I was looking through the Good Housekeeping website when I came across this article and it just reminded me of just how grateful I am to have hubby. Let's just say I can be a push over , (sometimes) when it comes to the kids. He's Mr fun and games but also was the one who gets them to tidy up after themselves faster than I could.
Like most mums who like to make things fun and creative, when the kids were younger, I too invented a song and dance for cleaning up. A game where whomever finished first would get to wear the crown and be Prince/Princess of cleaning and as a reward get to pick the ice cream flavour for our cleaning up treat.
Then they got older and quite unwilling to cooperate or do a song and a dance. That's when hubby invented the One Month rule. Whatever toy or piece of clothing that wasn't used or cared for properly in a month, it had to go to the yearly charity box.
My reaction, of course, was "we are going to have toy-less naked short people living in this house." The first month went by and because they thought we were not being serious about the One Month rule the charity box got a lot of loot.
To my surprise, I found my oldest son wearing the jersey (his favourite) I had spent the previous month begging him to get off of the floor. My daughter had her cabbage patch doll on her bed with Simba and her bunny (she's had those since she was a baby.) Young Mister's basket ball was put in his pile of outdoor only toys.
At dinner time that night they explained to us that though the One Month rule was valid and in place, hubby and I had not mentioned anything about them paroling their items from the charity box. That these were very important to them and they would do their best to follow the rules so they can keep them.
They even suggested we "amend the act" to state that should an item go into the charity box for the second time, it is gone forever. That year, our charity box had a lot of my children's items, but there wasn't a Man United jersey, Cabbage patch doll or basket ball.
I have found that to keep the cleaning up conversation going, over and above household chores and responsibilities, you need to find your children's currency.
Happy tidying up.