As a rule, I don't make rules for my kids. Rules are meant to be broken, and broken rules require punishment. As much as I don't like rules, I like punishment even less.
This weekend, however, I laid down a new law that solved two parenting issues I've been having and has a built-in consequence - no punishment required.
Issue #1: My kids spend more time on the computer than I'd like them to.
Issue #2: My kids' rooms are messy.
Rule: No computer time unless your room is clean.
Sunday morning Aidan asked if he could go on the computer. My answer was easy: "Is your room clean?"
So he went and cleaned his room.
When Avery asked if she could go on the computer I asked her the same question. She said, "Never mind, I'll do something else." Fine by me.
But this morning she hatched a plan of her own. "Mom, if I clean the bathroom instead of my room, can I go on the computer?"
To be quite honest, I'd rather clean her room than the bathroom, so my answer was easy.
Aw, the sweet sound of someone else cleaning the bathroom while I sit down with a cup of coffee and my knitting. Rules rock, especially when you bend them.