Innkeeping and Kids

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Aussie Innkeeper

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How many of you out there are running an inn while raising a family? Honestly, if you have more than one kid, or they're little, I don't know how you're doing it! We have one DD11 and fortunately she's fairly independent and will even help out (well, when there's financial incentive involved
) . There are IK's in this area with multiple kids (llittle ones) and caring for parents and/or other relatives, too.
Any advice for those of us running an inn and raising a family, too?
 

Red Handed Jill

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<raises hand> We're doing it. Upcoming birthdays, everyone will turn 8, 6, and 4 respectively. We've done it basically part time for the past year (only offering thrus-sat or Sun, depending on holidays), starting to offer full time soon.
How do I do it? The kids are in on it. They are willing to help - whether by actually helping or by keeping quiet/busy. And...call me mean, but I have informed them that if they are LOUD when guests are here, we have to give the money back. Period. And even between the three, they don't have enough money in their piggy banks to cover it. We travel a lot, and they understand loud in a hotel = we have to leave. So they get they can't be loud when guests are here.
We have private quarters that are a no guest zone. No one has crossed the line...sometimes I discourage it by commenting how they don't really want to step on a lego or matchbox car in their bare feet (everyone laughs, which is really funny since I'm not kidding, but no one has opened that door).
For me, the worst part isn't making breakfast or tending rooms or even checking in guests. We seem to have developed routines for that. For me the worst part is the phone. I cannot count how many times I have effectively walked away from my kids because of the blasted phone (just because you're only offering rooms 3-4 nights a week doesn't mean they only call those days).
This can be a great experience for kids - it seems to be unfolding that way for ours. But we are a very flexible family who has been living in non-traditional ways for a while now, so my kids take it in stride if we have days of no guests and extra bike rides, followed by a day of extra video game time (which they "hate" <eyeroll>).
 

YellowSocks

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My ds6x2 will be 7 in November. I do not have a lot of help other than the two of them.
I'm not sure how I do it.
Like Jill says... they don't seem to mind those days where they get extra computer time, or the days we get to spend more time as a family. And I, too, walk away from my kids sometimes b/c of the phone, although I'm getting better at occasionally letting it go to the voice mail.
It's worth it, though!
=)
Kk.
 

bbinnsitters

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My ds6x2 will be 7 in November. I do not have a lot of help other than the two of them.
I'm not sure how I do it.
Like Jill says... they don't seem to mind those days where they get extra computer time, or the days we get to spend more time as a family. And I, too, walk away from my kids sometimes b/c of the phone, although I'm getting better at occasionally letting it go to the voice mail.
It's worth it, though!
=)
Kk..
KK, you get extra points cos you are also a single parent - you are our Warrior Innkeeper! It is life as you know it, and you are doing a wonderful job!
 

domsmom

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I try to keep my eye on the advantages of the lifestyle, not the struggles. Mine are 3,6 and 10. Sometimes they help, sometimes they just do their thing.
 

JBloggs

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Innkeeping WITH kids.
Yes, we have two. not easy. My advice is it is part of their life too, so get them involved. But, on the same note, make sure they have as much privacy as possible to be kids.
Aussie feel free to come down and visit and we can get the innkeeping girls together, they can talk shop. :) Plus the Oz connection. Email me off forum from my user id, I know you are two states away from us.
 

JBloggs

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I just read others responses. If you are running a B&B, you make it a lifestyle choice, so you make every choice an opportunity. B&B kids are not normal kids, nor will they ever be. They are cultured, they are not allowed to be lazy slackers, they are not allowed to be pigs (even tho they are most of the time like most kids) they have to obey the rules all the time. But that is the way you most likely parent anyway, there is one rule "MINE."
Give them chances to be involved outside the B&B. Give them pay for chores, ie work=money.
 

Don Draper

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God bless you all who try to do this while taking care of families (kids, parents, etc.). I can barely do it and manage to take care of myself. You are truly warriors.
In reference to JB's points on B&B kids above, from the rest of the world I want to truly THANK YOU...by your lifestyle you are producing kids who will turn into adults who are self-sufficient, respectful, hard-working and kind, just like you all!!!! Wish we could turn THAT into an epidemic for this country...
 

Joey Camb

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If it helps any I was a B&B child before I became a B&B and it was fine from that perspective (brought up by my mum and godmother who ran a 14 bed B&B together while their husbands worked abroad) Learned how to wait on tables and take reservations from age 12 and it meant i had a slew of work skills even before I started university. As a parent you don't think but the skills they are learning with you put them ahead of the pack in the job market!
 

birdwatcher

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We had two teenagers when we bought our first Inn-that I think was more difficult although our saving grace was that we had two houses and one we lived in and the other one was the one that we rented rooms out of. The main house only had one room that we rented out. Personally I think it would be easier with smaller children so that they in essense "grow up" with the notion of the B&B and the team of being not only a family but a business as well.
 

YellowSocks

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My B&B is really a big homeschool project to teach them skills and the most important thing of all, where money comes from! WORK = MONEY. And, work also = proficiency and skill.
My kids are pigs... in their own room and downstairs. But they are also charmers!
=)
Kk.
 

Aussie Innkeeper

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I developed a 'chore chart' last summer. Each chore was given a point value and then she had to earn x-number of points to earn x-dollars in allowance. She then could have some input over how much she wanted to earn. DD11 can iron pillowcases and napkins, she can make a bed. When she went to church camp for a week, her cabin was awarded 'cleanest cabin' for two days!! Kd can even fold a fitted sheet! Her own room, on the other hand, is a different story!
 

JBloggs

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I developed a 'chore chart' last summer. Each chore was given a point value and then she had to earn x-number of points to earn x-dollars in allowance. She then could have some input over how much she wanted to earn. DD11 can iron pillowcases and napkins, she can make a bed. When she went to church camp for a week, her cabin was awarded 'cleanest cabin' for two days!! Kd can even fold a fitted sheet! Her own room, on the other hand, is a different story!.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
I developed a 'chore chart' last summer. Each chore was given a point value and then she had to earn x-number of points to earn x-dollars in allowance. She then could have some input over how much she wanted to earn. DD11 can iron pillowcases and napkins, she can make a bed. When she went to church camp for a week, her cabin was awarded 'cleanest cabin' for two days!! Kd can even fold a fitted sheet! Her own room, on the other hand, is a different story!
The cobbler's children have no shoes... yeah, it is a weekly battle to clean the room. But they can sure set a table (and do! Every morning this month so far and unload the dishwasher, take out the trash and fold towels!) I laugh as I know other farmer kids at school up at the crack of don mucking out the barns etc, so folding towels or setting the table is not hard labor. :)
 

InnBloom

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I developed a 'chore chart' last summer. Each chore was given a point value and then she had to earn x-number of points to earn x-dollars in allowance. She then could have some input over how much she wanted to earn. DD11 can iron pillowcases and napkins, she can make a bed. When she went to church camp for a week, her cabin was awarded 'cleanest cabin' for two days!! Kd can even fold a fitted sheet! Her own room, on the other hand, is a different story!.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
I developed a 'chore chart' last summer. Each chore was given a point value and then she had to earn x-number of points to earn x-dollars in allowance. She then could have some input over how much she wanted to earn. DD11 can iron pillowcases and napkins, she can make a bed. When she went to church camp for a week, her cabin was awarded 'cleanest cabin' for two days!! Kd can even fold a fitted sheet! Her own room, on the other hand, is a different story!
The cobbler's children have no shoes... yeah, it is a weekly battle to clean the room. But they can sure set a table (and do! Every morning this month so far and unload the dishwasher, take out the trash and fold towels!) I laugh as I know other farmer kids at school up at the crack of don mucking out the barns etc, so folding towels or setting the table is not hard labor. :)
.
Hmm, I wonder where I can get me some of them kids?!!

 

MTLLodge

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I developed a 'chore chart' last summer. Each chore was given a point value and then she had to earn x-number of points to earn x-dollars in allowance. She then could have some input over how much she wanted to earn. DD11 can iron pillowcases and napkins, she can make a bed. When she went to church camp for a week, her cabin was awarded 'cleanest cabin' for two days!! Kd can even fold a fitted sheet! Her own room, on the other hand, is a different story!.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
I developed a 'chore chart' last summer. Each chore was given a point value and then she had to earn x-number of points to earn x-dollars in allowance. She then could have some input over how much she wanted to earn. DD11 can iron pillowcases and napkins, she can make a bed. When she went to church camp for a week, her cabin was awarded 'cleanest cabin' for two days!! Kd can even fold a fitted sheet! Her own room, on the other hand, is a different story!
The cobbler's children have no shoes... yeah, it is a weekly battle to clean the room. But they can sure set a table (and do! Every morning this month so far and unload the dishwasher, take out the trash and fold towels!) I laugh as I know other farmer kids at school up at the crack of don mucking out the barns etc, so folding towels or setting the table is not hard labor. :)
.
Hmm, I wonder where I can get me some of them kids?!!

.
InnBloom said:
Hmm, I wonder where I can get me some of them kids?!!
I was thinking the same thing! LOL
 

gillumhouse

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Although I did not do B & B until after the 2-legged animals were gone, they grew up doing the same kind of chores AND DH demanded clean rooms - I kept telling just shut the door, that is THEIR territory but he put them through hell instead.
The youngest (my contribution to the menagerie) was psuhing the vac at 3 and folding towels at 6. Twins were 5 y o 10 days after the wedding and were expected to fold an put away their laundry. By the time they were 8 they were doing dishes (older ones were already in the rotation) and by 11, each one was responsible for their own laundry - the dryer was dead and not replaced by that time so clothes were hung on plastic hangers and hung in doorways and from the ceiling racks DH ahd made for his "studio" room. (Summer was line-dry time.) Yard work was also expected.
It is my personal opinion that parents who do NOT give their kids chores and teach them to do laundry, iron, sew, shop for foods, and cook are cheatig their kids of life skills they will need to survive.
 

birdwatcher

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You are sooo right, I was a single parent for four years with four kids before I met my current husband-but-by the time my kids where 12 they did their own laundry-I gave up "the clean room thing" too much fighting-closed the door! They where pretty much independent and they are glad I did that now that they are on their own. No parent does their children any favors by waking them up for school after they reach middle school-they should be old enough to put the alarm on and getting themselves out of bed-yes you may have to pry them to get going-but I always worked so they had to become independent quickly. Some of my friends where waking their teenagers that where almost seniors in High School the "wake up its time for school" thing-do these parents think that these kids will have their "college moms" waking them up for class or work? Who will do their laundry?
No I think that its important for children to learn that they are in a family and its a team so that everything works to the best of everyone-having kids in a B & B teaches them just because you work for yourself doesnt mean you get to do what you want when you want-you work twice as hard because its your own business-good life lessons.
 

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