parenting, Responsibility and Self-Reliance, Toys and Play

7 Ways to Get Your Child to Clean His Room: What Supernanny forgot to tell the Phelps

Wondering how to get your child to clean his room? Here are a few tips Supernanny forgot, at least in this one episode.

On ABC’s Supernanny episode with the Phelps family (Season 6: Episode 3) plenty made me cringe. However, one scene stuck in my head for days.

In that scene, the mom repeatedly asked her child to clean up his toys. In a video shot of the floor, it looked as if every toy he owned covered it. Most moms can identify with that: Lego® blocks, mixed with action figures, mixed with who-knows-what. Aaack!

When the boy didn’t comply, Mom became enraged. Yelling and spanking didn’t work. Supernanny Jo’s suggestions, including the infamous Time Out (until the boy agreed to pick up his toys), plus anger management for Mom, helped some. Indeed, Mom had to handle her anger differently. (See Kathy Collard Miller for inspiration for Christian moms with anger issues.)  And I’m all for time-outs, although effectiveness varies according to personalities.

Yet critically missing from Supernanny’s advice were tips on how to prevent the problem in the first place.

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Responsibility and Self-Reliance

How to Teach Your Teen Money Management, Using a Clothes Budget

Photo by mconnors

One of the most effective ways my three “kids”  (now ages 25, 20 and 14) have learned to manage their own money has been through the use of clothes budgets.

What is a “clothes budget”?  I’m referring to an exact dollar amount a teen gets per year for ALL items of clothing, including shoes, socks, swimsuit, underwear, coat . . . you name it.  When they spend it, it’s gone. Finis.

If a teen wants more clothing than her budget allows for, she can pay for that with her own hard-earned money or gift money she’s saved. If your son blows all his money on designer pants, then needs a coat, he can ask for one for Christmas. (Yes, I’m hard-nosed, but my two grown kids are now wise shoppers!) Sticking to your guns is the ONLY way a clothes budget will work.

What dollar amount is reasonable?

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