• Calm the Chaos | Ashley Buffa | Episode 168

  • Calm the chaosTwo things parents often ask are how to calm the chaos and how to stop nagging their teenager. After all, no-one wants to live in a pig sty or constantly nag their teen. Focusing on home management is one way to stop the nagging—and you get a clean home too! The real surprise here is you’ll be teaching life skills and strengthening your relationship at the same time. Sandy Fowler interviews Ashley Buffa to understand how you can not only get your teen to help clean the house, but how you can lighten your load, end the nagging, and build your child’s time management skills while strengthening your relationship.



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    Letting teens self-govern by deciding when they do their chores lets them feel like they have some control and decision-making power.  It also gives them a chance to practice self-governance and learn time management.

    High Points From Our Conversation:

    Quote about calm the chaosHousehold management is a large umbrella that makes sure everything in your home is running efficiently and well. Everyone knows who’s in charge of everything and when it will be done. Is there a system for how things get done? Is there a timeline? Are there SOPs (standard operating procedures)? This is what keeps our homes comfortable, clean, and running smoothly.

    If your home were the cutest boutique hotel, how would it be run?

    Parents get to outsource. The family is a team that works together so everyone has time to kick back and enjoy their passions and everything still gets done.

    Seeing a mess when we walk in the door sets a poor tone for family time.

    We tend to do things ourselves because it’s faster or less hassle. And you can stop this at any point.

    Extraordinarily clear expectations followed up by inspections are the key to getting teens to clean. Each room has an SOP (standard operating procedure) along with a checklist. The SOP and checklist create clarity and remove excuses like I forgot. The inspection is accountability

    You must inspect what you expect.

    The parent’s chore is to make sure the children are doing their chores. As the CEO of your home, you need to make sure your people are doing what you expect them to do.

    If we haven’t been doing this or haven’t been enforcing our expectations, you can start now. 

    Don’t be afraid of pushback or a reaction from your teen or twenty something. It’s okay if they push back or get upset about this. Just tell them, “I messed up. I gave you all these chores. I never explicitly outlined what I wanted done nor did I give you any accountability. I set you up to fail. I’m sorry. And this is how we’re going to do this from now on.”

    Chores are life skills and it’s my job to teach you this before you leave the nest.

    Letting teens self-govern by deciding when they do their chores lets them feel like they have some control and decision-making power.  It also gives them a chance to practice self-governance and learn time management.

    One parent takes on the mindset of being the coach or manager. That person’s job is to make sure their team is equipped, doing their job, and practicing the fundamentals. If someone is out sick or training needs to be done then they step in. Day-to-day though, they manage.

    There are certain areas the manager is responsible for. It may be the detail cleaning that the kids aren’t really mature enough to really see yet. It also allows our kids to see us working alongside them.

    Stop nagging. Set the expectation and allow your team to follow through. This does require a mindset shift, parents need to realize they have the authority and the confidence to say it needs to be done. 

    Managing is also about being uplifting to your teen. Catch them doing things right and tell them. Let them know what a good job they’re doing and how much you appreciate it. 

    You can find a style of parental leadership that works for you by watching older movies with nannies such as Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee, or The Sound of Music The nannies in these shows display different leadership styles so you can find one that feels right for you.

    It’s okay for our kids to see us struggle in this role. It shows them that it’s okay to struggle and sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do or feel you don’t have the personality for it.

    Our Guest Ashley Buffa:

    Ashley Buffa talks about calm the chaosAshley Buffa is a published author and Home Systems Expert, designing chore schedules for kids and the entire family. As a mother of 10 her mission is to give mothers more time to focus on their passions. She’s also an expert on Homeschooling, managing large households and more!

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://thefreedommoms.com/smart-kids-chores