We have a few new systems in place at the Ronne house that I thought I’d share a bit about. I’ve discovered that to run a large family there needs to be structure, so much more structure than a “normal” size family of 2 or 3 children would require because without the boundaries in place, the monkeys would run wild, the house would be a disaster, mom would be a stressed out zombie, and we would never have any food in the house, and I’m just not going to be a slave to that kind of craziness.
I’ve posted about our bin system, here’s a link Numero Uno System at our house THE BIN – (my siblings can start groaning now…), a system that I stole from my own childhood which is an easy way to keep the kids accountable for their own stuff left out around the house. This has been effective, until recently when the older children have been extremely unmotivated by a promise of a visit to the family store and instead they have been gripping about “how come we can’t get real money for our allowance?” Ryan and I discussed this complaint and agreed, they could start receiving real money instead of store bucks but if they got real money there were going to tithe, save, and have 40% left over to spend. They agreed. Perfect, problem solved.
I also decided that it was exhausting coming up with new chore lists for each child every Saturday morning determined by how many items they had accumulated in the bin over the week so instead I typed up a master chore list, gave each of the four oldest children a copy, and had them list in the order of 1-4 their “favorite chores” They each did this task one night during our family meeting time, and we were able to give most of them what they wanted thereby creating one master Saturday list where each one does the same chores every week in addition to their nightly dinner chores of washing dishes, sweeping, or taking the trash out. Perfect. That was done.
Next, we had some consequences in place for bad behavior such as hitting was early bedtime, being mean equaled writing an apology letter to that person, disrespect was grounding from something important and these were no longer having a single bit of effect on our kids anymore. They just didn’t care. So instead….
They each have one hour of computer time of Saturdays and Sundays. Ryan came up with the smiley face chart where if they do something unkind to someone else they automatically lose 5 minutes of their computer time for the weekend. This has been effective because our children seem to live and die for these two hours of zombie time over the weekend.
Finally, the littlest ones, Josh and Jada. Each has struggled mightily in certain areas. Jada tends to have a serious attitude problem about her chores which drives me CRAZY. Josh tends to bawl his eyes out every single night when we tell him it’s bedtime and it GRATES my nerves. Neither one is fantastic about staying in their own bed and instead they enjoy visiting with one another throughout the night, causing mayhem and sleepy older kids the next day. Here’s the solution we made just for them.
Jada needs to wash the table (her chore) with a smile on her face, eat her meals, and stay in her bed.
Josh needs to wash the chairs, not bawl his eyes out a bedtime, and stay in bed.
For each of these tasks accomplished they earn one sticker. 15 stickers in a week equals a trip to the family store. They have done a 180 turn around in their little lives. It has worked like a charm, or maybe it’s their older siblings informing them about Santa’s naughty or nice list but whatever is behind their motivation, we’ll take it.
Just keep livin!!