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In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful






10 Tips For Parents On Running A Smoother Household




The following article provides ten simple ideas to help you manage your household with greater ease. You may choose to use one or all ten of the ideas. I would suggest incorporating the methods over a period of time. Too much change, too quickly, can create chaos and inconsistency, which then causes stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Family Meetings

Just like a basketball team, it is important for the family "team" to hold regularly scheduled meetings. The time that the family meets should be convenient for everyone. This time together allows for: the sharing of events in each family member's life; the sharing of problems and the opportunity to ask for family guidance and support concerning those problems; the sharing of chores and tasks; communicating concerns and/or complaints about the family or individual members; and the resolution of conflicts. Make a plan for this time together. Discuss how long you want to meet, who will be the leader this week, and who will make sure every family member gets a chance to speak. Some families spend special time together, doing recreational activities after their meeting.

Special Time

Everybody needs special time! This time is like a treat to your child, particularly if you have several children. If you have a child who appears to be restless, angry, or jealous of siblings, that child may need some special attention from you. Special time lets your child know that he or she is someone important to you.

Keep the Day in Order

It is important for your sanity, and your child's sense of stability, that there is some routine. Brushing of teeth, dinner time, bath time, clean-up time, etc. need to be done at the same time, in the same sequence, every day.

Setting Limits, rules, Discipline

Parents must have realistic expectations for limits, rules, and discipline. For example: You tell your child to be home at dinner time. Well what time is dinner time? Can your child tell time? Does he/she have a watch?
Children under 3 may reject limits. This is natural due to their developmental level and need to assert their independence. Let your child know that while you may not like his behavior, you still love him. Be specific with your child. Instead of, "Go clean your room", say "Please put your dirty clothes in the hamper. When you're done, I'll help you pick up the toys."
Finally, do you have too many rules for your child? If you can't list them, neither can your child.


Involve your child in the creation of his chore chart. Ask your child what he would like to be responsible for doing around the house. You may be surprised! Ask how he would like to be reminded about doing his chores. See what creative ideas your child devises for remembering his tasks.


If it seems as though you are always cleaning-up, it's time to involve your child in the work. Here are some examples: Your 6 year old finishes with his coloring book and crayons and says, "I want to play with Play-doh" -- you say, "Please put away your coloring book and crayons before you take out the Play-doh"; or you hand your daugher her Barbie doll as she comes in from outside, and say, "Take this to your room on the way, please."


Praise good works! You need to be specific. Instead of saying, "What a good girl", try "I can see that you are proud of dressing yourself today." This will help keep a child from always needing praise from an outside source, to learning the intrinsic value of pride. Notice the little things your child does, like "You took your glass to the sink, thank you."


Sometimes bribes work really well. For example, you can set up a system of poker chips as tokens that equal a prize. This works well with small children. For each task your child completes, he gets a chip. Five chips may equal a sticker; ten may equal a movie of his choice. The child is responsible for telling you when the task is completed, and therefore rewards himself. The system may also be used in reverse, with tokens being taken away for inappropriate behavior.
You can alleviate the use of bribes with frequent warnings. For example, "You have five more minutes to play, then you have to pick up your toys and get ready for dinner"...."You have one more minute to play"...then, "Pick up your toys and wash you hands before dinner."


Many parents use spanking as a form of discipline. There are problems with spanking. For instance, spanking a child may make him afraid of you rather than feel remorse for his wrongdoing. Spanking a child teaches him to hit and spank others who make him angry.

Time Out

Time out is an effective disciplinary and teaching method. Communicate with your child while he is in time out. Ask him why he is in time out, and if he doesn't know why, explain it to him. Time out can give you and your child a couple of minutes to come up with a plan to fix the wrongdoing. Time out can also teach your child how to take a private moment to control himself. Remember, you do not always have to TIME OUT your child. If you feel that you are about to "lose it," let your family know that you need a time out and go to your room for a few deep breaths. If your children are fighting over a certain toy, you can time out the toy too. If they cannot learn to share, they both lose the toy. You might say something like, "That toy has to go in time out because it made you fight."

In conclusion, these ten tips have assisted many families in running a smoother household. You do not need to implement every one of the methods if you do not agree with them. I encourage you to try them one at a time, over a reasonable length of time, before deciding whether they will work for your family or particular child. Remember, too much change, too fast, can cause more chaos!





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