For years now, Saturday morning has been Clean Up Day. After breakfast, the kids get dressed and then clean up their rooms. Next, they head back downstairs to pick up the toys that have found their way into the living room. Once that meets criteria, it's back upstairs to the toy room and putting away the toys that are strewn around. Normally, they are done before lunch and I reward their efforts by putting chocolate chips in their peanut butter sandwiches (one of my fondest childhood memories). Lately, our time table has gone downhill. Instead of getting to work and finishing things up with a few distractions here and there, the kids are dragging out Clean Up Day, whining and throwing tantrums and generally making everyone unhappy (except for Baby...she's always happy). It was time to reiterate the rules and lay down some consequences.
Opening Song: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree
Opening Prayer: Boo
Lesson: The Man got to take the lead on this one. He asked the kids about the previous Clean Up Day, where they took several hours to complete their tasks because there was constant crying and complaining instead of staying focused. Now, when they actually put things away, the rooms were getting done quickly. It took them so long that when I had them stop for lunch, chocolate chips were not in their sandwiches. The kids looked appropriately guilty and repentant here.
Now for some guidelines.
- Clean Up Day should only take two hours. That's it. Boo will wear her watch and we will set a timer for the Boy.
- Once two hours ends, either the Man or I will inspect the rooms.
- If they aren't done, all screens are turned off for the rest of the day. Currently, the Boy is addicted to playing Mario Kart on the Wii while da Boo loves to play Virtual Villagers on my computer. We hope this will be good motivation for them.
- If the screens are to remain off, but Mom and Dad want to watch a show (or read blogs), then the kids have to leave the room. That pretty much leaves their room as the only option.
- However, if the kids have finished picking up, then we will get to do something fun as a family, such as a geocaching outing or another destination of their choosing.
Closing Song: Once There Was A Snowman (and a small part of me cried because the Boy didn't pick Twinkle Little Star)
Closing Prayer: The Man.
Treats: Cupcakes. But not just any cupcakes. I'll be posting a product review on these babies...