Time Out for Toys
Time out for Toys
When my son was a young child he seemed to want to hang out with the wrong crowd. His toys all seemed to be of the sort that refused to put themselves away and were constantly getting in the way. They would sneak into places they didn’t belong, or lie in wait for the next human to pass by ready to lunge out and trip them up. Lego’s seemed to be the worse, always painfully underfoot or playfully being eaten by the vacuum cleaner.
To counter this wicked behavior, I choose to forgo spanking the offending toys, and instead started following the time-out method of correcting behavior. Most “pros” will tell you a time-out should be age appropriate with about 1 minute per year based on the child’s age. When it comes to toys, I have found that 1 day per offense works best.
I enlisted my son and assigned him the task of “teaching” his toys to return to the toy box and set up a one warning rule. All toys were given one warning to get to the toy box before the Mommy Cleaning machine would come through and scoop them all up for time out in the dreaded box on the top shelf of Mommy’s closet.
Billy turned out to be an excellent toy teacher and has gone on to “teach” gameboys, PSP’s, and even dishes and clothes to return to their proper place and avoid timeouts. And, I have learned that even the worst toys, can you say Legos, can be taught to become good members of a loving family.