Friday, August 13, 2010

Give it Away: Delegate

As we approach the school year, many of us are facing the craziest time of the year! We are looking ahead to juggling home, grocery shopping, budgeting, and laundry along with school for the better part of the day.

I for one, I am wondering how it will all get done.

I am thinking back over my own childhood homeschooled experience, and I remember one biggie in our house. Delegation.  Delegation isnt just giving your jobs to someone else to deal with, but artfully choosing a person who effectively complete the task at hand... besides you.

At home, often the delegator is mom, while those delegated to are the kids. Many of the jobs that we do as moms can be handled by kids 4 and up, with proper training and some patience.

It had multi-faceted benefits, both for the delegator and the those delegated to. As the one delegating, you get to relieve some pressure in areas that tend to add up to a feeling of stress and being overwhelmed. As the one being delegated to, they get to show their ability to serve, follow instructions, learn to be independent, and get to be the recipient of appreciation for hard work completed well.

With a 5 year old, I am amazed with what he can do. He is to the point that his help is actually..helpful :) We have begun the art of effective delegation around here, and I have learned a couple of things:

* You have to be willing to have the job done less than perfectly ...or even "really" good :)
* You have to be okay with people doing things done differently than you ..totally, perhaps
* You have to make sure that the delegated job fits the person ..a five year old can haul laundry baskets, but perhaps not sort the laundry. Then again ...
* You can call it "chores" or "service practice"
* You have to be willing to accept the learning curve may take a bit, but they will get the hang of it after a few tries

Some things that we have delegated in our house ...

* Collecting trash for the small trashcans
* Bringing the laundry baskets downstairs
* Unbuckling his brothers car seat buckles, so I dont have to go all the way around the car
* Collecting trash when getting out of the car (car bucket!)
* Hauling the Car Bucket to the van (it has wheels)
* Preparing certain lunches (Ty can make a mean PBJ), or breakfast foods

I think it is important to remember that while it is often easier to do the jobs ourselves, the benefits of them learning those jobs far outweighs time you save. And, after a bit it really can be helpful to get to call for the laundry! :)

Delegation WORKS FOR US! :)


  1. Fabulous post! My kids can quote me, "My job is to train you and teach you to be a production citizen." :o) One of my favorite jobs I began to delegate...The Bowl Party! Once I showed my boys how to scrub the toilets and added 'Bowl Party' to the Chore Jar, their aim got much better. :o) Thanks for sharing. Happy Friday! and

  2. Great tip! thanks for sharing -
    I hae trouble sometimes barking orders like a drill sargent instead of lovingly delegating - Workin on that!


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