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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lesson Learned OR Meanest Mom Award?

My Princess and my Buddy changing their sheets

I am the kind of mom who makes her kids help around the house. They're expected to put their dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher. They're expected to put their clothes in the laundry room. And they are expected to clean their toys up each night before they go to bed.

Not to much to ask, if you ask me. But one night, my two big kids just couldn't get their act together. They had been trying to clean for at least 30 minutes, so I told them, "You have until I clean this kitchen to put your toys away, or they're being thrown in the trash!"

Oswald gave me the stink eye, like "did you really just say that because now you have to follow through with your threat."

I began cleaning the kitchen. There were dishes everywhere and the dishwasher needed to be emptied before dirty ones could be added. My Buddy and Princess had plenty of time, plus I always give them a warning.

"This is my last dish." I called as I finished scrubbing the last pot. I went slowly, but they didn't seem to care.
I opened the cupboard door that holds the trash bags, "I'm getting a bag." I slammed the door closed and opened the plastic garbage bag as loudly as I could.

Still my kids did not clean up their toys, so I marched my mean self into their room and began putting toys in the bag.

Instantly, my Buddy's eyes filled up with tears. My Princess was beside herself as her new Barbie was put in the bag. Transformers were "thrown away" and so were stuffed animals. Oswald kept giving me looks like I was the meanest Mom he had ever seen, but I was tired of these kids not listening to me! 

I picked up so many toys I filled an entire garbage bag! The kids showered while crying and begged me to give them their toys back. By the time they had gotten out of the shower, I had discussed with them why their toys were in the garbage bag. I let them have them back and told them the next time they were gone for good!

So did I teach my kids a lesson or just win the Meanest Mom Award?


  1. we've had to do that before--but the toys stayed gone for a good long time and the kids never noticed. Can you believe it? I never said a word to them about taking them (after the warnings). Just went in and cleaned myself. Taught ME the real lesson--we had too many toys. :) And kids really can be happy with what they already have. lol
    Hope it works for you--and the lesson works on them! :)

  2. I think you got their attention! You are their mother/teacher not their friend so you have to teach hard lessons. When you follow thru they will learn to respect what you say and they will follow thru. In order to truly love you have to respect. Did you show them you love them after their chastisement? Of course. So I think you get a big gold star today. I think Rachel made an excellent point about too many toys. Maybe you can help them do their job of picking up toys by weeding out and storing toys they arent playing with. Bravo Jennie! I love you. PS Tell Kevin to get on board and support the Mommie train!

  3. I think you did good! Just wait until you actually make them march that bag out to the dumpster themselves! Then you're the meanest mom in the world!

    (Then later it's retrieved by mom and put away until they forget about it and just slowly merged back into the toys.)

  4. I've done that too. The offending toys were sorted, some being thrown out and others stored. They may get upset at first, but the next day they've found the toys that were put away correctly and enjoyed those until the stored toys were brought out. I've even found a bag of toys that was so not missed I donated it without them EVER remembering. What I learned from the first time I used that threat, was to not say I was going to throw them out. I send them to the attic - they're out of sight and if not remembered, donated.


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