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Meri - posted on 12/08/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hello, my name is Meri, I have 5 boys, ages 15 who is my step son, then age 10, 7, 3 & 1. I wish I would have known about this site a very long time ago! I have many things I would love some advice on from the real experts (experts being other moms). I feel like my home is just constant complete chaos. Actually I know it is, some days are better than others but for the most part there just isn't enough structure! Help please tell me how do you get your kids in a large family to work together & build structure when they are used to it one way & almost in a rut, how do I get them to actually listen & start flowing the rules together & not fighting! I had been sick for years & years & I am finally better & staying home now for the last 2 years but I am at my wits end trying to get our foly to work together or just clean up after themselves sometimes, so I can stop running around like a chicken withy head cut off! I don't expect it to be easy but I shouldn't go to bed every night feeling like I have been ran over by a truck & stressed to where I lie in bed brain storming ways I can make change happen! I know what needs to happen but implementing it is just not working!!! What am I doing wrong???

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Michelle - posted on 12/08/2014

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Start with a family meeting to discuss the issues. You may want to think about what you want to say to them beforehand. Have a chart with chores and who is responsible for what chore each week or day of the week (or however you want it).

Boys, in general, need to be explicitly told how to do every little step, I feel. Don't assume they know what you want or how you want it. For example, just saying "fold the clothes" or "sweep the floor" can mean very different things to my sons and me. Therefore, I had to SHOW them literally exactly how each chore was to be done, and I made mistakes (meaning I left out certain steps, thinking they knew what I meant), so we would have to keep revising until we were on the same page about what was to be expected.

I have started to let go a little more and not expect perfection, but they have also gotten a lot better about knowing what and how to do things. It's a work in progress.

Good luck!

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