Thursday, May 24, 2012


The thing I dread the most in the summer is the fighting between my children that occurs as we are sequestered inside our Arizona home hiding out from the heat.  Maybe your children are perfect and never argue or fight, but my kids have a problem with this during the summer.  Last summer I developed a new personal family motto:  IF YOU HAVE TIME TO FIGHT, YOU HAVE TIME TO CLEAN.  I call it inspiration in the midst of desperation.  My If You Have Time To Fight Clean plan worked so well for me last summer that I have decided to share it in hopes that it helps another mother who is fed up with fighting. 
I've been asking the kids who is going to fight first because the van REALLY needs cleaned out.  My house was really clean last summer until the kids decided it really wasn't worth fighting.
So, here is the list which hangs both upstairs and downstairs for easy access.  The kids know the plan and that mom and dad are the ones who get to pick the consequence for both offenders whenever they fight.  You can change the list to meet your families needs.

If You Have Time To Fight, You Have Time To Clean List

1. Clean out the van. Throw away all the trash in doors. Bring in any loose papers on the floor to mom. Any loose items or toys also need to come inside the house.

2. Vacuum the van- floors and seats. One of you does the driver and passenger side and the middle row. The other vacuums the back row and back storage area.

3. Pick all the toys in the house. Flip a coin to see who cleans upstairs and who does downstairs.

4. Scrub time. Each of you gets to wash the floor of one bathroom or the laundry room (mom's choice) on your hands and knees with a bucket of soap water and a rag.

5. Grab your gardening gloves. Each of you gets to pull 15 weeds from the front or back yard. Use hand shovel to dig out if necessary.

6. Dust all the blinds in the house or dust the furniture (mom's choice). One will do upstairs and the other will do downstairs.

7. Each of you will take turns vacuuming two rooms of mom's choice.

8. Broom work. One of you will sweep the kitchen, dining, living room, and walk ways downstairs. The other will sweep all the bathrooms and laundry room.

For arguing offenses of lesser manor:
1. Each of you read 3 books of Emma's choice to Emma.
2. Time out in your rooms with only a book for 20 minutes.
3. Extra 15 minutes of practicing an instrument or piano.

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