As a busy real estate agent and homeschooling mom with six kids, people always ask me how I "do it all." Of course I don't "do it all." I don't even try. My husband and I work together and we focus on our family, our clients, and our business and not a lot of other stuff.
Even at that, there is a lot to do, so we work hard to train our kids to work as a team, helping each other and helping us. Our kids get real self-esteem from what they can accomplish, but they often need inspiration to get started.
A few months ago, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that needed to be done to get ready for Christmas when I had a "Mary Poppins Moment," and came up with the "Hour of Power" plan. The next day we tried it out, and we've been doing it ever since! The competitive aspect gets the kids to work fast and have a great attitude. It's like a "spoonful of sugar!"
It is a blast and we get so much done! Here are the rules:
- Divide the family into two teams - one parent on each team.
- Assign specific rooms, areas, or tasks to each team.
- Everyone goes potty first. No bathroom breaks. (My kids tend to spend 20 minutes in the bathroom when it's time to do the dishes.)
- No complaining, arguing, or criticism - only encouragement, and "cheerleading"!
- Blast some upbeat music to get everyone going!
- Set the timer for one hour and work as fast as you can!
- When the hour is up, stop!
- Mom and Dad choose the winning team.
- The winning team chooses a family activity - (This way the whole family reaps the rewards of their hard work. For example, the winning team might choose baking a cake and watching a movie.)
Sometimes we do "team uniforms." For example, the team doing the kitchen might put on aprons, and the team cleaning the family room can wear baseball hats.
Sometimes we also do a "Power Burst" where each person gets a small area and we all clean for 15 minutes.
This method is great for any family, but it's especially fabulous for a family with their house on the market! And no, you don't have to have six kids!
Try it; add you own twists; and let me know how it goes!