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Old 03-30-2011, 05:19 AM   #1
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Too many kids too little time?

I guess I have been overwhelmed lately by the enormity of what I am undertaking. Being responsible for all these little being and disciplining them so they listen is taking a toll so I ask for tips and links to help my household run smoother. Chore charts are a bore and they are tired of the chores that were originally assigned. Just letting it go and doing it myself is putting me in bed for two days due to Fibromyalgia and exhaustion.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

Some days are better than others around here...I have 3, hubby has 2, we have one on the way and custody of my niece and nephew as well. Luckily for me, and I say this with ultimate love and affection lol, we don't have them all all the time...4 full timers and all 7 every other weekend (until summer, which with them all here for vaca and a new baby coming, will be crazy I'm sure). That said, the best advice I can give you is routine routine routine, schedule schedule schedule. I know it can be mundane, doing the same thing day after day. But that big white dry erase calendar/board on my fridge is my sanity! As for kids and discipline and behavior....it's hard, when they all vary in age and require different things. That's what I'm struggling with anyways, trying to tailor punishments and discipline methods to each child. Not just because of ages, but they all respond differently to different things, and what works for one doesn't always work for another. It's easy to feel overwhelmed....you are not alone for sure. I will follow this thread myself, curious as to the ideas fellow mamas give you that maybe we coud make work here too! Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

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But that big white dry erase calendar/board on my fridge is my sanity! !
Mama, can you expand on which one you have and what you use it for? THANKS!!
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:17 PM   #4
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

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Mama, can you expand on which one you have and what you use it for? THANKS!!
Sorry I haven't been on forever to respond to this: I have a large board from Target that has a calendar, to do list, and a NOTES section. I use the to-do list section for reminders of phone calls I need to make, etc. The NOTES section is where I write grocery or household items as I run out (easier to remember you are out of trash bags if you write it down right after you use the last one!). The calendar itself is color coded. Once you do it that way for awhile, it's second nature. My 8 year old daughter for example is pink, so everything relating to her is pink (gymnastics, field trips, dr appts, etc.). Makes it easier for the kids as well, to glance at it and know what applies to them.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

Wish I could provide suggestions but I'm beginning to feel like u some days...also waiting to hear what other mamas say...
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

I have 5 who are 5 and under. We have a ticket system in place in our house. They get tickets for doing chores and randomly for other things. Like if I ask them to all go upstairs and get in their beds for naps and only one obeys, I'll give that child a ticket. Or, if one of them does something nice for someone else, I'll give them a ticket. For the tickets, they get prizes. At first, I was buying little things at the Dollar Store and such and we would have "Store Night." They kids could pick one thing for every 10 tickets they got. (Generally, they usually get at least 1 ticket a day, for doing their daily chores, and often a second for something character related. So, 10 a week is fairly easy to do.) Now, I will take the kids to Target and let them pick something from the $1 bins for every 10 tickets. For my oldest, who is 5, we have started allowing him to turn in his tickets for money to save up for other things instead. So, every ticket equals $.20. As of yet, he keeps choosing to get a toy at Target instead, but I suspect that won't last long. Plus, he gets more than 10 a week. So, he spends 10 at Target and saves the rest. So, he is building up. Anyway, this is working well for my older 3. They are 5 and twins who are 3. My other 2 just turned 1 yesterday, no tickets for them yet.

Also, personally, I don't care if they are bored with their chores. You live here, you help. I get bored cleaning the same things over and over and folding the same clothes day in and day out. That is life. However, I do change up the chores each week. This week, the 5 year old will put away the silverware, one 3 year old will help me load the dishwasher and the other will wipe the table. Next week, it will switch. That provides for variety and also the opportunity to learn more than one skill.

Oh and BTW - I often feel overwhelmed by being responsible for all these littles. (Sometimes, I hide on DS, like now. ) The task of teaching them to obey and be respectful and responsible sometimes seems daunting. But, you just keep doing it anyway. I just remind myself they are growing up and won't be littles that much longer. At that point, I will be very glad I worked hard to teach them while they were young.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:09 AM   #7
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

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Originally Posted by HeatherlovesCDs View Post
I have 5 who are 5 and under. We have a ticket system in place in our house. They get tickets for doing chores and randomly for other things. Like if I ask them to all go upstairs and get in their beds for naps and only one obeys, I'll give that child a ticket. Or, if one of them does something nice for someone else, I'll give them a ticket. For the tickets, they get prizes. At first, I was buying little things at the Dollar Store and such and we would have "Store Night." They kids could pick one thing for every 10 tickets they got. (Generally, they usually get at least 1 ticket a day, for doing their daily chores, and often a second for something character related. So, 10 a week is fairly easy to do.) Now, I will take the kids to Target and let them pick something from the $1 bins for every 10 tickets. For my oldest, who is 5, we have started allowing him to turn in his tickets for money to save up for other things instead. So, every ticket equals $.20. As of yet, he keeps choosing to get a toy at Target instead, but I suspect that won't last long. Plus, he gets more than 10 a week. So, he spends 10 at Target and saves the rest. So, he is building up. Anyway, this is working well for my older 3. They are 5 and twins who are 3. My other 2 just turned 1 yesterday, no tickets for them yet.

Also, personally, I don't care if they are bored with their chores. You live here, you help. I get bored cleaning the same things over and over and folding the same clothes day in and day out. That is life. However, I do change up the chores each week. This week, the 5 year old will put away the silverware, one 3 year old will help me load the dishwasher and the other will wipe the table. Next week, it will switch. That provides for variety and also the opportunity to learn more than one skill.

Oh and BTW - I often feel overwhelmed by being responsible for all these littles. (Sometimes, I hide on DS, like now. ) The task of teaching them to obey and be respectful and responsible sometimes seems daunting. But, you just keep doing it anyway. I just remind myself they are growing up and won't be littles that much longer. At that point, I will be very glad I worked hard to teach them while they were young.
This is great! i just found this thread! These are great ideas!
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:28 AM   #8
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

You have more than me so you could probably give better advice than I can.

Mine are 5 and 3 year old twins. My advice if feesable is to try and take the kids mid morning to do something active. We live in a small town where we can walk to a library, the store, playground, river (feed ducks), or park. Or else I'll drive to a Mc Donalds with indoor play area. For me my days go way smoother if I take 1-2 hours mid morning to do something active. They seem to burn off enough energy so that they are calmer the rest of the day.

I tried doing the tickets which I highly recommend, however, I got too lenient so instead we are doing a prize box, it has small toys/party favors, and oranic/raw cane sugar suckers. For chores I do a lot of rewarding with the prize box or treats, or extra priveledges (staying up 30 minutes late). Generally if kids refuse to do chores, they lose priviledges (might not do something fun) or do not get a prize/treat and spend the clean-up time in their room for time-out.

Here is my typical schedule: watch cartoons, eat breakfast together at the table, clean-up toys, kids watch cartoons while I clean up (dishes, vacuum, etc.), then we go and do something active lately have been going on a lot of walks, eat lunch at table, more play time, nap-time/quiet time, dinner, etc...

I have only been doing more structured days for about 3 weeks, since prior to that I worked full time and now am just working 2 nights a week but so far I am noticing a huge difference and having a lot less behavioral issues. Good luck, I hope some of the things people are suggesting help.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:48 AM   #9
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

You could write down the chores and put them in a job jar for them to draw one. And if they misbehave you could have them draw another one. I just came up with that but I think I may have to try that. You could have two jars, one for the older kids and one for the younger, or even a jar for each kid. Or you could just assign chores each week based on what they can do, like to do, are good at, or need to learn to do.
But those require a certain amount of planning. What I do is just ask for help when I need it or when something needs to be done. I have given up on bribery and rewards, (other than sometimes giving extra video game/tv time). The reward for folding laundry is your clothes aren't wrinkled. The reward for putting away dishes is you have clean plates to eat on.
I also occasionally like to do Flylady. She sends out emails and reminds you to do certain daily tasks.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:56 AM   #10
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Re: Too many kids too little time?

I only have 2(and 1 on the way) But my friend has 5 kids ages 2-13, ages 2,9,11,12,13.

This is things she does...

She has a cleaning area assigned to each child. They have to keep their area clean, if it is not, no friends allowed over or allowed to go out to friends, unless it is clean. Beds and rooms have to be clean, who ever has the cleanest room gets a cleaning fairy in their room and also a mark on the white board. Who ever has the most marks gets something, like pick a move out for movie night, pick dinner out one night, have a friend over, and so on. They also get extra points for doing MORE than their required basic chores. This seems to work well for her, they seem to compete for the points, to get the special thing they want at the end of the week.

With the chores, maybe do a chore wheel, or randomly draw out the chore each week(have the child pick from a bowl or hat) that way they are not getting the same chore each time and it is sort of a game as to what one they pick.

With discipline, be consistent, make sure your DH/SO is on the same page on everything so he can discipline the same. Make sure you reward good behaviors/doing the right thing the next time after being corrected, with praise. I think rewards with items, money, candy lead to kids EXPECTING these things after they have learned what they should be doing in the first place. You can also reward with time with you alone, doing what they want(reading, drawing or so on)

Maybe also structure your day. If they go to school you could do this on school days: Chores must be done before (dinner?), chores must be done before going to play with friend, home work must be done before dinner/playing with friends/playing games or so on. Days at home, Chores must be done before lunch, playing, seeing friends, computer or TV time. After lunch they can have free time to do what they want(play outside, inside or whatever), but before dinner make sure everything is cleaned up and they are clean. It does not have to be HUGELY structured, but enough to the point they know chores have to be done by here to be able to go out to do fun things during the free time, if they are not done, you don't get to participate in the games siblings are playing or other activities they want to do. You could also include brush teeth and be ready for bed by (whatever time) and in bed by (whatever time).

My DS is 3 and has to have a bit of structure. He knows his bed time routine, lets us know if we have not given him his medication, his formula milk, then tries to hurry DH up to get upstairs to do teeth brushing and tuck him in bed. He also informs DH that DD needs to go to bed and so does DH(they all have a 9ish bed time)

Anyways, I hope some of this helps, even though I only have 2 LOs at home right now, I have helped out a ton with cousins, niece and nephew and working in preschool through 5th grade classes. I also have 6 siblings(over 70 cousins)....so lots of experience with viewing other parenting techniques, seen what worked best, what horribly failed, I picked what I liked, learned a bit more in teaching classes and parenting books(for troubled kids....even though DS was not trouble at all then I read it, he was 10 months old) It helped a lot, with deciding how we were going to parent. Me and DH are on the same thing with everything(even what will happen if DD gets pregnant or DS gets someone pregnant....even though that is years away and we will educate them about teen pregnancy and how to prevent it....better to have a plan still!)
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