Welcome to the Friday Club Carnival, a weekly carnival held here. This week’s Carnival is all about parenting tips and you’ll find links to other fab parenting tips at the end of this post.
My parenting tip this week is a simple one but one we use every day.
For me, the most depressing bit of domestic chaos is the carpet of toys that is always present. By the children’s bedtime, I want our living room to be tidy so that Matthew and I can enjoy our evening in a grown-up room which doesn’t look like it has been the victim of a nuclear-bomb-inspired toy explosion. The rest of the house can do what it wants (except maybe when I go up to bed, exhausted after a long day, and find someone has been having a very convoluted game of Lego in our bed, using all the smallest bits of Lego know to man) but the living room needs to be tidy, for my own sanity.
So for half an hour before suppertime the children get ‘golden time’ (named after the same privilege at school). During that half hour they can do whatever they want which generally means watch a DVD, play on the computer or play the Wii/DS – things they are not normally allowed to do during the day. Before they get to do it though they have to do their homework and tidy up all their toys.
It’s amazing how quickly and effectively the house can be tidied doing this. I have to supervise closely otherwise I find the seven year old, wise to our little deal, pushing toys under the coffee table with his foot to ‘tidy up’. I do a quick walk-through their rooms and the sitting room and if the worst of the mess has been tidied up, they are good to go.
So by suppertime I have a tidy house and four quiet, occupied children while I cook (bar a bit of fighting over anything they have to share).
If they behave well during the day they can gain five minutes of playtime. If they do something naughty (hitting, kicking and so on) they lose five minutes of playtime.
The children do have to do chores around the house at other times and these are not linked to this play time, they have to do those chores for the good of our community, but for the quick daily clean-up we find this works really well for all of us and I can get their meal cooked in peace. I now burn fewer things because I don’t keep getting called away to deal with the latest crisis de jour. And I sometimes get a moment or two on Twitter while there is a little lull in proceedings
Here are the other entries in this parenting tips carnival:
Chris at Thinly Spread gives us her Secret to Relaxed Parenting. Nova at Cherished by Me shares her tips in Encouraging Children to Read. Maggy at Red Ted Art shows us how Baby Can Draw!. Gemma at HelloitsGemma’s Blog gives us her working mum tips in This working Mummy’s guide to life. Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family shows us how she teaches in America Day. Mummy Beadzoid gives us some Parenting tips for the NICU/SCBU parent. Helen at Cheeky Wipes gives us her tips in Fussy Eating. Kelly at Domestic Goddesque shares her advice in Terrible Twos: tips for dealing with tantrums? Blue Sky at Looking for Blue Sky gives us some teenage tips. Merry at Patch of Puddles shares her parenting tips in If you are right, you are almost certainly wrong. Tiddlyompompom shares her weaning tips in her oh so helpful guide to weaning. Mymumdom shares her tips in Parenting Tips (Me Over The Edge). SouthoftheRiverMum tells us her plans to set up a Reward System at Home. Not so single mum at Diary of a Not So Single Mum shares her advice on doing what you feel is best for your child and your family. Jax at Making It Up discusses behavioural issues in a quandary in search of a tip. Bod for Tea shares her advice on finding a ‘helper’ in Bunny says. Hayley at Simply Hayley tells us about Hugs and Love. Make Do Mum shares her stickability scale in Know Your Enemy.
What’s your favourite parenting tip?
Top photo adapted with thanks from: oh sk