"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Monday, March 9, 2009

FHE: Threats and Rewards

I am the meanest mom ever. See, instead of letting da Boo and the Boy run around in their pajamas all day on Saturdays, I make them get dressed. But here's where I'm really just horrible: I expect them to clean up! Seriously! Haven't I heard of a child's rights?

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.
Now for the good news: The Man and I have talked about how much fun the kids had when we went to a local water park last summer. We decided it would be fun to get season passes this year and go regularly. So now, the "something fun as a family" is extended to include heading to this water park. The kids were very excited about this prospect! I hope they remember it when Saturday morning rolls around again...

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...


SO said...

That sounds like a great FHE! I hope that they remember come Saturday. Our FHE have been moved to Thursdays.

Jo said...

No twinkle??? Has the apocolypse happened? Or is the boy getting older? NOOOOO....

Me said...

YOu are a tough mom! No pj's all day? What is this world coming to? AND you made them clean up after themselves. Such a shame! :)

You give great FHE though!

Melanie J said...

You are so smart to train them early on this. My 9 year old takes forever. He's just stuck in his room for hours and it doesn't really affect us, but I wish he'd learn that he'd have a lot more fun if he just did what he was expected to do and then enjoyed himself.

Kristina P. said...

We were never able to consistently have FHE when I was growing up. Can't wait to hear about the cupcakes.

Did you enter my giveaway to be able to win some of Amber's?

Janell said...

Good luck with the rewards/bribery! Let us know how it goes next week so I can take the appropriate notes in my, "what to do in the event I have two young children who won't clean up," file.

Kristie said...

Sounds like a very successful FHE!! Here's hoping that the weekend clean-up goes better this Saturday! :)

Amber said...

I love 'laying down the law' sort of lessons. I'm glad I'm not the only mean mom who expects her kids to clean and stuff.

Bobie said...

what???? You make your kids clean up??? :)

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