My wife and I have three teenage boys and a young daughter; our house is filled with the agendas, desires, and energy of kids on summer vacation. For many parents, this can translate to chaos, frustration, and exhaustion trying to keep the family schedule straight. My wife took control early this summer and so far her leadership has produced promising results. Here are the steps she took:
1) She established a set of chores which need to be accomplished each morning before any TV's, computers, x-box or kid fun went on for the morning.
2) She established her intentions and expectations for the summer.
3) She brought the boys together to divvy up the daily chores in a fair manner.
4) She set standards for getting the chores accomplished on a daily basis and gave them the responsibility for coordinating the achievement of their daily tasks if they were going to be absent in the morning.
5) She established consequences - (she would charge the boys $5.00 for every chore she had to accomplish) - if the chores went undone.
6) She hammered home the system until the reality of a work routine sunk into the skulls of our sons.
After three weeks, the boys start their chores each morning without being asked and work together ( as much as teenage brothers can) to help their mother accomplish the thousands of tasks required to run a family on a daily basis. Though the boys probably wouldn't admit it, I think they take pride in being part of the family work team.
My wife did what all effective managers do:
She set goals.
She clarified tasks.
She set standards of performances.
She assigned personal job descriptions.
She gave them flexibility/accountability in certain situations.
She asked for input.
She checks them each day.
She is consistent with praise and consequences for performance.
She is happy with the system and our children our proud to be part of an effective team.
Her reward - she get's just enough time to work out between shuttling children to and fro, cooking, coordinating, doctor's appointments...etc. But she has created time for herself with a better management system.
PS: My daughter is very comfortable being the quality control manager.
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