The “Bus” Stops Here – I run my family like a business

Just one more sleep and my kids will go back to school. It’s time to do it all over again and that means it’s back to business. Yes, I said business and that’s because I run my family like a business. Sounds rather extreme but allow me to elaborate.

This year Skylar will be in Grade 6 and Ashton in Grade 10. I still can’t believe it, but there is no time for me to be nostalgic as 2020 is a biggie. The school dynamics are going to change dramatically, especially for Ashton. The time has come to get stuck in and get working.

Ashton – Grade 10 Business

Ashton turns 16 In February 2020

The senior phase of Ashton’s schooling career has arrived, which means subject choices. By no means an easy feat but after advice, research and his own personal interests subjects have been chosen. This also means the added pressure to work towards a career is part of the equation. The aim is to achieve his goals but ensure that his mental health is prioritised. It is going to be the balancing act of our lives.

Skylar – Grade 6 Business

Skylar might be going to Grade 6 but he has his sights firmly set on Grade 7. He wants to be a leader next year and to be considered he needs to put in the work this year. Aside from that he has also set specific academic goals. Let’s also not forget that puberty will come knocking this year which means we need to manage that dreaded, emotional roller-coaster. Wish me luck is all I can ask.

Getting Down to Business

Now back to the point of running my family like a business. I contract with kids on a quarterly basis, just like I am expected to do at work. I have been doing this since the boys were little and it really does work for us.

Trust the process

I schedule a “business” meeting with them at a restaurant or coffee shop. We then casually recap the previous quarters achievements and challenges. We look at new and innovative ways to approach the coming quarter in the hopes of not repeating our mistakes. At this point I allow my kids to put me through the ringer. They have the opportunity to tell me what has not worked for them and list areas of improvement for me to consider.

While we share a common mission statement and joint goals, we also need to be considered as individuals. My thinking is that I need to let my kids know what is expected of them so that they can work towards that, but at the same time I need their buy in. In our house, my kids are encouraged to have a voice. They are encouraged to challenge me (respectfully) and I need to accept that I won’t always be right.

Time to Contract

My quarterly performance management system for the kids is as follows:-

  • Vision statement
  • Determine objectives
  • Establish KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)
  • Set time frames
  • Evaluate performance
  • Reward system

Here’s an example

Objective: Attend all team meetings and maintain punctuality.
KPI: Join the rest of the family at the dinner table instead of eating in your room.

Contracts completed.

Now that we have held our first quarterly meeting for the year and contracted with each other we can forge ahead. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the boys write their goals and KPI’s in their diaries and we sign the contracts. The “bus” definitely stops with here. Accountability and your word is everything as far as I am concerned. In case you want to know, the boys love and fully welcome the process. They prefer it to me screaming or talking a point to death.

Anyways, lovelies all the best for the 2020 school year. Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts about why I run my family like a business.

3 Comments

  1. I love this!!
    I think it’s good to have a family meeting. We do this once a month, just a bit differently. We meet at the beginning of the month. Discuss our x5 schedules, what is expected, where we could do better, and discuss chore performance from the previous month, and what hasn’t worked.
    The kids really do respond well to it. On the occasion that we ‘forget’ you can tell the kids let their part of the bargain slip too.
    Well done lovely! You’re the boss for sure!

  2. luv this, similar to what I do. kids feel acknowledged, respected & part of a family ( especially when its run by a single mom).

    thank you for being so inspiring

  3. What a great idea, I just love it and will definitely be “stealing”it when Quintin is old enough.

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