Friday, March 12, 2010

Lessons from the Duggars - Part 2

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 6:34 PM
The book - The Duggar’s: 20 and Counting, by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – is an excellent read. The book starts discussing each of their childhood’s and the upbringings and experiences that brought them together and to have such a large family. Not only is the story interesting, but they write in a very casual, easy-to-read way. It’s almost as if you’re sitting in their living room with them.

I picked up several helpful tools and tips from their book, which is part of the reason they wrote it. They have learned a lot along their journey of having so many children. They learned from others and, most importantly, from God and had a desire to share those lessons with others. I feel very blessed to have come across their book and have already implemented a couple of their organization tips. I will share what those are and how their working for my family, but highly recommend you read their book for yourself, whether you have one or two or four or six or more children.

The first tip is what are called jurisdictions. This, basically, is an area or group of areas each child is responsible for. The concept of responsibility at an early age is not a new one to me or to our family. We’re firm believers in it. But, somehow, it seems that these ideas get lost in the business of managing a family with several small children and maintaining them doesn’t always happen. My children take their clothes to the hamper and their diapers to the trash from the time they can walk. Our two-year-old takes her dishes to the counter after meals. They all help set the table for dinner. Despite all this, our house often resembles the aftermath of a tornado. There’s a little bit of everything everywhere. Some days I simply leave it because I know shortly after it’s cleaned up, one tornado or another will hit. On other days, I spend a lot of time helping the kids clean up their stuff and never get to mine (you know, the piles of bills, magazines, and papers from the kids’ activities.) Either way, the house stays organized and de-cluttered for an average of an hour.

What jurisdictions do is make it clear what each individual is responsible for. Now, I know that this won’t magically make and maintain a clutter-free house. I still have four children seven and under. However, it will help each child to learn to take responsibility as a part of our family. To get us started I did a couple of things.

First, I “zoned” our house. I went to the computer and, using simple boxes, created a general floor plan. Using pictures to represent each room (sofa for the living room, table and chairs for the dining room, etc.) so that even the children too young to read (which would be all but one) could tell what each room is. Then I set out to assigning each person an area. Everyone is responsible for their own bedroom (including Mommy and Daddy); Mommy overseas the kitchen and den (with the children responsible for their items in these areas); the kids are in charge of their bathroom; the seven-year-old is in charge of the dining room; the five-year-old is in charge of the living room; and the two-year-old is in charge of the shoe basket/foyer.

The second thing I did was give each a daily task to be in charge of. The seven-year-old is to clean their bathroom mirror and counter. The five-year-old is to check the pencils and sharpen them as needed. The two-year-old is in charge of scanning the floor for tiny things that could be choke hazards for the baby. These tasks are listed on a card, along with cards that include other daily tasks. Eventually these cards will be put together on a ring (another idea from the Duggars) for the children to flip through as they complete them. So far I only have morning tasks – brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed, put away pajamas, eat breakfast, make bed, and do school work. Today is day two, and we’re still working on implementing the system. Mommy has to get as used to staying on top of everyone’s tasks as the little ones do in accomplishing them.

0 comments on "Lessons from the Duggars - Part 2"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lessons from the Duggars - Part 2

The book - The Duggar’s: 20 and Counting, by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – is an excellent read. The book starts discussing each of their childhood’s and the upbringings and experiences that brought them together and to have such a large family. Not only is the story interesting, but they write in a very casual, easy-to-read way. It’s almost as if you’re sitting in their living room with them.

I picked up several helpful tools and tips from their book, which is part of the reason they wrote it. They have learned a lot along their journey of having so many children. They learned from others and, most importantly, from God and had a desire to share those lessons with others. I feel very blessed to have come across their book and have already implemented a couple of their organization tips. I will share what those are and how their working for my family, but highly recommend you read their book for yourself, whether you have one or two or four or six or more children.

The first tip is what are called jurisdictions. This, basically, is an area or group of areas each child is responsible for. The concept of responsibility at an early age is not a new one to me or to our family. We’re firm believers in it. But, somehow, it seems that these ideas get lost in the business of managing a family with several small children and maintaining them doesn’t always happen. My children take their clothes to the hamper and their diapers to the trash from the time they can walk. Our two-year-old takes her dishes to the counter after meals. They all help set the table for dinner. Despite all this, our house often resembles the aftermath of a tornado. There’s a little bit of everything everywhere. Some days I simply leave it because I know shortly after it’s cleaned up, one tornado or another will hit. On other days, I spend a lot of time helping the kids clean up their stuff and never get to mine (you know, the piles of bills, magazines, and papers from the kids’ activities.) Either way, the house stays organized and de-cluttered for an average of an hour.

What jurisdictions do is make it clear what each individual is responsible for. Now, I know that this won’t magically make and maintain a clutter-free house. I still have four children seven and under. However, it will help each child to learn to take responsibility as a part of our family. To get us started I did a couple of things.

First, I “zoned” our house. I went to the computer and, using simple boxes, created a general floor plan. Using pictures to represent each room (sofa for the living room, table and chairs for the dining room, etc.) so that even the children too young to read (which would be all but one) could tell what each room is. Then I set out to assigning each person an area. Everyone is responsible for their own bedroom (including Mommy and Daddy); Mommy overseas the kitchen and den (with the children responsible for their items in these areas); the kids are in charge of their bathroom; the seven-year-old is in charge of the dining room; the five-year-old is in charge of the living room; and the two-year-old is in charge of the shoe basket/foyer.

The second thing I did was give each a daily task to be in charge of. The seven-year-old is to clean their bathroom mirror and counter. The five-year-old is to check the pencils and sharpen them as needed. The two-year-old is in charge of scanning the floor for tiny things that could be choke hazards for the baby. These tasks are listed on a card, along with cards that include other daily tasks. Eventually these cards will be put together on a ring (another idea from the Duggars) for the children to flip through as they complete them. So far I only have morning tasks – brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed, put away pajamas, eat breakfast, make bed, and do school work. Today is day two, and we’re still working on implementing the system. Mommy has to get as used to staying on top of everyone’s tasks as the little ones do in accomplishing them.

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