We have a sort of buddy system in our house. However, many books on large families recommend having permanent buddies, and I don't like that idea. I can see it's benefits for sure. The little one gets used to letting his older buddy help him, and the older one gets to know what makes his/her little buddy tick. The problem that I see is that bonds and favoritisms develop that might not have otherwise done so. I want to give all my children the best shot at having good relationships with all of their siblings as possible. There are going to be siblings that naturally get along better or naturally fight all the time, but I don't have to set them up for it. I want us to be a team. The other downside to having the same assigned buddy all the time is that someone gets the raw end of the deal, because, let's face it, not all babies and toddlers are alike. Some are sweet as can be and some run into the street every chance they get or refuse to allow anyone to put their shoes on.
My solution is to include our buddy rotation on our chore chart rotation. The laundry person for the day is on Bobby duty. The floor person is on Judah duty. The dish person is on Drew. If you are on Drew duty, let's say, you get to help him with breakfast if I am busy with someone else. You would sit next to him in the van and help him get buckled in. You'd hold his hand if we were out. You may be called upon to read to him, play with him or brush his teeth before bed. You should also check to see if he did his chores and remind him to do so. That last one needs some work. I usually end up doing that one.
If you are on Bobby duty, your main jobs would be to entertain him if I need to do something and he is unhappy (Rarely happens, folks! This guy's a gem!) and to keep him awake in the car if I need him not to waste his nap in the car. He's that easy one that everyone wants to be on his duty until they want to read in the car and I need him awake. Nobody likes that job, but I still say it's better than helping Drew get sick in a bucket because he's carsick...AGAIN.
I do not require diaper changes because I pay the kids a small fee for those on a need basis. I usually just do it unless I can't for some reason. I am not trying to shirk all my jobs; I'm just trying to teach love and responsibility.
That's how our system works around here. I like it because it spreads the work out and everyone gets to learn the tricks of how to get Judah to get in the carseat without a fit. Well, at least that's the goal.
|Apparently, Daddy's teaching him to spit in the bidet.|