I took the toys. All of them.

photo (21)

Saturday brought one too many whine.
One too many tears.
Way too many sour words.

So I took the toys.
All of them.

I let them keep the books.
Because I just can’t take away the books.

Stashed in the closet, they may have one back at a time.
If they can prove that they can handle one toy each, they can get another the next day.

I feel like the meanest.mom.ever.
But their behavior has been fantastic.

They spent hours playing outside yesterday.
I didn’t take those toys away.

And for their first toy to get back?
They all chose something they could share: Legos, the car track, the fairies.
And though I am still frustrated that I had to do it,
It makes my heart smile that they picked something to share.


7 Responses to I took the toys. All of them.
  1. designhermomma
    January 14, 2013 | 10:21 am

    This is actually brilliant. Although, something tells me I’m just too lazy to commit and follow through….

  2. Carrie
    January 14, 2013 | 10:30 am

    Maybe we need to try this. We are struggling with behavior, with meanness towards one another, with attitude and with the messes. I sometimes wonder if its us, that we need to be more diligent on certain things but somethings, I know its not. It’s them, learning and its a slow, slow process at times.

    You’re not a mean mama!

  3. Pops
    January 14, 2013 | 10:41 am

    Then you get a kid like your brother was and doesn’t care if you take most things away. The key is to find the one thing that they want to keep the most. His was his guitar. Once we found that he half way straightened up but then again you know he is a bit different as a musician…LOL.

    • Dianne
      January 14, 2013 | 11:54 am

      Aren’t we though!!

  4. PrincessJenn
    January 14, 2013 | 11:14 am

    I think this is brilliant. We give our kids such excess that they don’t know what to play with first.
    Maybe give them a max amount of toys and after that they can trade out the toys they’ve already earned for toys still in the closet when they’re bored of them. Less to clean up that way, too.

  5. Angela (Grandma)
    January 14, 2013 | 11:17 am

    Great idea. and sounds like it is working. (Even if I had thought to try that I probably would have not followed thru and caved in way too soon.)

  6. Jil
    January 14, 2013 | 8:45 pm

    What a good mom you are!! I think you handled this wonderfully! Kudos! It’s interesting that they chose toys to share. I think that says a lot. My husband used to take the toys he had to pick-up for the kids and put them in a box and they had to earn them back or pay to get them (When they were older). It worked and they learned that they needed to take care of their toys. I guess when you really care you do something to change the behavior. So way to go!