I think it's the New Year getting to me. Everywhere I look, there are people making New Year's Resolutions, bloggers choosing a word of the year, friends talking about diets and exercising and so on. I'm not usually one to make New Year's Resolutions--mostly because it just gives me one more reason to feel guilty on January 3rd when I've already broken them.
And I'm Catholic--I don't need additional reasons to feel guilty, haha!
But this year found me in Barnes and Noble on January 1st, by myself (!), spending my newly found gift cards. And I came home with this book:
Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement, by Kay Wills Wyma.
And I remembered all of the conversations (or, rather, ranting and whining) had in this home lately about my Cinderella feelings and the way some of my children had been refusing to clean up after themselves--at all.
And the way we had a hard time deciding what to get them for Christmas because they already had so much.
And the way they even had a hard time thinking of what to ask Santa for.
Pretty interesting timing, don't ya think?
I only made it through the first couple of chapters last night, but it was enough for me to get serious about implementing some of the ideas Ms. Wyma has in her book (adapted, of course, because I'm a homeschooler and that's what we do...)
A couple of quick snapshots of my two youngest's rooms this morning--and Bug was halfway through cleaning his.
We've never really been sticklers for clean bedrooms or for making beds, preferring instead to shut the doors and then, about every other week, hollering at said kiddos to "Clean. It. Up!!!"
And then I find myself finally fed up and in the midst of a total clean up and clean out once a month or so--and then frustrated again when only two days later the rooms look like the dressers and closets threw up all over the floors.
Yeah. Fun times, people.
So then I started thinking--what exactly is the problem with asking my children to keep their rooms and spaces clean and orderly? On a regular basis?
Shocking thinking here, I know!
THEY keep it clean. THEY make their beds. THEY are in charge.
And I can relax.
So we started it this morning. I showed them all how to make their beds, and tried not to cringe that I actually had to do so.
I worked with them to show them what a clean room looks like. (We even took pictures, ha!)
And then I bribed them. Just like a true candidate for Mom of the Year.
Each child has a small container of 30 stickers in their (clean) rooms. Each morning I will check their rooms, beds, and bathroom counters. Each morning they are clean, they will keep their stickers. Each morning they aren't, I expect lots of yelling and tears when I take a sticker out.
But, at the end of the month, they can turn each sticker in for 50 cents. Which also takes care of (1) do we give our kids an allowance?, and (2) we will not have to keep buying them little things along the way, and fall into that trap again.
How did it go this morning, you ask?
Well....Turtle has announced that she is just not going to sleep in her bed anymore, and that way she will not have to make it.
Firefly is busily making a list of the puppy items (including the puppy) that she will buy with her first $15. So I guess we are working on Home Economics and Budgeting as well.
Bug is just happy that he has floor space to play in now.
I'll keep you posted, and I'd love to hear from any of you that may be starting a journey of this type as well.
And, please, go and check out Kay Wills Wyma's blog, MOAT. I've only just begun to explore it, but I'm really excited about it so far.
Next month's experiment, Kitchen Duty...