Posted by: Dad...Guess What?! | July 26, 2011

Life really is a game

So, almost everyday I’m yelling at my kids to clean up their toys…EVERYDAY!  It takes them, sometime, about 30 minutes to do the job even after time outs, removals of their favorite toys, and other disciplinary actions.  It is totally crazy…and exhausting.  However, something told me other day to take a step back and look at their demeanor.  It seemed that the constant scolding was starting to take it a toll.  This wasn’t good at all.

As a parent, I have to think I do have some level of control to make a change, positive or negative.  In this case, I had to dig deep within myself to try the positive route.  Like any other day their room was a mess, toys everywhere.  Rather than scolding them, again, I made it into a game.  My boys are competitive with each other so I went with that and asked, “Who wants to be number 1?”  Oh boy, I got a reaction.  “Me! Me! Me!”  So I ran with it.  “Who ever cleans up the fastest will be number 1!”  Within minutes, the room was clean.  I was amazed!  My oldest asked, “Am I number 1?”  And responded with “Both of you did a great job cleaning up!”  and gave a round of high-fives.  But I didn’t want to stop there.  I then said, “The first one in the shower will be the winner!”  Wow, they MOVED!  I started to fear that they would start fighting but it never happened.  In fact, the room got cleaned, the boys were in the shower, and I didn’t scold anyone.  Win win win!

I learned something about myself but the trick is to be consistent.  Everyday is an opportunity and I just have to make the right move, a positive one.

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