Truth be told, from the second I saw this idea online, I’d been waiting to use it.
But it meant that one of my kids was going to have to get in trouble. Which seems like a bad thing to be anticipating, but I was anxious to put it into action.
This genius mom came up with this simple premise: when you tell your kids to put something away, and they leave it lying around, you take it hostage and demand ransom in the form of doing a chore, which will pay the ransom and allow them to have their item back.
I am so. sick. of telling the boys to put something away, only to find it there later.
The mom in the original had a long list of chores and many more fun/”get out of jail free” type slips to pull than I do. Here’s the list I’m using, many of which were taken from her suggestions:
Clean out van, including vacuuming
Pick up gumballs in the yard for 10 minutes
Clean a sibling’s room
Clean 2 bathroom mirrors while singing any song.
Clean both upstairs bathroom countertops
Give mom and dad a hug and say, “I will never leave my stuff out again.”
Empty all garbage cans
Fold laundry for 10 minutes
Clean out your junk basket in your closet
Tell your brothers 3 things you love about them.
Write 50 times “I will not leave my things out.”
Do 25 jumping jacks while singing, “I am a cleaning machine.”
Run around the house for 2 minutes and see how many things you can pick up and put away.
Draw a picture of you picking up things and your mom and dad smiling BIG!
While hopping on one foot, wipe off the kitchen counters
Scrub your toilet
Clean the bottom of the chairs in the kitchen
These are just cut into strips and stuck in an envelope. The offender has to pull a strip and do the job before getting their things back.
I had to put this idea on hold when the boys were sick a while ago, and then I forgot about it, but just yesterday I remembered and decided to put it into action.
And wouldn’t you know it, Luke left his assignment notebook (kind of a necessity) on the counter after I asked him to put it away. So right now, he’s outside vacuuming out the van.
Obviously, I hope this helps the kids learn a lesson in responsibility. But in the meantime, I will enjoy the benefits that I reap from this little project.