As a parent, do you ever hit a breaking point? Where the kid’s have pushed you too far and you find yourself getting desperate for a way to get their attention??
Here is a typical evening in the Moore house. We eat dinner around 5pm and start cleaning up the kitchen right away. While I am cleaning the kitchen, the little ones are in the bath and ThomasWade is doing his homework. I try to bathe all three at the same time. Most of the time this works out great, but then sometimes they act as if they are in a sinking ship and are trying to throw all the water out of the tub to save their lives. So then I clean the kitchen and the bathroom from the flood and look over ThomasWade’s homework. The little ones get into their pj’s and start to play while ThomasWade is in the shower. Around 6:30 they are all in the boy’s room playing with EVERY toy they own. They play for around an hour and then we ask them to start picking up the mess.
This is when it all goes down hill. Everything has a place and container, so this should be an easy task. I usually have to set the timer and then walk out. Well, night after night this timer has not phased them one bit. They dodn’t even hear it. Even after reminding them of the time getting closer and closer. I usually am so frustrated and ready for bed myself that I just go in and clean it all myself. Trent isn’t a fan of this at all, apparently this takes away the point of the timer when I go in and clean it for them!
So the timer goes off and I go to check out the room. As usual, there has not been one toy picked up and they are still playing. They didn’t even look at me when I walked into the room. So I walked out of the room and took a deep breath. Now let me remind you that Trent is the calm parent and I am not. I walk right past Trent and get the trash bags from the kitchen. He is standing there not saying a word, just watching the craziness unfold. I go into the kids room and without saying a word I start putting everything off the ground into the trash bag. It gets ugly. If it was on the ground, then it went into the bag. They went nuts. They start crying and screaming. Grabbing for things I haven’t gotten to yet. I never stopped, I simply remind them that I asked them to clean their room and they ignored me. I walked out with two full trash bags and left a room of hysterical children.
I am not sure how I thought they would have reacted, well honestly not a lot of thought went into my plan at all. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I felt like they needed a wake up call. And this was for sure getting their attention. I placed the trash bags outside of the house and braced myself for the aftermath. When I came back in, the boys were in shock. Trent and I had a long talk with them about listening and picking up their room. That night we tucked three very sad little boys into bed. They assured us that they would listen and value their toys next time. After they fell asleep, I brought the toys inside and put them in the back closet. I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I actually threw away their toys!!?? ha. I am not sure when they will get the toys back, but for now they are “gone”.
Moore to the Story: This isn’t one of my proudest parenting moments, but it got their attention. We have had a couple of times where we have had to remind them about the toys going in the trash bag. Now when we ask them to clean their room and they decide not to listen, then they are choosing the result. Our toy graveyard is growing, but so are the lessons… Hopefully!