Monday, June 30, 2014

Raising Adults: Packing

Last week, the Cluttered Family went on vacation. The boys went up to Cowboy Grandma & Grandpa's ranch while Diesel and I went to Vegas for our anniversary. Of course, a huge part of going away on a trip is packing. I hate packing. I love travelling, but I hate packing.

A few years ago, I realized that my packing load was more than it needed to be. While Diesel will pull out his clothes, it falls on me to ensure that clothes, toiletries, and other sundry items for our family of 4 (5 if Rockstar is going with us) make it into the suitcase. 

Then I had a major Oprah-style "Ah-ha!" moment. Little Man, at 4 years old, was more than capable of packing his own suitcase. 

I know some of you just had the record needle scratch moment and are thinking "Cluttered Mama, do you mean to tell us that you let a 4 year old pack his own suitcase unsupervised?" 

And the answer is, yes. Sort of. 

I started creating a pictograph checklist for Little Man, which details all the items he needs to bring on any given trip.

As you can see, #1 I'm not an artist. #2 I include the number of boxes equal to the number of each particular item he needs to pack. This makes it easier for him to keep organized. After the first suitcase, I stopped checking his work. And so far, nothing has been forgotten.

Teaching him to be responsible for his suitcase is just one step in my goal of raising my boys to be self-sufficient adults. And the bigger upside? At 3 years old, Duckie is starting to want to pack his own suitcase.
Little Man packed just what he needed.
 Duckie packed a stuffed polar bear, a stuffed parrot, 6 books,
1 t-shirt (belonging to Little Man), 1 bed sheet (also his brother's),
1 pair of pajamas (shirt is his, pants are his brother's),
4 matchbox cars, and a giant pine cone

He doesn't always get it right, but it is the thought that counts!!

1 comment:

  1. Can I borrow you to make me a list and your 4 year old to pack for me? I always engage in the "avoidance behavior" of doing something else that I deem "more important" that actually could probably wait. This past weekend I did a major cleaning project when I should have been at least staging stuff for a camping trip this coming weekend; now I have to force myself to do it after working all day and so far today I haven't even gotten a start on it.


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