I've been thinking about how to minimise our tricky behaviours especially after school and at the weekends. This has meant a backward step or two for me personally, a return back to those first days when I had to be on hand tso manage those late afternoon, early evening witching hours and at the weekends to be in a 24/7 supervisory mode. I am now ensuring that dinner is prepared before I do the school pick up, on work days I prepare stuff in the slow cooker or go for simple pasta bakes when I get up in the morning. Mornings are good, child 4 wakes early but is happy to potter, eat breakfast, watch a bit of CBeebies or play with some toys. Other days I make it whilst the children are in school. This seems to alleviate the agression after school as I am more available, I can cuddle up on the sofa with child 3 & 4 or we can play, read, paint or bake. The hair pulling, the throwing and the hitting have begun to disappate. At the weekends we have to be more structured as the days are long without school.
We have been having our neighbours children over for an hour or so most Saturday mornings the last few weeks and I have found that structuring their time has been the best way to manage them. We have made biscuits, on Halloween weekend we iced ginger bread men shaped biscuits into skeletons and on Firework night we made edible sparklers by dipping breadsticks firstly into melted chocolate then a variety of cake toppings, such as 100's and 1000's, glittery sugar and chocolate sugar strands.
I've extended this to cover much of the day through Saturday and Sunday, not just baking just more structure and it is working slowly. Yesterday went extremely well, especially as Mr L and child 2 had headed off to watch the football 3 hours away. We made Christmas shaped bird seed cakes, did a bit of shopping, made lunch, went to a party, went for a walk and played in the bath.
Today was a little trickier probably because after lunch with my parents we relaxed on the sofa to watch Babe, child 4 isn't quite ready for a 90 minute movie, he soon became restless and looked for ways to annoy his siblings, very successfully. Now he is asleep in bed and I am finishing off my blog before checking out Pinterest for new ideas for activities!!!!