Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tell me, parents, is the Christmas honeymoon over? Are your children wandering around bored with the umpteen million presents they received - nay, BEGGED FOR - for the holidays? Has the very gift for which they would have sold their souls lost its luster and lay forgotten at the bottom of the toy box?

Well, have I got a tip for you.

Tell your children to clean their rooms.

My kids can be walking around, underfoot, telling me they're bored and pining for something to do. I send them to their rooms to clean and, lo and behold, when I check in on their progress, every toy in their room has seemed to magically hold their attention in a way it never has before. The toys that had only minutes before seemed completely unattractive are now endlessly fun and beguiling. They will literally be transfixed for hours.

Of course the room never gets clean, and it does, of course, reinforce negative behavior, but it's great for a moment's peace.

Hey, I never said I was a GOOD mom.


cjoy said...

Yes! I've done that and works wonderfully...I agree--anything for that moment of peace.

Kelli said...

You're one. smart. cookie.

Val said...

So true!
Sorry, I am a lurker...have never commented but this I HAD too!
We (Santa) bought the kids a trampoline...a small one with a net. They WANTED one so badly, as much as a 1 and 3 year old can!
Well, it now sits in the playroom, untouched for weeks now....the problem...I have to practically climb over it to get to the laundry room!
And the bedroom idea works! Just the other day, sent Daughter to her room for a nap, and there she was, completely enthralled with her horse stable that otherwise she ignores. Amazing.

LiteratureLover said...

Great Idea! You should send this in to Family Fun's Great Idea section--really.