Have you ever told your oldest as you are leaving the house, “You are in charge!” You watch as his face turns into a big (evil) smile, and your younger kids begin to whine. That’s normal right? The oldest is in charge when you are gone. I don’t know about you, but when I announce this something crazy always happens! Slowly they begin to changes roles right before your eyes…….They turn into a tiny evil version of yourself!
I watched my son do this when I needed to run a quick errand. I told him he was in charge while I was gone. For some reason he had thought I had left, but I was in my bathroom finishing making myself presentable. In that short time frame I heard him put my youngest in time out and begin ordering his other brothers around. It was quite comical. He was thinking he was the BOMB.COM!
I talked with him, but didn’t think much about it. Being the second youngest of a family of 8 kids, I remember many times having to taking orders from my older siblings. I would write in my journal saying, “They are so bossy! They act just like mom!” (LOVE YA SISTAS!)
About a month ago I was talking with a cousin venting and solving all the problems of the world (Venting vs Complaining). She told me a trick another mother shared with her.
When you leave the house, you leave ALL OF YOUR KIDS IN CHARGE!
I thought this was pure brilliance!! You tell your kids that they are all in charge of themselves and everyone younger then them. I have been trying this out the past couple months and I am here to tell you that it works great. There is no domineering child. It gave the younger kids confidence in knowing that I was leaving them in charge of something.
When I come home I ask my younger boys, “Did you take good care of yourselves?” They smile and nod their heads. I ask them if they helped their little brothers. They smile again and nod their heads. I have loved it and love how it gives everyone the responsibility to watch out for each other.