Friday, February 25, 2011

2 Minute Tidy Up

As I've said before, we have a constant struggle with getting the kids to pick up their playroom. Getting the new shelving after Christmas truly did help and made cleanup much faster and easier. But, getting over the inertia to get them to actually start picking up is still hard sometimes.

Last week as Caroline and I sat in the waiting room for her very belated 7 year well child checkup (She's a square! 48 inches by 48 lbs!), we were reading Family Fun magazine together and we read an article that suggested doing very short bursts of clean up as opposed to an open ended (longer) one. Caroline seemed interested but she is usually better about picking up than Bryce.

So last night the playroom was in desperate need of picking up since Piper's SLP was coming today. I suggested that they clean up for a solid 2 minutes and then we'll see how they did. (The caveat was that if they started messing around, the timer reset.) I set the egg timer and they were off. It worked. They did a great job and were racing against the clock. I also told them that while they did the playroom, I was going to work on cleaning the computer desk that needed some adult attention. We worked and at the end of 2 minutes the playroom needed a little more help so they agreed to one more minute. At the end of that minute, the playroom wasn't perfect but I was going to hold up my end of the bargain and let them be done.

I was happy because it looked better. They were happy because they were done. And I was especially happy that the actual clean up wasn't preceded by an hour of crying and whining. So we'll see if this works the next time, but who can argue with only 2 or 3 minutes of cleanup?

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