Friday, July 4, 2008

No more nagging! Help for those endless toys!

Hip Hip Hooray Daddy is Home Today!

Proverbs 4:23
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.

This morning I just want to quickly add a practical parenting tip that we are just in the process of starting. I have combined something I learned from Love and Logic with another new idea. I cannot take credit for either.

I hate to be a nag about picking up toys. More than that, I find that it is my oldest daughter that will do all the picking up of toys. Both unacceptable. Before rest time and bed time Jason and I tell the kids, "Feel free to keep the toys you put away." We also give plenty of kid time for them to clean up the mess. You know, clean a minute, play a minute, twirl a minute. We often play fun oldies music while cleaning. I always enjoy loud music when I'm cleaning to keep me focused.

Once they have had plenty of time, we proceed to teeth, bed, etc.... Any toys that are left out, we then put in a penalty box. Our box is just a large plastic tub. You can be as creative as you'd like. We chose a place out of sight for the box. There is nothing worse than a kid weeping over a toy all day. Most often, the kids don't even know it's missing. They have so many toys.

Saturday morning we get out the penalty box, and the kids must choose a chore per toy to get it back. If they don't care to rescue the toy with an extra chore, then it is a toy ready to be donated to charity. A toy with no value to a child will never be picked up. Put on music, enjoy doing the extra chores, and watch your children find a new appreciation for their toys.

We are still in process with this concept, but we are motivated. Please let me know if this works for you or any other ideas. It has allowed my heart to be kind when it comes to messes. some days the monotony of picking up toys was giving my life the feeling of total futility. I have a friend who said her daughter would say, "I don't care, just take my toys." I would bet the time would come where the toys would dwindle down enough to motivate a few chores. Give it a try. It's a fun way to teach personal responsibility. And it reduces the nagging!


Megan said...

Great idea. I hope my kids don't try it on ME. *grin*

Seriously - all of the women in this family need help in this area. Craig has a natual God-given talent for order and non-chaos.

How in the world did he end up with me?

thehomespunheart said...

This is a great idea - I get so weary of asking and begging/pleading with my girls to clean up. Hmmm - perhaps a good time to start a penalty box! :)

Elise said...

I like it!! My daughter(3) says, "Let Daddy just throw them away." It is always such a battle with her. And I don't think its fair for my boy(5) to have to pick up everything. It seems easier to discipline the more compliant child.
We will have to give it a try.

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