Juggling full schedules is a challenge for all parents. Over the last year, I've been trying to find a way to incorporate more exercise into the regular routine. I've begun using the treadmill after the boys get home from school, while they're occupied with their screentime and getting a good bout of play in. But this left me with a minor dilemma, how to handle having a quick shower once I was done? (Trust me, going without, not an option for me.)
I didn't like leaving the boys unattended. Alex can disarm the alarm system and unlock the outer doors (and still shows a tendency to bolt when no one is watching). I didn't like locking Alex in his room.
After some consideration, I decided to put Nathan "in charge". It's a low level of responsibility, mainly "if anything happens, come and get Mommy". This was a hard decision for me, as Dave and I have always said that we don't want Nathan to feel responsible for Alex. He needs to be free to live his own life and explore his own choices.
But I don't think we're crushing his independence too much by having him do ten minutes of supervision a couple of times a week. (At least, I'm hoping that we're not.) Nathan loves it. He enjoys being identified as responsible and being given authority.
It still seems a little odd to me to have the younger brother "in charge" over the older one, but that's just reality. Meanwhile, I'm getting the exercise I need to stay healthy and the kids are accepting it. So, for now, I'm calling it a win.