As camp directors, we spend our winter months honing our skills on how to manage people in the close quarters of camp. We go to trainings and seminars with the best educators in this field. Through the camp experience, we are helping to develop the future leaders of this country in our campers as well as in our staff. People today are accustomed to being told exactly what to do. Their GPS tells them how many yards they have until they reach their destination. Managers want people to come in with precise initiative, the innate knowledge of what is right and wrong and to have all the skills necessary to complete the job. You will get lucky if you hire someone like this but more often than not, you have to lay it out on the table. Write out a job description stating exactly what is expected. It is a lot easier to have it out on the table so you can refer to it if you need to. Is this asking a lot of someone? Heck, yeah it is. Being a mom, working or not, is a lot of work, so if you are paying someone to help you, it should be good help.
This is an example of my “Letter on the Table”:
- Please do not watch TV or have Judge Judy or Days of Our Lives on in the background.
- Activities-Go for walks, play on the swing set, make crafts, paint, build forts, play with toys, bake and make things in the kitchen, make up skits, play dress-up, dance, listen to music, read books, teach them how to draw stars.
- Discipline- Please use time out, or redirect them when you can. Trouble arises mostly with sharing. Please help me with them earning their stars and with empowering them to make good choices. Please use Love and Logic. I think it is the best way to deal with children.
- I do like for them to eat healthy foods and not snack all day. If it is close to a meal time and I am not home, just start the meal. I am around most of the time at meals and love to have an extra hand in the kitchen, so please jump in with me.
- Please have them put away an activity before they start a new one.
- The girls are of course, first priority, but I do appreciate when someone sees other things that need to be taken care of.
- Please clean up the kitchen after meals and wipe the countertops if you have time; the girls love to help spray and wipe. Please have the girls pick up bath toys after baths and have them put their dirty clothes in the hampers. I don’t want them to be picked up after, but I like to try to keep things tidy. It makes me saner.
- If trash is overflowing please empty it, and please recycle when you can.
- If the dishwasher is full and complete, please empty it if you have the time- I am not picky-I will find things.
- If there are dishes in the sink, please put them in the dishwasher.
- If the Brita is empty, please fill it.
- If they have made a mess of the floor, please sweep it.
- Please help me keep toys and things picked up, organized and in the right place.
- Please be engaged and keep the usage of your cell phone to a minimum when you are with the girls.
- Please be on time.
- I will forget to feed you so please make yourself at home and dig in. And let me know if you want me to get you anything special from the store.
- Please remember that you are a huge influence in my daughters’ lives. Always make it a positive one.
- We will sit down and have a mutual evaluation quarterly using the Stop, Start, Continue method. Please bring anything to my attention that is not working for you.
- I see this position as a full partnership in our home. You are part of the family. If you do a good job, we will love you and take good care of you.