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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

One of the perks of being the queen of this castle is the ability to declare war as necessary. Today, I declared war on the messes that the boys have been leaving. Last night after they’d gone to bed I spent a half-hour picking up enough stuff just to walk safely through the house without stepping on something. I was very annoyed.

I was also quite annoyed about the stuff all over the place that I had asked them to put away….yet it was still sitting there. Oh! The beginnings of this war declaration are over on my post at GNMParents (now ForeverParenting). Today’s activity was the follow-up. Are you ready to hear what I did to them? It’s breathtaking.

I told them that until the house was super-clean (and they know exactly what I mean when I say that) there would be no screens for them. Not TV. Not computers. Not Nintendo DS. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. They were more than welcome to leave the mess, but there would be no screens until the cleaning was done.

Oh. My. Goodness. They were not pleased. I helped with the cleaning after lessons were done, and the little guys had about a half hour to play on the computer before bedtime. The older boys will have to try again tomorrow because there’s still a bunch of stuff shoved under the beds that they thought I wouldn’t be able to see.

I think they’re banking on me backing down with this one soon, because I’ve caved in the past.

They’re seriously underestimating how much I hate the messes.

And. There’s a bonus: I get to approach this from a Love and Logic standpoint from now on. I did announce the new rule in a bit of an irritated tone this morning, but all I have to do now is cheerfully remind them of the expectations and enforce them as necessary. If they’d just put things away every now and then throughout the day, it wouldn’t be any kind of work at all to keep the house under control.

So that’s it. War. And I’m serious about it. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the boys understand my intentions. I’m betting they don’t.

But they will.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who like a clean house.

Image courtesy of theogeo via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.