How Toowoomba mum-of-16 gets children happily doing chores
IT IS something most parents struggle with - getting their children to do chores around the house.
But Toowoomba mum-of-16 Jeni Bonell shares her genius way of getting her children to put in their fair share of work, and do it all with a smile.
Getting this many children doing their jobs around the house seems like an impossible task, but Mrs Bonell assures her online fan base that it is indeed possible and shares some handy tips.
Mrs Bonell and her husband Ray's children are Jesse, Brooke, Claire, Natalie, Karl, Sam, Cameron, Sabrina, Tim, Brandon, Eve, Nate , Rachel, Eric, Damian, and Katie.
While some have grown up and moved out of home, there are 13 people still living under the Bonell roof.
Mrs Bonell said getting her children to do their chores was easy thanks to the weekly job roster.
"It is really important to keep some sort of order to the chaos that is our big family," she said.
"Our job roster came about when we had about six children. Dad was working hard to support us all and I was a stay at home mum.
"I was doing all the jobs around the house and even though the children were small at that point I felt like I wasn't teaching them these skills and how to give back to the family.
"If you live here, you work here and you have to contribute and do jobs."
Mrs Bonell said when the roster first started it was just a bit of scribble on paper, but as their lives became more complex with children going to school, sport and part-time work, she realised she needed a more organised system.
Now, they have their roster sorted down to a tee.
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Once a week, the family sits down with laminated cards listed with the days of the week plus seven household jobs.
They sit around the table, moving around the cards until they are satisfied with the roster.
The jobs are listed as Prep and Set, Packing, Washing Up/Drying, Bench and Bin, Sweeping, Vacuuming, Mop and Slop.
Mrs Bonell then writes it up on the computer, prints it out and sticks it on the wall for all to see.
"We put our kids on the roster from eight years old. We only have two young ones under eight who aren't on the roster and they get quite upset because they want to be part of what everyone else is doing in the house," she said.
"We rotate through the jobs so everyone has a chance to do everything and learn each skill."
The older siblings and parents are always helping and mentoring the younger children with their jobs.
Mrs Bonell said it was important for mums and dads to stay on the same team so the kids can't play parents off against each other.
"You have to stay firm with this, it's important we teach our children these skills," she said.
"This might not work in every household but if you are struggling to get your kids to help around the house, you might want to try a job roster.
"Getting kids involved (in organising the job roster) is fun and they are more likely to do the job if they get a say."
The Bonell's also have a list of what must be done by everyone in the house.
This includes everyone must make their bed before breakfast, fold and put clothes away, put shoes in the crate, put toys away, rooms vacuum twice a week, rooms dusted weekly and wipe over surfaces weekly.