Yay! Let’s print away all day!

GUEST BLOG: KATIE ON THE FAMILY FLOW

We designed the Family Flow to be a suuuper versatile system, no family is the same right? The cards and themes can be used in different ways and you can adjust it to make it perfect for your family! To give you a bit more insight and looooots of inspiration, we asked a couple of users if they wanted to share their story and how they use the Family Flow. We’re very very happy that they wrote these guest blogs for us! First up is Katie:

The Family
We are a family of 3, living in Tel Aviv, Israel. My son started preschool this year (well, twice, including Corona Holiday), so we’ve had a big adjustment learning the swing of life with another schedule. My husband works out of the house, and I work from home doing websites and hairdressing part time, and homemaking the rest of the time.

Why I was interested in Family Flow
Last year I started to learn about positive discipline through a book called “How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen”. It started so many thought processes as to how I could consider problem solving in our conversations, and so help my son to learn how to grow in this as well. It’s a long road of learning, and I guess that’s part of what I like with it – that it’s learning for everyone. My child and I need to learn how to relate to each other in new ways, and we can give each other grace while we each learn.

That’s part of why I thought Family Flow could be so useful for us – we’ve found great relief in allowing the clock, or the schedule, to take the heat, instead of it being my decision – ie: letting the timer say that screen time is finished, so that it’s not personal. This seems to help our son to feel more in control of the situation. And I thought perhaps this could translate well with the Family Flow.

Download and Assembly
Downloading the cards was simple enough – choosing the language and jumping through checkout was simple, and a few short minutes later, my files were in my inbox. I try to save to both my computers ASAP with digital downloads to ensure I don’t lose files in the future.

I had ours printed locally in Tel Aviv (I checked Moo, as I LOVE their quality, they do beautiful work, but the shipping would have been as much as the cards themselves, and I am happy to support a local business right now!). A few quick emails later, and an outside pickup, and I had our files. We had them printed on a hearty 300g paper, and they feel terrific. It’s definitely worth it to scale up on the weight, as the cards feel so much more durable and “real”, instead of a home job.

I did choose to cut them at home, as I have a papercutter and I enjoy the tedious nature of it. It was a little tricky to keep busy fingers away during this process though.

I tried to get Noam involved in coloring the box with me – not interested. Hah. He is definitely not as intrigued by art time as his mother, although on the odd day, he really can get into the feel of it.

I had all of these grand ideas of how to set it up – of course, I love the original pegboard idea that Bobbinhood uses for her Creative Workflow (similar product, but designed for Creative Businesses), and it’s not out of the question for the future. I was super interested in finding a way to incorporate the Ikea SVENSÅS, so watch and see if I update the post. But because I wasn’t too keen to spend much time out of the house shopping, I decided to keep it simple with a string and clothespins. If you want to do this method long term, may I suggest picking up some of those tiny clothespins from the Dollar Store or somewhere – the large ones flip all the cards on the string if you pull one funny (which happens frequently with my 3 year old). I think small ones would solve the issues!

So, does it work?
This is what all the parents want to know, right?!

We have been using it almost every day for 2 weeks now, and it’s been going well! One of the things to remember with a situation like this is that it keeps you accountable as a parent too… it’s been a good reminder for me to stay on course for the day’s plans not forget certain steps.

We particularly benefit from the routine before leaving the house – this is always a struggle for us, the tooth-brushing wrestle and clothes over the head. I’ll be honest, the bed rarely gets made still (the system’s not magic). But, it does seem to help our son to engage in the process of getting it done each morning. He knows the next step, and sees what he has accomplished, which is rewarding for everyone.

It also helped us to explain certain concepts to him – such as after a meal, Abba and Ema (Mom and Dad in Hebrew) are not ready to jump and spin immediately. We’ve started using the “Chill” card to teach him that part of the family meal is sitting and talking afterwards, and hearing how each others’ days went.

Don’t be surprised if your partner asks if there is a work version – my husband was interested in finding a way to incorporate something similar with his work. I told him about the Creative Workflow – his job is not so creative, but I bet he’d still benefit!

With small children, if you do want to keep some semblance of order with your box, you’ll have to put it somewhere out of reach – the colourful tabs are much too exciting and tempting for little fingers, and every time I leave it on the table, I end up reorganising the whole thing. It is kind of therapeutic, as I enjoy that sort of thing, but that doesn’t mean one always has the time for it.

It was a huge hit the day we told him there was a party by pointing at the “Party” card – it’s very fun to watch how excited they get to be able to understand something without reading it. As someone currently learning another language, I know firsthand how gratifying it is to understand something you couldn’t before – it’s empowering, it’s enabling, and it helps to feel like you belong. And isn’t that what we want for our children?

All in all, I’m really happy with the Family Flow. I hope we will continue to use it and that our son continues feeling engaged with the process.

If this isn’t what your family needs, check out Bobbinhood’s site regardless. Barbara has an incredible manifesto on building wardrobes slave-free and planet-kind, and empowering creativity. She offers gorgeous screen printing kits, templates, books and ink, and a fabulous jumpsuit sewing pattern with multiple hacks that I have been holding myself back on in order to finish other projects first.

Thanks so much Katie! Check out her blog here 🙂

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