Update October 2015

We've been living overseas since about the time this blog petered out. There are lots of funny Mo-and-Curly-abroad stories to share -- I'm exploring the best way to do that.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

How not to get help with clean-up time

We're all about 1-2-3 Magic. When he was just shy of 2-years-old, our son started banging his head on things in order to get his way - and that's when we had to get serious about discipline, even though it's completely against our nature. (A picture comes to my mind of my husband trying to rationalize with a month-old baby, "You've been fed, changed and have a mommy and daddy who love you. So you can stop crying now, OK?")

So with 1-2-3 Magic, you give the little trouble-maker two warnings, and if they don't shape up they go to time-out. With bigger offenses, like hitting or head-banging, they're banished to time out right away.

Well, we have great difficulty getting our older son to help clean up, though he's a prodigy at making messes. So my brilliant solution: If you don't help clean up, you have to sit in time out for as long as it takes me to clean up by myself.

He HATES time out in the normal course of life. But when it's a time out during clean-up time, he doesn't mind a bit. Doesn't squirm, doesn't complain. Doesn't constantly ask when he can get out. In fact, I think he enjoys sitting back and watching me clean up his messes. It's like, "Look, I've trained her to do all the work for me!"

So in the school of "what not to do," that's my thought of the day. (Many more to follow.)

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