Four tips to get dinner on the table, without the craziness and no fights! Michelle, of Moms are Frugal, has four kids and manages it! Here’s her tips.
Making dinner can be a challenge for any mom, and for me it doesn’t matter if I have four children or one. They all seem to demand my attention when I get dinner started. The other time is when I am on the phone, but that is a whole different subject.
This hour of the day brings together a tired mom, tired children, daddy coming home from work and all are hungry.
As a mom I have to have a plan. Nothing in a mom’s world exists without a plan. If I have to do Sunday School for both of our church services the night before I put together a plan.
After many frustrated days, and a husband that recommended we eat in more than we eat out, I researched what other moms were doing and came up with a plan.
A plan that suits our family.
Start dinner at the same time everyday.
Consistency helps to calm kids and lets them know what is going to happen at the same time each day. Everyday my kids know at 5:00 pm I will start my dinner routine. A copy of my schedule is on my fridge for everyone to see, and the kids all know what to do when I say it is time to start dinner.
If we have a night where dinner is later than usual it is a lot more scattered and less likely to be a meal well put together.
Give Each Child Something To Do
The age of the child does not matter. Find something for them to do at the same time each day in the same place. Do not change it until you see they age out of it.
On my schedule each child has a “place” to be with a “job” to be done. *wink* Even my one year old. His job is to sit in his table chair and either eat puffs or read his books.
My six year old is allowed 30-45 minutes of tech time. The four year old is my kitchen helper so he helps me with dinner and setting the table, yes he even cooks with me. It does take a little longer but it is worth it to see him enjoying himself. Of course I do the hot jobs.
See our busy play activities that are so simple to keep kids busy with.
Utilize Only Favorite Toys
This one is super important. This toy CANNOT be used at any other time no matter what the case. If you need 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted time then you can only use the toy that will hold their attention until you are done.
For each child his favorite activity is held until this time of day, and when boredom strikes I insert another activity into this time slot that they love. Such as, if I see the three year old needs to be switched with the six year old on kitchen duty then I will let the three year old have tech time (see our best learning apps for preschoolers). At that time he will watch one of his favorite shows that he loves.
Divide And Conquer
My children play great together at times, but then at other times if they are in the same room together nothing but disagreements break out. It all depends on the day. I do have a lot of training ahead of me in this area. *smirk*
Each child stays on his task, but they are all in the same room with me. This helps me to know that they are safe and not secluded. I want the dinner hour to be fun and cozy, not chaotic and stressful.
Also see how to keep the baby busy while you make dinner!
Maybe some of these tips will help the dinner hour at your home to be a little less crazy!
Now the challenge is to get them to eat healthy! Use these secrets!
My name is Michelle Knight and I am a home schooling mom to four very busy boys, ages 16 to 1. Wife to a wonderful husband who owns his own construction business. When I am not helping kids with school or playing with the baby I blog at www.momsarefrugal.com and work as a representative for my Avon business.