Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mommy Money and Daddy Dollars

There are benefits to cleaning your children's room for them. For instance, you know that it is clean, versus it just looking clean. And you get a chance to do inventory on just what is stored in that bedroom! I am still looking forward to that day when the kids are old enough to do a good enough job on their own. It still may be a few more years away for me.

Eric and Cassie share a bedroom, but they rarely actually use it. Because in the past what happens is they totally destroy it by throwing their clothes, stuffed animals, toys, etc. all over the place so that eventually I just close the door and put up a "do not disturb, danger zone" sign. Well, maybe not a real sign, but it definitely becomes an "enter at your own risk" zone.

About two months ago I did a thorough cleaning of their room and got things organized for them. That cleaning lasted about a week before it was once again a "do not cross the yellow safety line" area. Mostly this was a result of our cats. We had a cat, Nobby, who broke his hip and consequently had to be kept inside for 6 weeks to heal. And that necessitated having a litter box. I do not like cat litter boxes. Once you allow a cat to do his duty in the house, then it become s a habit that is hard to break once you get rid of the litter box. We believe that there is enough dirt in the great outdoors that we don't have to have box in the house for this duty. Anyway, we had to have the box. Well, unfortunately it is hard to explain to the other 11 cats in the house that this box is just for Nobby to use. As a result, it was becoming filled way too fast. And someone had the brilliant idea of putting the litter box in the little kids' room! Big mistake. Because this room is already the disaster zone it wasn't long before the litter box became the entire bedroom. I know you are all shaking your heads at me know as I confess at just how lousy a housekeeper I am. But I do work outside the home 6 days a week and to spend my one day of rest just doesn't happen.

Finally though something has to give. My husband and I have no privacy as the kids end up sleeping in our room half the time, or on the living room couches as their room is just "too stinky mom! " The conclusion was for me to take a day off work and clean their room. So that is what happened on Friday.

It's now been two days and they are doing a pretty good job of keeping it clean. To help them out they came up with a system that they think will motivate them.

Cassie brought me a baggie full of monopoly money and said, "Should we call this Mommy Money or Daddy dollars?" Their idea is that when they do a good deed or a job for me or dad, that they will be rewarded with money from this bag that they can collect and trade in for real money to buy things they want. Good idea (and not entirely original as they got the idea from Diary of a Whimpy Kid).

Now the challenge will be for me and my hubby to implement the idea. It is easy for the kids to come up with plans of action to help motivate them, but it is harder for me to follow through. If they can keep their room reasonably clean, maybe I can dole out the cash. It will remain to be seen.

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