From tidying up their toys, to making their beds and putting dirty clothes in the wash, as most parents will likely testify getting children to do their chores can be a little like pulling teeth.
But a mum of 16, nine boys and seven girls, has revealed the simple way she encourages her children to help out round the house, and it’s all down to being super organised.
Jeni Bonell and her husband, Ray are parents to 16 children ranging in ages from four to 28 and as you can imagine family life is pretty busy.
That’s why the family, from Queensland have a weekly job rota system in place to ensure that everyone is pulling their weight.
“We have to keep some sort of order to the chaos that is our big family,” Jenni, explained on the family’s YouTube channel.
She went on to explain that the idea for the roster came about when they had six or seven children and she was a stay-at-home mum, while the kids’ dad was working hard.
“Even though the children were small I felt as though I wasn’t teaching them how to learn these skills and how to give back to the family,” she continued.
“If mums are doing all the jobs all the time, no one is having any fun because mum’s going to be completely exhausted and everyone else is getting the jobs done for them.
“If you live here you work here and you have to contribute…. after all when they move out into their own homes all the jobs are theirs.”
When Jeni first started the roster it was “scribbles on a bit of paper”, but having grown more complicated with the children’s sports commitments, the family realised they needed something more formalised.
Now the family sit down to discuss that week’s tasks and commitments before Jeni photographs, prints out and laminates the roster, detailing chores for the forthcoming week.
“The roster hangs on the wall,” Jeni explains.
“It’s so everyone can see what job they are on that night and we rotate each night so that everyone gets a chance to learn different skill.”
The mum goes onto say that they can be flexible to take into consideration the children’s commitments.
She also writes brief descriptions about what is involved in each job so that everyone knows what is expected of them.
The stay-at-home mum encourages her children to get involved in the roster once they turn eight and now her 12-year-old is even cooking roast dinners for twenty or more people, pretty much without supervision.
And even though only 13 children now live at home after some moved out or married, the family’s chore roster is still going strong.
Having witnessed the order the chore roster has brought to the household, Jenni believes other families might benefit from a similar system.
“If you are struggling to get your kids involved around the house, then you might want to try a chore roster,” Jeni said.
“We have very few complaints about it. Everyone gets on with it and accepts there are a lot of things to do in a family of this size.”
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