I have five children between the ages of 13 and 3. Everywhere we go, there's a scarce resource that all the kids want. Maybe it's an elevator button that everyone wants to push. Maybe it's a favorite spot in the car where everyone wants to sit. On the flip side, there are chores that nobody wants to do: take out the trash, load the dishwasher, etc. I used to make assignments round-robin, trying to give each kid a turn at fun and chores. I've tried other scheduling algorithms too, but I inevitably forget whose turn it is and then everyone tries to straighten me out: "But it was Gideon's turn last time. No, that was Haven not me. ..."
I've tried for years to convince them that these things don't matter and that life is not fair. I'm apparently poor at communicating that message. So I decided to take my own sermon to heart:
If it really doesn't matter, why not pick kids at random? I installed Random Name Picker on my phone. I created a list named Children and added each child's name to that list. In the list settings, I chose "With replacement" and set "# of names chosen" to 5. When I click Choose, the app shuffles all the children into a random order. Now that little Choose button resolves all trivial, family disputes. We've been doing this for months and it works great.
Only space for one kid to help Dad at the store? Click Choose and the top name wins. Choosing 2 ice cream flavors at the store? Click Choose and the top two names win. On vacation? Click Choose in the morning and read everyone the full list to assign priority for pushing elevator buttons that day. Assigning all children a random priority has proven especially helpful. Each kid remembers their place in line. No matter which subset of children happens to travel in the elevator at any given time, they instantly know whose turn it is to push the buttons.
One extra rule proved useful: Dad always clicks Choose. Otherwise, things get meta really fast: "I get to click Choose to see who gets to click Choose to see who gets to pick the ice cream"