..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Everything Has It's Place"

Not only do the girls have clean up time before nap time and before Tim comes home in the evening, but now that they're a little older, I’ve been trying to teach them to pick up their toys and clean their room before we head out somewhere. It doesn’t always work; especially on the days that we’re running behind, but lately it’s becoming more and more routine.

Since the girls usually have room time while I get ready, I normally give them a countdown of some sort so they have plenty of time to pick up their playthings. Usually, it’s enough to remind them that we can’t do _________________ until we pick up our room (especially when they want to meet with friends), but if that doesn’t work the good ole’ jellybean reward has been a great incentive…another great tip from my girl Lisa Whelchel!

Basically, the girls have to earn a certain amount of jellybeans throughout the week in order to earn the privilege of watching a movie of their choice (mommy approved) on Friday night. Jelly Beans can be earned by having good manners, being obedient, being respectful, cleaning up their room, helping out around the house, and any other behavior that I can catch in the moment that is worthy of a reward.

Some might view as bribery, but it helps our little ones wrap their minds around these concepts and serves as a great teaching tool for us. Not to mention, I love that my girls are learning responsibility, how to take care of their things, and the value of having a clean room which carries over into our home. Even at an early age, I know they understand the value of having a clean home because my 4yr old frequently tells me “oh, thank you mommy for washing my clothes.” In the afternoon when I’m picking up the stray toys lying around the house I might get asked, “Mommy, why are you cleaning the house?” I love telling them that I’m getting ready for their papi to come home.

When everyone pulls together to clean their own area, it also helps mommy keep the house a little tidier as well. But an even bigger plus is that I'm able to nap tired kiddos right away when we return home, instead of wasting time clearing away clutter just to get them to their beds.

I would say there’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house, but as I was headed to the laundry room to iron a blouse, I heard my 4yr old teIl her little sister, “sweetie, everything has it’s place” and then showed her where that item went. Now that takes the cake! (Even though my husband is probably rolling his eyes somewhere as though it’s a hopeless cause, I know he secretly loves it!)

No comments: