Blended family of 8 plus animal zoo

3lovelivecook - posted on 01/24/2018 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi all and thank you for accepting me into this group. I am pondering...by now somewhat steaming on how to deal with something.
Between my partner and I we have 6 children between 14 and 19, 4 boys and 2 girls.
Dad is wrapped around the little finger when it comes to chores..(by his kiddos), when stuff does not get done...oh well...and usually I pick up after because some leave the house for a week to be with their mother. Picture 2 feet of laundry either everywhere in the house...in their rooms, half washed etc...not to mention the by now at least 100 single socks nobody seems to mind about. My man is a great cook and it's also my profession in a full time job. When it comes to food it's more like...well what do you want...and then..I don't like this...I don't like that...can't have this mixed with that etc. It's normal to use his second car as their own and have an attitude if dad speaks up about it. We are a very loving family overall, but I have real issues living in a constant pig sty where it seems to be alright that all kinds of dishes/ silverware, trash etc is under beds in the family room or left Lord knows where.
FYI...my boys are no angels...but they take care of their own laundry alone and keep their room in a normal teenage chaos (no trash or dishes or half eaten food thingies) Matter of fact my oldest just comes into the kitchen and starts doing dishes when he's had enough himself. Some kids are being smart enough to weasel around dad in such a "loving" manner...that he is not seeing what is happening.
We talked with all of them before with varying degrees of unhappy faces rather plugged into their devices than with some interest on how this can be solved with everyone in mind and the bigger picture that these are things they will need in life...for the rest of their lives. Responsibility, accountability, humility, love and kindness. I've heard things like...when I work (4 hours twice a week) I cannot be expected to do the dishes etc.
I would like them to come up with their own ideas of how to work together on this. If we as adults "tell" them...it's just not going to happen. I am out of steam right now as to how to further proceed.
Any help or tips is greatly appreciated. We do not tell anyone that he/ she is better than another, nor do we treat them differently. (At the moment...but perhaps that is the problem??)
Thanks for reading this family novel.
*******
UPDATE
We created a schedule (actually...my s.o. did!!!) It's much simpler than what I would have come up with, which I appreciate immensely. So far the whole family seems to actually appreciate more structure coming in and a clean house. Of course things don't work fast, but it's been a state for years before we moved in, so time will most likely be on our side.
We have in the past and also now used the no internet rule (to the chagrin of most) with the one difference that we actually hold steadfast on it now no matter how much bickering is going on. Voila...it's better, because we shut them up right in the beginning of a bla bla session. Subject closed kind of..lol
I think it all had to come to a screeching halt with the chaos when I personally could not take it any longer and got rather short with the kids...not a fun environment for anyone I can say.
That said...they all know they are loved and that we are using "tough love" not military strategies.
The encouragement from you has helped me to stay focused on the bigger picture as well and believe that it all can be done.
One daughter came by from her mom today to pick something up and remarked "how come the house looks so clean and picked up??" The look on all of our faces must have been priceless..and a big push for all to keep up with the written chart and schedule. There is hope....<3

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sonyahawkins4812 - posted on 01/25/2018

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Blending families can be challenging and it takes time to “blend”. However, you can create a schedule and hold everyone responsible. If duties are not being completed, then it is time to take away things they loved. Accountability will be the only way to break the vicious cycle. In the beginning, it will be difficult to break bad habits, but in the long run, it will pay off.
Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 01/25/2018

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I like Sarah's comment about if they don't clean up their things before going to their Mum's house, they won't like what they come back to. If they leave their clothes and things lying around, put them in a garbage bag and then they can earn them back.
Also make up a daily chore list. Write out each day, what needs to be done and allocate each person to a chore. If it's not done then they lose privileges for a set time. This would probably be technology for a few days to start with and it can be extended if it continues.
Dad needs to be on board with it though as everyone needs to pitch in to have the house run smoothly.

Sarah - posted on 01/25/2018

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I do think it is reasonable to write up family expectations. Whether one works part time or not, does not matter. There is a level of courtesy and cleanliness that is reasonable. I agree with Ev to a point that if they want to live in filth; as long as it is their own stuff; then leave it. We don't allow food in the bedrooms either. Who pays for the service on their devices? That may be your key into igniting a fire under their rears. If things are not up to "family standard" then turn the devices off, (or confiscate them) until things are at a point you can live with. Dad is going to have to get on board and you may hear a whole lot of "you're picking on us" or "you're playing favorites" at first. As long as the two of you are united- things should even out.
I cannot fathom 6 teens in one house, I maxed out at 4, and two are in college now. Another route to go, if the first method falls on deaf ears, it to warn them; "if you don't clean up your stuff before you go to your mom's house, then I will and I promise you won't like what I do with it" Then you actually have to bag it all up and either hide it or really get rid of it and they can earn things pack one load of laundry washed folded and put away at a time.

Ev - posted on 01/24/2018

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For the ones that are not doing anything, leave their laundry, stop making them meals, and leave their messy rooms alone. They are old enough to be doing their own laundry and even making a full meal for the family and clean up.

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Michelle - posted on 02/07/2018

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Glad you posted an update and that it's working for you.
Children need rules and structure and do have a change in attitude when there are consistent consequences.
Keep up with the great work.

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