That’s the life of most women these days. And I don’t think it should be! My philosphy in my book To Love, Honor and Vacuum–and in this To Love, Honor and Vacuum blog–is that everybody should grow closer to God, and that means that everybody should learn to show love, should bear their own load, and should be responsible.
Including your kids.
So how do you do that? You can yell, which doesn’t work, or you can institute conseqeunces. Sometimes, though, consequences are difficult to figure out. And it’s hard to be consistent. I thought today I’d publish one of the consequence ideas I had in my book, and then ask you to add your own!
Don’t Pick Up Things Off of the Floor
Rationale: Picking up toys and clothes that family emmbers leave lying around in common areas (not bedrooms if this is agreed upon) teaches them that others will step in when they are irresponsible.
Consequence: Some families have a “jubilee” basket, similar to the jubilee in the Old Testament, where all land is returned to its original owner after a set time. In the same way, after children leave for school in the morning, or after they begin work (if they’re homeschooled), or go out to play, you pick up everything left in common areas and leave it in a basket in a closet. You can return them on Sunday, or the owner can redeem them prior to that for a dime or a quarter or whatever you think is appropriate.
On occasion, our family has had to do something more drastic. After repeatedly asking the kids to clean the playroom, or their bedroom, to no avail, we’ve hauled out the garbage bags and filled them with toys for the Salvation Army. If they had too many toys to keep tidy, then some had to do! Sometimes the kids helped us weed through, and other times they wailed on the sidelines as we confiscated stuffed animals they hadn’t looked at twice in two years. But when there are fewer toys, it’s much easier to clean up, and children are less likely to be overwhelmed by the task.
The jubilee system is one of those things that doesn’t need to be used very long. It puts fear into children, and pretty soon they stop leaving stuff around!
What do you do for consequence based discipline in your home? Leave a comment, and share it with us!
And don’t forget to check out To Love, Honor and Vacuum!