Monday, May 4, 2009

There is no I in TEAM

I have people tell me all the time that "I just don't know how you do it."

The truth is that I don't. We are very much a team here and everyone is expected to pitch in and help.

I didn't want to be one of those large families where the older kids felt like they were stifled because they had a very large hand in the raising of their younger siblings. But I also wanted to teach teamwork, cooperation and what it is like to care for another human being. In short, I didn't want to raise selfish children. I also wanted them to be aware just how much work it is to have a family, any size family, and to recognize that since they cause a lot of the work that they can help with it as well.

The kids get to do A LOT of extra stuff that takes up my time. I am happy to do, I love watching them participate in their activities. But, because of that, they need to help our little world go round, or I wouldn't be able to allow them to do so much. And, they are very much aware of this. because I remind them all the time

First, I am very organized, I don't know how we would get it all done without organization. plus, I am OCD and like to make lots and lots of lists

Each week, the six older kids, are assigned a chore that they are responsible for getting done every day. Each week the assignment rotates.

Assignment #1-Laundry-taking the bathroom hamper upstairs and sorting the laundry
Gameroom-Make sure gameroom is picked up daily

Assignment #2-Dishes-Load and unload the dishwasher

Assignment #3-Clear/wipe the table and counters after meals
Clean highchairs after dinner

Assignment #4-Pick up family and living rooms at end of day

Assignment #5-Sweep all floors

Assignment #6-Empty all garbages

Daily, on my large dry erase board in the kitchen, I write everyone's daily chores along with other things that I would like or else them to do. Floss teeth, make sure their room is clean, if they have laundry to put away, vitamin, fluoride, read their scriptures 15 min even though I don't, and I also write down the number 5. This means that they are to look around and find five small things that need to be done. This is in an hopefully not wasted effort to get them to look around and recognize things that need to be done instead of having them pointed out to them. When they are all done with their list then they can play the Wii for 1/2 hour as a reward.

We do not do an allowance of any kind, we believe that they need to do chores because they are part of the family, not because they are getting paid for it. They receive money for good grades and for not having any cavities at their dentist check-ups (still not one cavity yet).

Also, each day (except for weekends) the older four are assigned a buddy. They are responsible for making sure that their buddy gets fed breakfast seriously, how hard is it to slap down a bowl of cheerios? and occasionally gets them changed out of pj's. This is a new assignment and is especially necessary on mornings that I am taxing Joseph to swim practice. When Joe is not there for his buddy, a different person steps up and takes care of them too. It is so fun to watch the little ones seek out their buddy and demand to be fed and to watch the older ones taking care of them. So many people have commented on how much the kids genuinely love each other. I don't know for sure why this is but I wonder if it because they are forced to or no TV time help take care of each other. Plus, we bribe them to act that way in public so we can bask in the glow of the compliments

Each child is responsible for taking turns emptying their hamper in their room and feeding the cat. They also put away their own clothes after I wash and fold/hang them.

On Saturdays the kids have "Saturday Chores". These rotate from week to week and basically consist of dusting/vacuuming their own room, dust/clean glass downstairs, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping out garage, cleaning appliances and vacuuming 1st and 2nd levels.

All chores are posted on a bulletin board in the walk-in pantry along with a calender noting which # week we are on.

I have my own list of daily chores as well. My main chores are laundry, meal prep, mopping, vacuuming, bathrooms, shoe shopping, washing bedding, beating kids, cleaning glass/dust, blogging, and of course, taking care of kids. The kids and I trade off on chores. For example, on weeks that I have the bathroom assignments, they are not assigned as a Saturday chore. That way, the bathrooms are getting cleaned up to my standards by me every other time.

So, you see that I really do have OCD we are all working together in keeping the ship afloat. We are not perfect and I have to threaten the kids to do their chores or else I will take away their Wii time but I feel like we have a common goal to not beat the kids and we are daily working in that direction.

There is no "I" in TEAM


megan said...

You are a great mom! Now I know why you can handle 9 kids. You remind me of my mom (who had 9 kids as well) except you are a little more organized. Oh how I remember those job list. You guys are doing a great job!!!! Thanks for posting your job list ideas, sometimes that is what I need help in.

rachel said...

you need to hook me up with some of that ocd.

Meg said...

WOW. Again very impressive. You run a nice tight ship.

I got a lot of good ideas from that. Thank you.