Most of you know I have a 5-year-old son who somewhat shares my love of organizing. For example, last week during Fun Friday time in kindergarten, he made an organizer for all of his outdoor treasures out of a Nordstrom box, several smaller boxes and enough masking tape to make it look like a shrine to tape . But he still needs help and, ahem, enticement to clean up his playroom.
So here’s what not to do. Don’t look at his gigantic bag of Halloween candy on the counter and feel inspired to tell him he can have one piece of candy for every 5 toys he picks up. Because you might be eyeing all of the big toys on the floors he needs to pick up, but your 5-year-old will count every crayon, every piece of Monopoly money and every Lego as one toy. And you will find yourself handing out over a dozen mini chocolate bars an hour before dinner, because hey, you parent consistently and it’s important to teach your kids about fairness, right?
For the next week, your 5-year-old will work his new-found leverage point and refuse to clean up his space unless he gets paid in candy.
Sometimes I come up with great ideas for getting kids to pick up their toys. But that was not one of them.
Image courtesy of Rochelle, just Rochelle at Flickr.