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I used to post here in the past, but I can't remember what my username or password was at the time.
I have 7 children, only 6 live with me. The 6 who do are 12, 10 (will be 11 tomorrow, 7, 5, 2 (will be 3 in November) and 2.
My house is in constant disarry, unless of course the 4 olders are at school. I can get them to clean up their messes, but then they just throw the stuff somewhere else. If I stop them and make them do it again, they will, but the next time it's the same way. I have chores set and they know what they are, but getting them to do them is like pulling teeth and punishments don't work. I've grounded them from everything I possibly can and it still doesn't matter.
I've noticed that they are all getting lippy with me and being very disrespectful. I punish for this as well, but it doesn't matter much to them after it's all said and done.
I feel like I have a bunch of kids no one wants to be around because they fight and cry all the time. I'm really at my wits end and just don't know what to do anymore. Hubs isn't much help. He works 65 - 70 hours a week and when he's home he's exhausted. Most nights he doesn't get home until well after the kiddos have gone to bed.
(I have to add here that my almost 11 year old DD is not like the rest of them. She gets up early and gets herself ready for school. Then she gets the 5 and 7 year olds breakfast and helps the 5 year old get ready while I'm tending to the babies. When she gets home she does her homework right away, helps with dinner, does her chores and then will help with baths and bedtime. She even helps the 5 and 7 year olds do their homework and will read to the babies. She helps me out A LOT!! She is absolutely the exception in this house except she does get a bit lippy, but I think she's tired of being the only one to step up while Dad is working so much.)
Any tips or ideas would be appreciated! I dread the weekends when they are home because I can't get anything done and all they do is fight and pick on each other. And I dread Mondays' more because that's the day I spend doing all the cleaning up and laundry from the weekend. I'm exhausted all the time.
Oh! And my 7 year old has Autism with learning disabilities so that just adds to everything.
Throw it all away. Just get bags and throw it away. Or have a 'free' house sale. Take all the crap and throw it on your front lawn, then list a free stuff post on CL.
If they don't have stuff, they don't have that much to clean, and you don't have that much stuff to worry about. Keep a few toys and some books.
Next you make a list of what every one is to do every day after school. Learning disabilities does not mean that a kid can't fold wash cloths, or wipe down the bathroom sink. It goes homework-chores- THEN anything they want to do. If they don't get that stuff done, they do dinner then bed.
I was going to say throw it all away too. Everything. Or if you don't want to throw it away, then bag it up and put it away until they have earned it back, one item at a time.
Only reward the child who deserves it. If you were going to get ice cream, only the dd who helps out gets it. Everyone else.....oh freakin well. If I go to work and don't do my job, I don't get a raise, or bonuses. Hell, I might get fired. So do NOT reward a child who doesn't do their "job."
I also agree with homework, chores, THEN what they would like to do. Or just dinner and bed.
Trust and believe it will be a LOT of work for awhile until they get the hang of it. There will be good days and bad days.
I'm in my phone, so excuse typo's and error's, or any odd words it might auto correct to
I agree with the other ladies, but only as a last resort.
Since there are multiple things going on, what is the one thing you want fixed now? I bet that getting them to help out more around the house will make the biggest difference. Here's what I do, we stop what we are doing at least three times a day, mi-morning, after lunch and before bed. When we first start out we use laundry baskets and the kids are to get up and put everything that's out that doesn't belong out inside those baskets. This can be the job of the younger ones. Then the older ones put the stuff away. What isn't picked up and put away gets "lost". That can be the trash, sold or just put up. I do the deep cleaning, which isn't a big deal if everything is kept picked up. If something I ask is do e wrong they go back and do it again, however many times it takes to get it right. Sometimes a checklist helps when they are just learning.
It's not gonna be easy in the beginning, they are going to test you so be prepared to fight it out, and see it through. As for your son, never let that play a role in what he can and can't do. It does add a different factor but expect him to do the same as everyone else. My oldest has some sever learning disabilities (most likely falls on the spectrum) but he did what everyone else did.
Your DD who helps, mama the most important advice I can give you is to reward her. Whether that's some pocket change, a girls night, a new outfit here and there, you make sure she never questions how much you appreciate what she does for you. Doesn't matter is the other kids might think it's unfair, life isn't fair but those who do more, she get rewarded for it.
Here, toys are supposed to be kept in the basement and put away, unless you are currently playing with it. Often toys trickle up the stairs and I will call an all hands on deck and grab a couple of laundry baskets and have them load them up. The littles are great at this task. Then I carry the basket to the basement and dump it in the toy bins. When they are fighting I turn off/take away whatever they are fighting about. This usually results them in bonding over how mean mom is.
Absolutely reward and give credit, thanks and something special to the one who is trying and really helping. That will not only encourage her to continue, but may also show the other kids to follow suit.
I am also often left "alone" with our 6 (my mom lives with us and is a tremendous help, but she is frail, so I try to limit what I ask of her when, where I can) Dh travels a lot for work.
Good luck. and big hugs. We are here for you at your convenience.
These are great ideas. I might go one more step draconian though and say homework, chores, fun. But if homework and chores aren't done. No dinner. Strait to bed. To paraphrase Paul "no workie, no eaty". And I would heap praise and benefits to the girl that helps. You know each kid and their limits. Work to push them.
Thanks everyone for the ideas! I love the basket idea! I think that's what we'll do today! Throw everything in a basket and put it downstairs.....when they start helping more they can earn it back! I love that idea!!
Next on my agenda is potty training my 3 year old (yet again!) She's quite stubborn and will hold it for over 4 hours and then go in her pants or a diaper for nap time or bedtime. I have never had a child do this, so I'm baffled!
I also say give that girl something! She sounds a lot like my DD1. She loves to help with cleaning and things.
I would also throw in some special craft time or time with you playing a game with them all to give ALL of them a reconnect with that family feeling. Giving more focus on Positive feelings in the home rather than just pounding in punishment.
Hope it goes well and fast with your potty training!