Thursday, May 29, 2014

The 10 Minute Summer

Summer is ALMOST here! My kids have one week of school left but my mind is already in summer-mode. We made it! Hallelujah, thank you, Jesus!

And this summer, I'm bringing back some of my favorite "10 minute" strategies. I thought I'd share them with y'all!

1. The 10 Minute Clean-Up: This is a modified version of the Fly Lady's 15 minute declutter. Our family rule is that we do movie nights on Friday nights but only if the kids' rooms are clean. They get a little overwhelmed on Friday afternoons when they see all they have to do to get ready! So we are implementing a 10 minute family clean-up time every night just before bedtime. In the summer, adding 10 minutes to our bedtime routine won't be a huge deal, and hopefully it will help all of us stay on top of summer clutter (me included!)

2. The 10 Minute Check-in: My husband and I used to do this regularly and have gotten out of the habit of it. So this summer I'm bringing it back! It's just a 10 minute check-in with your spouse/partner/significant other every night (or morning for you crazy morning-people). You can even set a timer if you have other stuff at night you know you need to get to. The important thing is making it happen regularly.  It doesn't mean you have to bear your soul every night; it's just a time you set aside to chat for 10 minutes.  It's amazing how much a little 10 minute connection every day can keep your marriage running smoothly, especially if you are touching or sitting close together while you chat. I don't know about y'all, but I can go a whole day without really connecting with my husband when our lives get crazy. Those little 10 minutes at night can be really precious.

3. The 10 Minute "Drop Everything" Password: I have a tendency to work on a craft or sewing project over the summer when the kids are around (or, ahem, get sucked into Facebook). Not that that's bad, but I hate ignoring the kids when they are home with me. I don't know how many more summers I have left when they'll want to hang out with me!  And I can always spare 10 minutes!  The kids and I are going to work on a code word they can use (they can each pick their own). When my child says his/her code word, I will drop what I'm doing, set the timer for 10 minutes, and give that child my undivided attention. They can use their word once a day! With three kids, I figure this will help me give each of them some quality time alone with me too! We might even do something cool like decorate a clothes pin or wooden circle they can hand to me instead of using a password. I'm still thinkin' on this one! Let me know if you have any great ideas!

4. The 10 Minute Jumping Jacks -  No worries, you don't do jumping jacks for 10 minutes! This is something our Tae Kwon Do Master taught us. For every 10 minutes of video game time, we stop the game and do 1 minute of jumping jacks.  Confession: I usually make only the kids do the jacks but my goal this summer is to join in. You'd be surprised how hard 60 seconds of jumping jacks can be!  We do this regularly and it helps in a couple ways: 1 - you get some physical activity in with video game time and 2 - it gives your kids a quick disconnect from the game. I think that disconnect minute is good for their little brains 'cause, you know, I really hate video games. There, I said it.

5. The 10 Minute Mommy Crown: I got this idea from my 1st grader's teacher this year. She has a workshop time during which she wears a crown. When she is wearing the crown, students are not allowed to interrupt her. That way she can work in small groups and give the children she's with her undivided attention.  I'm planning to modify this. I need to find a crown! But I'm going to tell the kids that if I'm wearing my crown, it means they may not interrupt me (except for emergencies). And I'll set the timer for 10 minutes so I don't get sucked into something like Facebook and waste my precious 10 minutes. :)  This strategy is to give me 10 minutes on days when I really need it. And just like my kids with their 10 Minute "Drop Everything" Password, I get to use my crown once a day.

What about y'all? Any 10 minute strategies you want to share?

Happy Summer, everyone! Oh I'm so happy!

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