I kinda snapped today. Went a little crazy. And put away most of my daughters toys. I got buckets and bags and boxes and just put everything in. No rhyme or reason to it. No organization. I just couldn’t stand them on the floor anymore. And I can’t deal with the sassy attitude she has developed. So I put them all away in the basement and she has to earn them back.
Yes, I’ve bought her the majority of these toys. And yes she has gotten away with being sassy for too long. But no more. She needs to respect me and her things. In Target yesterday she was asking for a new toy and I told her she didn’t even take care of her current toys because they were a mess. She said “well that’s your job to clean them”. So I’m done cleaning her mess. She’s right. Every once in awhile, when I couldn’t stand it anymore, I would dump everything that wasn’t dumped and organize it all. It took a lot of time. And my husband told me I was crazy because it would last 5 minutes and it would be a mess again. For some reason I thought if I bought the fun shelf and buckets, she would keep all the ponies in one bucket and princesses in another. Yeah. Right.
On the train the other day, she was misbehaving. And the guy behind me started laughing and said “she does the opposite of what you say, doesn’t she?” and continued to laugh. So yeah. I’m done.
The new me is here. She will earn her toys slowly. I made 2 charts and I even laminated them. I spent a lot of time on these. She was actually pretty patient, waiting for the explanation. When I got home from work, she came to the door:
Belle: Where are my toys?
Me: I put them away
Belle: But I want them
Me: You have to earn them
Belle: What does that mean?
Me: You have to do good things to get them back. I’ll explain it all when I make your chart
Belle: But I want them now
Me: Tough luck
So we sat down to dinner and every few minutes she would ask for her toys. Then she told me I was the bestest mommy in the whole world and gave me a pouty lip. I had to move so she couldn’t see my smiling. I almost laughed. This kid is good! My husband was trying not to laugh too.
So after dinner he went to get on his bike and I told her I was going to make her chart, and to go play while I do and I would tell her when it was ready. She came over and told me she was going to watch. I told her she needed to not bother me. She said “I won’t talk. What are you doing? Are you done yet?” Then she sat quietly and watched me type. It was weird for her to sit next to me and not talk.
I don’t think she knew how to handle this.
I finished her charts and hung them on the fridge. She was excited to find out what she had to do to earn her toys back. When I was laminating, she was sitting across the table from me:
Belle: What do I have to do?
Me: I will tell you when it’s all done
Belle: Want to know what you have to do?
Belle: You have to clean strawberries and cups and eat gluten free food
So here is her chart on the fridge with all the tokens on it. I showed her this so she would know what it has to look like to get something back. I spent most of today trying to come up with how this would work and this is what I came up with. The Cleaning Chart has 10 boxes. She can earn a star for each day that her playroom is clean before bed. With the minimal amount of toys she has in there, this should not be hard to do. When she fills the card she gets 10 little toys. That may seem like a lot, but she plays with the tiniest toys imaginable. Squinkies, Polly Pockets and Teensies are her favorites. If she wants a baby doll, I can give her one for 5 stars maybe, since they are much bigger.
The Sassy Chart has the little girl on them. She can earn a girl for every day she does not go to time out for being sassy. The trade is the same, 10 tokens= 10 small toys.
Will this work? I don’t know. When I was explaining it to her, she was smirking at me.
She seemed to understand this, and quickly ran in to clean her play room. She asked me if she picked up two toys, if she got two stars. So I had to re-explain. Hopefully this will work. I can always change the amount as we go, make it less if it’s taking her too long and she is not seeing a reward. And then go up from there.
Do you think this will work? Is it something you would try? What has worked for your kids?
Oh, and P.S. while I was cleaning like crazy, I missed the chance to host a Bitty Baby House Party. Totally bummed!