Posted by Sarah Mutscheller on 24th Sep 2016
It all started with a trip to the dollar store to pick up some goods for my PTA responsibilities. My little bit was with me and she wanted some play doh (and by play doh, I mean the knock off version of play doh that comes with 8 different colors and is only a dollar!) I was sold. Play doh, 8 colors, $1 dollar. Sign me up. It would be a great afternoon activity for her and it wasn't an electronic device. Win-win! I couldn't even sense the foreshadowing of the disaster this was going to become.
We got home. We played. We enjoyed play doh. It was awesome. (Please note that when I say we played with play doh, what I really mean is that Kate played with the play doh while I sat at the table with her and watched her play with play doh. And it wasn't because I didn't want to play with the play doh. I wanted to play with it. Who doesn't love play doh!? It is squishy wonderful goodness. So I would beg her to let me enjoy the play doh too. But she was the play doh czar. I wasn't allowed to have any. She just wanted me there to see her play doh accomplishments. I would try to steal some and she would get mad. It was ugly and it ended with me being given a small distribution of play doh to manage.)
Fast forward a few hours later, the play doh is left on the kitchen table in all its glory to harden. We go pick up my son at school. The play doh continues to stay on the kitchen table because I'm a cool mom that wants to keep out creative "Imagination Starters" around my house that allow my children to fill their bucket and discover their inner artist. (See what a good mom I am?) I'm down, I'm chill. Let that mess sit there. I'm so awesome.
Then comes dinner time. Time to clear the table for dinner. Okay kiddos, come clean up the mess that I allowed you to leave out all day cause I am so great. My older child goes and cleans up his part. My younger, the play doh czar, begins to fall apart as if I have asked her to saw off her own toe. I give her five minutes and ask one more time. Nope, she isn't budging. I would like to mention that at this time, I wanted to yell, scream and have a fit to make her go clean up, but I didn't. I happily continued to cook dinner. Then just a few minutes later, I walked over to the play doh, picked it all up and threw it in the trash. Because baby, "if you won't clean it up, I will"
(INSERT CHILD'S SHREEK HERE)
Between tears this is what I caught "I only got to play with it once, not my play doh, scream, cry" She was also on the floor melting as if that toe had been cut off. I was happily stirring dinner over the stove. And I would like to report that this tantrum ended about 5 minutes later (I did not engage with it once!) and then she was an ANGEL the rest of the night.
So what did we learn here:
Empty threats are worthless.
Kids need to know you mean business.
I didn't have to yell once.
What do you think? Could you throw away your kid's play doh? Did it help that is was only a dollar, yes, yes, it did. Have you ever thrown away something of your kids? Share here!
Okay, I know we are all guilty of this. But I use electronic devices as a babysitter for my kids. And if you don't, good of you. I am just trying to keep it real here and confess my parenting fails...and they start with screen time. They end with screen time. It is the one [...]