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  • GTD for Child Management?

    Hello everyone,

    I heard David say in one of his videos “managing a home, and especially managing kids, is like managing a complex business. Each kid is like its own corporation that you have to manage.”

    I really agreed with this statement, and it happens to be my biggest sticking point at the moment. I struggle to find a way of using GTD for managing everything that goes with it having kids, there is so much involved.

    If anyone has experience in this area of GTD I’d love to hear how you do it or if you know of any article, tools etc that can help me on this one.
    Last edited by NewbGTD; 11-01-2009, 02:50 PM.

  • #2
    I don't have any answers for you, newbGTD, but I would add that it is also difficult to get your own things done in the presence of some children, due to all the interruptions (2 during this sentence) and the sheer amount of work they require.

    Comment


    • #3
      planning

      A lot of stuff with kids involves planning, everything is a project--going to the park, etc, involves when and what and who and how. It helps to define the outcomes you want or you can try to do many things.

      We were great at planning artistic and mental enrichment and responsibility for homework, but not so great at planning on how to teach things like teamwork and the advantages of doing chores routinely. Maybe GTD could have helped us at the time.

      Also, things like teaching them to hang up their coats when they come in requires that they have a hook they can reach and a loop in the coat collar.

      Our silliest mistake was thinking that if sweets were freely available they would not fjnd them so attractive, so we tried having a candy drawer. That ended when it turned into ad lib candy. We probably role-modeled it poorly and should have verbalized what we were trying to achieve. Had we been thinking it through in GTD style we maybe could have succeeded.

      I srill struggle with the @Adgenda with young adults. I end up with long lists of stuff to discuss with them together,separately, with other relatives present, etc. They get bored with it but they are not "available" much and the things are too complex for test messaging or email. I also have been tracking how many times I tell them stuff and when--having the dates and times makes a bit of an impact.

      Getting a working calendar system helps--and training everyone to look at the calendar is a good idea but probably only one person should write on it!

      Regardless of your religion, some of the websites from Christian organizations and families, and other religions that are now explicitly focusing parents on parenting have great ideas about being organized for raising kids, including time for fun and time for "work", storing art supplies, making your kitchen an art center, etc.

      Good luck.

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      • #4
        IPO is the goal!

        Each child is like a startup. Your responsibility - as a founder - is to guide it to a successful IPO.

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        • #5
          Time-tested, use-tested, and GTD-compatible source for managing a household and family:

          www.flylady.net

          At first glance it looks like housekeeping and nothing else, but roam around the site and you'll find plenty about children as well. Bottom line: with a streamlined system for keeping house, you have more time and attention to give your children.

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you seen shows like Super Nanny or Nanny 911 or such?

            There's a lot of info and tips, there are DVDs and books too..

            Most children LIKE a schedule, so maybe you could come up with daily and weekly routines.. And eg checklists for 'before the walk' - what to bring with etc.. Also, some families had eg stickers or stars to put on posters or magnets or other small tokens to reward good behavior.. (I'm not so sure about those though, am especially against using sweets as tokens, it can lead to eating disorders or health problems, though they may 'work' - privileges like watching TV or playing together, or other things they like to do can work as rewards too..)

            Great book for communication with children: http://www.amazon.ca/How-Talk-So-Kid.../dp/0380811960 & there's another one for school work by same authors
            These are behaviors that EASE communication with kids OR adults!
            (So when you do communicate, it goes easier!)

            Jane Bluestein has some cool books too, mostly emphasizing importance of 'good consequences' for good behavior.. Some are more for teachers and some more for parents.. It's not about GTD specifically, there's good stuff about setting boundaries and such..

            Depends on how old your kids are too, and their specific character and personality.. How many kids do you have, how old are they? Are you the primary caretaker or just someone who sees them at the end of the day?

            Most kids calm down when coloring or drawing.. If they don't have a(n interesting) planned activity, and no one is doing anything with them, that's when they may cause 'disruptions' or start havoc. Otherwise they usually LIKE to help and can be encouraged to help at home at a quite young age..
            (You have to predict circumstances and be pretty zen about it though.. And not wait until they can do things perfectly.. My Mum didn't let us help when we were 'too little' and then wondered why her teenagers didn't want to help! Just encourage them to do what they can, and use descriptive praise..)

            You have to be pretty consistent too, and stick to what you say.. And lead by example, ideally..

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Excel and all,

              I don't have any answers for you, newbGTD, but I would add that it is also difficult to get your own things done in the presence of some children, due to all the interruptions (2 during this sentence) and the sheer amount of work they require.
              Yeah I actually have that one covered. I just schedule blocks of time that is solely spent with my son. So that time is his time, not mine. And I take advantage to any “gifts of time” I get (i.e. when his busy occupying himself, learning, drawing etc, goes next door to see his friends) to get some of my own stuff done.

              My main problem is keeping track of everything regarding my child’s growth. It would be fine if I was a go-with-flow type parent, but I like to teach him rules, habits, values, routines (which entails A LOT). This is where my problem really is. Finding a simple effective way to keep track of these things.

              Without me having a system for this, I have a too much in my head day to day. And that obviously brings on stress.

              If I could find a effective way to do it and to take the “thinking load” off my shoulders I would be a happy bunny.

              I’m thinking about setting up a “Progress Journal” that will be reviewed weekly. I think this is might be my ticket.

              Because w/ kids it’s like a constant observation on habits and behaviour, there’s a great deal nurturing going on for many years. I need a way to lay that out on some sort of efficient program or journal that is also effective at tracking these things, and as a result emptying my mind . That’s what I’m after.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hm, yeah, you could have a 'Progress Journal', or scrapbook.. Or file/folder/s (also useful for art and such).. Or all of that..

                There are some cute journals for babies you can buy and draw & write in, put photos in, etc.

                You could also make a DIY version in your preferred format.. Add photos (or have a digital file with digital photos and little movies) etc etc

                I think it may be easier to teach habits and routines when actually working on other projects (like art/drawing/painting or cookie baking, or gardening or playing games.. Because then the focus is on the fun activity and the other stuff is just secondary, and to make the activity easier and more fun..)

                You can also use fairytales or storytelling to teach values and habits etc. (Either you tell the story, or you both take turns in telling parts of the story, imagine it up together - kids love this!)

                You can have a file or notebook where you write in what you wish to teach the kiddie/s and then make a 'lesson' around it, try to make it fun and interesting, not just 'boring dry routine'.. eg look for books or activities to teach a certain value or habit, etc. (basically those could be mini-projects..)

                You could also make a written list (perhaps together) and put it on the wall and use as reminder for kiddies and activities.. (The nannies 911 brought a 'book' for kids to read rules in, I know in some classes teacher and kids together came up with rules on a poster to make activities more fun and safe for everyone, etc.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Check Lists

                  One of the skills that I have taken from GTD is to have a check lists for my kid. We have a daily check list of things that must be done each morning before heading out the door as well as another one on what must be done before bedtime each evening. The TV doesn't come on, text messages go unanswered until the check list is complete in the morning or evening on school nights. We also have a weekend checklist as well.

                  The list helps our daughter form good habits such as having her clothes ready for school the night before, her phone charged, etc. It also enforces expectations.

                  The school she is attending is teaching the habit of writing down what's on your mind into a trusted system. They have a weekly planner that they are teaching the kids to use. It's obvious that someone has read David Allen's works, since there are elements of GTD in the school's planner.

                  The check list is also great because checking off tasks gives a sense of accomplishment to the day, and finishing it gives a sense of completeness. Once that's done, you're ready for the next day and can focus on having fun, playing with friends, etc, without having to worry that you are going to be blind sided by an parent with one more thing to do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NewbGTD View Post
                    My main problem is keeping track of everything regarding my child’s growth. It would be fine if I was a go-with-flow type parent, but I like to teach him rules, habits, values, routines (which entails A LOT). This is where my problem really is. Finding a simple effective way to keep track of these things.
                    My daughter has an IEP, and they are required to keep track of various areas of her personal growth. Each special ed teacher (psychologist, speech pathologist, etc.) has a spreadsheet that lists specific goals for the coming year (such as "X will count to 20") and progress made toward that goal every 3 months (such as "X can count to 10"). At the end of the year, they re-evaluate the goals and come up with a new list for the following year. Perhaps you could do something similar. Figure out what your discrete short- or long-term goals are. Then use a tickler system to remind you when it is time to review your child's progress and when it is time to add new goals.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hello friend,
                      David has said 100 % right thing,if you are able to manage child then you can handle any business, because managing a child is really a difficult task.There is no particular way of handling them, because every child has different mental level so you have to work according to it. You can handle them by different ways.I think the first and foremost thing which we should follow is try to know their likings and dis likings and make them like every thing like whatever they don't like try to make them in favor of that, this will make them having a positive attitude towards every situation and they can face any difficult situation,and try to be friendly with them so that they can share their every problem with you.Try t spend more time with them but along with that give them space also.They should not feel very much protective and irritated with your interference.
                      So handling a child is same as handling a normal person.

                      Regards,
                      Nelson

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