I have officially declared January "Clean Up After Yourself Month" in my house. I like New Year's Resolutions and all but I often find a year too long a time frame for my goals. Instead this year I am going to do 12 goals, one each month. All the while I am going to try to maintain the good habits I have made from previous resolutions.
So January's goal is to teach my family to clean up after themselves. This is not easy. It is hard to teach something you are not really good at yourself. :) So we had a family council and talked about how this month we are going to ALL try to clean up after ourselves.
We all agreed that we want to live in a happy cheerful home and not a crying, whining, yelling home. So all of us are going to remind each other to pick up after ourselves in a cheerful way. We are simply going to say "So and so, remember, clean up after yourself month" and point out what has been left out.
If there is crying and whining in response the person crying or whining or refusing to clean up after him or herself gets a strike. Three strikes and you are out. Those who stay "in" get a family date at the end of the month. Those who get out will have to stay home with the meanest babysitter I can find.
I started us off by cleaning the main living areas today. And all day we have had no crying or whining when people have been reminded to pick up their shoes or backpacks or dishes. I have even heard some kids remind each other that it is clean up after yourself month. I love it. And right after dinner, in her most important sounding voice, Lauren "reminded" me of our goal and pointed to the dinner mess on the tables. I smiled and told her I would get on it as soon as people finished eating.
I really hope this month will improve my families tendency to take off a shirt and toss it wherever and leave shoes all over and leave dishes on the table.
I am not sure what next month's goal will be yet. I guess we will see how this month goes.