Tag Archives: child

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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Time and Energy Limits: Do you have time to play with your child?


In The Power of Parent-Child Play, I focus on how barriers to play can be broken into four different categories: time and energy limits, uncertainty about behavior or activities, lack of motivation, and family stress.

As we start this discussion, consider time and energy barriers. Do any of the following get in your way at the present time?  Which have presented real struggles for  you in the past?

  • Hectic work schedules and demands (working at home or outside employment)
  • Caring for your home and your family’s basic needs
  • High-need children (including colicky babies, or children with special needs)
  • A new baby
  • A busy toddler or preschooler
  • Volunteer activities
  • Illness or injury in extended family
  • Child related activities

Many of these busy activities are good and/or necessary. But do any of them interfere in some way with parent-child play and the intimacy it can bring?

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Appreciation is Like a Boomerang


A child who knows how it feels to be appreciated is more likely to encourage others.

I saw my daughter Elisa, back when she was a first grader, put this into action. As she sat quietly in the church pew next to me, she spontaneously scribbled a note to our pastor, telling him she loved his “speeches” (especially the stories he wove into his sermons). After the worship service, she insisted on taking her note to him.

Later I wondered: Did any of the other thousand people attending that service—or any of the five thousand there that weekend—think to encourage him that day? I also wondered: How many of the people who clamored around Jesus, as he told his clever parables, thought to tell him, “We love your speeches!”

If  any did, they might well have been children. To this day, children respond to Jesus’ stories. Even a small child grasps the importance of the shepherd who rejoiced at finding his lost sheep.

I also wonder if Jesus found it rejuvenating to hold precious, smiling, loose-toothed children, bursting with eager questions, open hearts, and funny mispronunciations?

On one occasion, His disciples attempted to shoo some children away, seeming to think they should be seen and not heard in the Master’s presence. Jesus, instead, welcomed them into His open arms. He taught the grown-ups that they needed to become more like those children.

As Christ revealed His love for children, those little boys and girls must have responded with eager affection, which I imagined in turn warmed Jesus’ heart.

My daughter Elisa’s encouraging words to our pastor came from deep within her, without prompting. She and her siblings have written countless words of affirmation to me. Many I have saved to reread when I need a boost! Their words have been much like those my children have heard since birth from each other, Mom and Dad, and others.

Appreciation is like a boomerang. Delight in your children, and it will eventually circle around back to you.


Laurie Winslow Sargent


From: Ch. 1: Delighted or Disillusioned, in Delight in Your Child’s Design.