. They know how to clean it up if they make a mess and I encourage creativity. I am definitely less stressed knowing that the animals and basic chores are completed every morning and all I have to do is double check what my youngest is meant to have completed.
*How it works*
The High Five is a habit forming routine to trial during the blue chip challenge. In my case, as I have older children, I like them to complete their chores in the morning so that they can use their afternoons to complete their homework and enjoy free play. Every household will have a different High five depending on what needs to be done in the house.
Example High Five (School aged children)
1 - Get Up, Get Dressed and Make Bed.
2- Feed/Check on an Animal.
3- Pack school bag and put by the front door.
3- alternatively on the weekend, do something nice for someone else.
4- Complete Assigned Chore
5- Have Breakfast and clean up your mess.
Talk with your kids about about what is important in the home. What do they think that are big enough to help out with? Do they know how to make their bed in the morning? Can they ensure that all their toys are put away before school? Can they make their own breakfast and clean up their mess?
This is not limited to the morning, that is just what works best in my houe, you may prefer to have the kids help out in the afternoon. Can they empty they school bag by themselves? Do they have to put their laundry somewhere when they get changed?
Alternatively some families have chosen to have an all day high five, things that the child needs to get done before bed. No pressure.
I look forward to seeing how you choose to use the High Five System in your home.
Feel free to share in the comments of via email how you chose to personalise it.
To start with, when the child is getting used to the High five, give a reward chip for completing it on time.
The number of your High Five items are important. If one of the kids don't complete the high five task then that is a good guideline for how many chips to take.
They will soon learn that Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day if it number five.