I needed my 2.5 yr old daughter to pick up her toys.
She ignored me so I said “I only read stories to girls who pick up their toys.”
She still didn’t do it and got distracted putting on dress up gloves.
I thought I’d give her another opportunity and said “I have pumpkin bread for kids who pick up their toys,” and she still didn’t pick up toys.
So I was really really sad for her when the rest of the family sat down for our pumpkin bread without her. She was crying and I held her empathetically. When it came time to get her ready for bed, we kept our regular routine, I gave her a back rub and cuddled, but no stories.
The next morning she woke up and said “I’ll pick up my toys, mommy.”
Following through with a consequence and letting our beloved children be uncomfortable is painful for us parents, but it is worth it in the long run as we raise kids who are responsible.
Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents
As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.