I Declared War Today

messy bedroom

One of the perks of being the queen of this castle is the ability to declare war as necessary. Today, I declared war on the messes that the boys have been leaving. Last night after they’d gone to bed I spent a half-hour picking up enough stuff just to walk safely through the house without stepping on something. I was very annoyed.

I was also quite annoyed about the stuff all over the place that I had asked them to put away….yet it was still sitting there. Oh! The beginnings of this war declaration are over on my post at GNMParents (now ForeverParenting). Today’s activity was the follow-up. Are you ready to hear what I did to them? It’s breathtaking.

I told them that until the house was super-clean (and they know exactly what I mean when I say that) there would be no screens for them. Not TV. Not computers. Not Nintendo DS. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. They were more than welcome to leave the mess, but there would be no screens until the cleaning was done.

Oh. My. Goodness. They were not pleased. I helped with the cleaning after lessons were done, and the little guys had about a half hour to play on the computer before bedtime. The older boys will have to try again tomorrow because there’s still a bunch of stuff shoved under the beds that they thought I wouldn’t be able to see.

I think they’re banking on me backing down with this one soon, because I’ve caved in the past.

They’re seriously underestimating how much I hate the messes.

And. There’s a bonus: I get to approach this from a Love and Logic standpoint from now on. I did announce the new rule in a bit of an irritated tone this morning, but all I have to do now is cheerfully remind them of the expectations and enforce them as necessary. If they’d just put things away every now and then throughout the day, it wouldn’t be any kind of work at all to keep the house under control.

So that’s it. War. And I’m serious about it. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the boys understand my intentions. I’m betting they don’t.

But they will.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who like a clean house.

Image courtesy of theogeo via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Baby Diaper Cake March 10, 2009, 11:31 pm

    good for you, good tactic!

    Make sure you stand firm as i’m sure with the no screens policy the house will stay tidy.

    Reply
  • Wiser March 11, 2009, 3:21 pm

    It seems you will win this way – they won’t stand their standpoint too long.

    Reply
  • doing business in the Philippines March 12, 2009, 11:39 pm

    oh, thats really a great responsibility.. just be patient and always teach your boys clean up before going or doing anything.. Good luck i know you can.. thanks for sharing..

    Reply
  • selena March 13, 2009, 8:37 am

    Its great thing to teach kids about cleaning the area as they grow up and that can be a good habit for them in future.

    Reply
  • Sunny March 16, 2009, 2:21 pm

    I give you props for posting that picture haha! My kids’ room looks like that too and I’d have been too embarrassed to post it! Stick to your guns!!!

    Reply
  • Amy March 16, 2009, 8:28 pm

    Baby Diaper Cake, so far so good! A week later and the house is measurably better. So is my attitude.

    Wiser I think we all win.

    doing business in the Philippines, thanks for the well wishes. the patient thing is not always my strong point but I’m working on it.

    selena, exactly. I’m a bit disappointed in me for not instilling it as a habit sooner though.

    Reply
  • Amy March 16, 2009, 8:42 pm

    Sunny, LOL. True confession: that pic was available on Flickr. They’ve managed to make their room look that bad routinely though. Usually it’s toys and not clothes but I didn’t have a pic of that and this was the closest approximation I could find. Good luck getting your kids to clean up their room!

    Reply
  • register company philippines March 31, 2009, 4:45 am

    hehe nice work!!

    i really love how you put into words all your experiences. Goodluck regarding with your rules. Thanks for sharing again your personal story, i love reading it.

    Reply
  • Amy April 14, 2009, 11:13 pm

    register company philippines, thanks. So far we’re doing okay with the rule, although I have found messes and had to call them to clean up. Not perfect, but that isn’t really possible anyway.

    Reply
  • KY's Commonwealth Eye Surgery May 8, 2009, 1:16 am

    Amy make it a habbit for your kids to clean the rooms from childhood.It will do good for them only in the long run.

    Neo

    Reply