Wednesday, May 11, 2011

{Creative Parenting} Clean-Up Clean-Up, Everybody Clean Up!

If you want to enter my daughters room, I would first forewarn you that A) you might need protective gear for your feet by chance you most likely in all cases, will step on something tiny and pointy and not good. B) you might feel as though you just entered into a room where a natural disaster in enormous proportions of dress-up, dollies, barbies, and pretend kitchen twisters has occurred.  I can't promise a book or two won't come flying around the corner.
Does this sound familiar to any of you? It doesn't matter how much I *ahem* help my daughter clean up or organize her stuff, it just ends up the same way every night.  By ends up I mean me hurriedly throwing stuff into bins, plastic kitchen ovens, and doll houses. So that in case we have a real disaster we won't go down by death of Barbie's pink plastic convertible car! It's not that I am a neat freak by any standards, and no disrespect to you super clean peeps out there. I actually have the up most respect for clean lovin mommas, wink wink! It's that I want to teach my daughter the art of caring for her things.  It's all part of the well rounded upbringing I am forging my way through to instill in my children.  If children learn the art of caring and taking care of not only people, but things they "own" as well, they are more appreciative of people and things.  This can go hand in hand with earning an allowance or privilege.  It's not enough to earn something, once you get it you have to take care of it, appreciate it.  In an instant gratification society and world, I think it is very important that children come to rely on constants to fulfill them as people such as love, pride, and the value of hard work, and allowing people and things to "add" to those constants, not the other way around.  Ok, I am going to get off my soap box now! With all of that I still have the disaster zone and as much as I have confidence in my parenting, I know that my hard won efforts will not appear at age 4 1/2 ! I might see glimpses, but I need a solution to my messy problem now.

READY,   SET,    GO.......

So in comes the Creative Parenting- To get your children to clean-up their messes you make it a game! What kid doesn't like a game?   When it's time for my daughter to clean-up her room I have a special timer that I set after I have given specific instructions of what needs to be done.  If it's a huge mess I break up the times, for example I give her 3 minutes to put the dollies in the dolly basket with all of their dolly accessories, then I reset the timer for the next mess, and so on! This gives children the chance to be and feel successful (Mucho Important), they are overwhelmed easily and get frustrated easily too.  Her job is to beat the clock! That's it, there is no other reward, just the sheer happiness and pride of beating the clock.  Now she tells me to set lower times because she is "so good"! haha! If she refuses to clean up, then the deal is the toys on the floor go into a basket for "toy-time-out" and she has to earn them back. This has not happened often and I'm happy for that.
So I will settle with this method of cleaning her room, for now, but I have and will continue to also teach her the art of caring for things. Slowly, but surely I have hope that one day I will walk into a young lady's room where it is obvious that she was taught this.
What strategies do you use with your kiddos? Past or present? Please share!

                            Linking up to: Sugar and Dots

1 comment:

  1. The timer is such a great idea! My daughter also uses the timer when her kids are taking turns with a certain toy, and they always adhere to it. They'll even tell her to set the timer:)


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