Sunday, April 1, 2012

No Joke.

What is that famous phrase? Desperate times call for drastic measures? I must be desperate for my kids to listen and follow my directions, because I have taken some drastic measures with them today.

I had it... I had reached my limit with the constant messy rooms even after I tell them to pick up, doing the complete opposite of what I ask them to do, the whiny complaints and never taking me serious. I am tired of telling them to always pick up their toys and hearing how tired they are to pick them up.

If you have kids, you know what I am talking about... it's frustrating!

Let me give you a little history on the situation...

If the kids don't pick up their toys (mind you.. this is after multiple warnings) then I get a trash bag out, and "throw away" any of the toys they failed to pick up. Paige quickly learned after the first time her toys were "thrown away" and started keeping her room clean. Matthew has not figured this out just yet. He has had many toys "thrown away" but he still had a room filled with toys so he did not seem to care.

I have to admit, Paige is a smart little girl. She figured out our system and started playing with Matthew's toys and in his room so when it was time to pick up in the evening... she would tell us "Those aren't my toys" so she didn't have to pick up.

Hmmm. Does she really think we are blind or stupid???  We caught on to her little scheme and told her "If you were playing with them, then you get to help him pick up his toys."

For those that are wondering if I actually throw them away.... no. I put them into a trash bag, take them to the garage, and then I filter through them and donate some of them. The remainder toys are kept out in the garage and they can "earn" the toys back on good behavior. Out of sight, out of mind.

Anyway... yesterday, I told Matthew he better pick up all his toys before he goes to bed, or I am throwing them all away.  Not just the toys on the floor, but ALL his toys.  So last night, he went to bed and his room was a MESS! I started picking them up to "throw away" and put them in piles so I could move them to the garage in the morning. It was late. I was tired. So I went to bed.

This morning, I woke up, walked into his room and his toys were dumped all over his floor. WHAT?! How does this happen in just minutes???  I had it! So I asked him, what was he thinking and why he made such a mess of his room. "Paige did it." REALLY??? Sure enough, Paige peeks into the room and a little quiet squeak comes out her mouth... sorry. "You did this?" I asked her.

That was it... "They are ALL mine!"  I packed up ALL their toys, every last little LEGO and Barbie shoe and moved them all into a big pile in the dining room. Oohhh. they were not happy. BUT, I told them exactly what would happen if they didn't pick up and they thought I was joking. It may be April Fools day, but this is no joke! The only toys they were able to keep are puzzles, board games, color books, and reading books. No more TV, toys, or movies. They are officially GROUNDED!

Now, maybe they will know that I am not playing around and will listen and follow directions. Ya think??


  1. Reminds me of when our kids were little. DH was a lot 'smarter' than me on these things and he devised a plan that worked great; we'd go through ALL of the toys in the house, even those stored away. Next step was to get rid of things broken, or we'd ask the kids if they honestly would miss certain toys. Broken ones got tossed and not so much cared about ones were donated. Then we'd organize the rest; Barbies, Legos, cars, sports stuff, etc... We have four (grown) children and then each one would be allowed to choose a couple of their favorites and then we'd put the rest in the attic. If they wanted something else, they had to trade what they already had out. It worked great and our kids are doing the same with their own children. After a while, they'd find they never missed certain toys at all. The reality is, there is so much stuff it is just overwhelming, no matter how fun it is to 'have it all'! By cutting it down, pickup is easy and they appreciate what is there much more. Trudy

  2. Stay strong Mom that is the important thing I now have grandchildren and they aren't any different.

  3. Sadly our kids get too many husband has a large family so mine ended up getting a lot for holidays or birthdays. With so many, losing them isn't much of a real consequence. I'd make mine pickup before bedtime. If they couldn't get it done, the next night they'd start earlier and lose play time to get more pickup time. For mine that worked but yours may value something else that would be an effective consequence. Good luck!

  4. Chin up....they grow into teenagers....when mine were teenagers I had to let go of the control and just shut their bedroom doors...I never went in. They were in charge of their own laundry from about 13. I would always ask if they had whites when I did my whites, but for the rest, they were on their own. Good luck!

  5. Angela,
    I know what you mean. One of my kids loves trains above all else and the other 3 play trains and then say "but they're jack's" when clean up time comes. I donate constantly, throw away the broken, and I try not to buy happy meals and bring in more crap. Still, tons of stuff! The twins got leappads for Christmas and my oldest got an Ipod...I love that. COMPACT and DIGITAL! One idea I loved is "Saturday Box". You tell your kids to go clean. You come behind and what is not in the right spot you throw in the Saturday box. Saturday morning you give the box to the kids and tell them they have to put things in the right home or the contents of the box get donated/trashed. Repeat offender toys to "the box" will be donated without further notice. I did the trash bag with my oldest and it worked but it is much harder with multiple children because they play with each other's things and the oldest is sneaky about it...not fair to the younger siblings.

  6. Kids just have way too much stuff now-a-days. We don't even buy the grandkids any toys anymore. Their parents are constantly buying them stuff. It's crazy. When my kids were young they only got new toys on their birthdays and some holidays.

  7. My daughter has been doing the same thing with my soon-to-be three-year old grand-daughter. After the second time that my dd "threw away" her toys, my dgd said, "put them in the trash." Who does she think she is? She even helped my daughter put them in the trash.
    What are we going to do? :o

  8. Wow , a lot of baby supplies .i date asia


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