Love and Logic: Getting Your Kid to Clean Up

Love and Logic

Getting Your Kid to Clean Up


Some months ago Maisy made a habit of saying “no” every time it was time to clean up.  I would count to three and she still would say “no.”  So I’d put her in time out.  For weeks.  And for weeks, while she was in time out, all the other kids cleaned up.  That didn’t sit right.  So I started doing some research and came up with this, and it worked!  Granted, I did fill two laundry baskets of toys before she understood that her “no” was losing her all her favorite toys.

At lunch time she said no.  Toys went into a laundry basket and into time out.

Before bed she said no.  Toys went into another laundry basket and into time out.

The next day before lunch I counted to two and she said “yes mommy” and got to work on the mess.  After she finished cleaning up all the toys I gave back all the time out toys and we celebrated!

Now all I usually have to do is ask.  Sometimes I have to start counting.  And then random days like today, I have to pull out the laundry basket again.  But I’ve only had to pull out a laundry basket a handful of times in the last 9 months since I started this.  Yes, that means Maisy has cleaned up all her toys all by herself for the last 9 months!  At least, so long as I remember to ask her to clean them up before she goes to bed.

I don’t require my kids and day care kids to clean up their own toys to be lazy.  No, my goal is to teach the kids responsibly and how to respect the space they play in.

You can do this too!

  1. She says no or does anything other than start cleaning up.
  2. Count 1… 2… 3…
  3. If you get to three, silently go get a laundry basket and start quietly putting all the toys in the basket.  If your kid asks what you’re doing you say, “this is so sad but because you chose not to clean up your toys now mommy has to put them in time out.”
  4. Set the basket on a shelf or surface within plain sight, but out of reach.  A basket with holes is more effective for this consequence because then your kid can easily see the toys they’ve lost.
  5. You choose when your kid may or may not be worthy to get the toys back.  Maybe the punishment is a whole day.  Or maybe you wait until the next time it’s time to clean up.  If your kid cleans up, awesome!  Give the other toys back too and celebrate with your kid.  If not, silently pick up the latest batch of toys by yourself and add them to the time out hamper.  Your kid may start to run out of toys before they understand what’s going on and you may have to use more than one hamper for the toys if she takes a long time to learn.  But it’s worth it!

Good luck!  And feel free to comment below with any questions, concerns, or even tactics of your own that have worked well 🙂


A Letter to Maisy: Feeding the Dog




Dear Maisy,

Several weeks ago I unknowingly handed over the feeding the dog responsibility.  One morning, just like all the others, you were following me around from room to room as I got ready to the sound of your endless (and repetitive) question asking.  Each morning I’d cycle through my options by answering each and every question as they came, ignoring you briefly to see if you realized you already knew the answer, redirecting by trying to make toys or crafts sound more appealing, asking you oh-so-nicely to please stop asking me questions and do anything else, lecturing you about how big girls entertain themselves and sometimes finally getting so fed up that I’d ultimately end up yelling at you to please do anything else but continue your attack of questions.  This particular morning my tactic changed.  As your steady stream of gibber gabber attacked my ears, I spotted the hungry dog before my eyes.

Me, in that over-exaggeratedly, beyond excited parent tone, “Maisy, I have a great idea, do you want to feed Haley?”


And I struck gold!  I have fed Haley maybe 3 times in the last 6 weeks!  You are all over it and loving the responsibility!

I’m also very proud of you.  What a big girl thing to do and you’ve taken so much ownership of it.  You fill her dish with the proper portions at breakfast and dinner (and they are different), you stand, tell Haley to stay, then say “ok” just the way I taught you.  I love that this small task not only relieves me from answering questions for a breath but that it has created a special bond between you and Haley and that you are saving me the trouble of the task.  In fact, you are such a reliable dog caretaker that I don’t even think about feeding Haley anymore.

I love you Maisy, you’re awesome.



GUEST POST: Top 7 Wedding Photography Mistakes to Avoid


Top 7 Wedding Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Anticipating one of your first weddings as a professional photographer? Intimidated by all the moving parts, the number of important people, or the fact that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event that you don’t get to do-over?

Good! A healthy respect for the responsibility required when shooting weddings – and more than a little of our great advice about what to avoid – will keep you on track and help you deliver stunning images to happy clients.

These are our top 7 wedding photography mistakes to avoid:

1. Going without a contract

Contracts exist to protect both parties, not just clients. Spell everything out – most trouble starts in the gray areas, so leave as few of them as you possibly can.

2. Lack of preparation

Weddings have a ton of moving parts. You have to be everywhere, shoot everything, do it well, store, edit and deliver the images, and all while working within the confines of (and at the mercy of) a timeline that is meant to keep everything and everyone on track. Since cloning is still out of the question, it’s critical that you prepare for each and every one of these roles in advance.

Which leads to common photography mistake #3…

3. Not thoroughly meeting with your client in advance

While it takes a big investment in time, you do need to meet with your client multiple times prior to a wedding. The sales meeting is just the beginning. An engagement session allows you to get to know the couple, and set them at ease, making their expressions more natural and thus way better looking. And a timeline meeting helps pace the day.

4. Not keeping client expectations in check

When you do meet with your couple in advance, listen for red flags – things that no photographer can reasonably deliver. If timing, weather conditions, or sheer bitter reality will stand in the way of what you know they are expecting, communicate. It’s the only way to avoid soul-crushing disappointment (yours or theirs) in the long run.

5. Disregarding or forgetting important people notes

During your meeting about the timeline, if not before, you must gather information about the people involved in the wedding. Noting sensitive relationships like divorces or estranged family members is critical to avoiding embarrassing moments and helping everything progress smoothly.

6. Missing the must-have shots

Don’t be the photographer who forgets to shoot the bridal gown! We know – things get CRAZY on a wedding day. If your client has gone to the trouble to specifically ask for a shot, though, it’s important to him or her and you need to remember to take it. If you have concerns regarding timing, or the appropriateness of a photo, address it in advance – don’t put yourself in the position of having to apologize for something that cannot be recreated or fixed.

7. Not avoiding avoidable equipment failure

Check all equipment in advance. Bring the necessary lenses and at least two cameras per shooter, and Back. Up. Frequently.

Thankfully, the most common wedding photography mistakes ARE avoidable. What will you do differently now that you know what they are?


Copyright: ivashstudio / 123RF Stock Photo

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

A Letter to Maisy: First Memories


Dear Maisy,

Now that you’re 3 I’ve become acutely aware that you’ll be storing some of your short term memories into your long term bank.  I tend to be fearful that the memories you are keeping are those of the moments of discipline or the moments I lose it.  Some days I feel like all I do is discipline you. While I pray you don’t remember those bad moments I am still consumed by the dread of that fear becoming a reality.

Truth is, the majority of our days, especially the better ones, are full of so much love.  Laughter, snuggles, games, and playing fill our days.  Even if the rest of the day is rough sailing, I have special times built in to the routine of our day like chatting over breakfast, story time before nap, and story time and snuggles before bed to ensure I’m filling your love bank daily.  On occasion I even like to take it a step further and treat you to a date, or ice cream, or a new park, or the splash park or some other fun new thing.

Maisy, I’m crazy about you.  Often that crazy is painted rosy, other times it’s painted stormy, but all times it’s overflowing with love.

Love always,


A Letter to Maisy: You’re 3!

My sweet little princess,

I really can’t believe my baby girl is already 3.

We had a hard road, the two of us, for the first couple of years.  I endured 820 interrupted nights and every other sleep battle imaginable during that time, dozens of hellish tantrums, and months of potty accidents everywhere.  But I can say wholeheartedly that we are now so peaceful and in sync with each other that life with you is nearly always only ever sunny, full, and joyful.

You are my best friend, side kick, and muse.  I’m so proud that there is so much of you that is like your daddy.  You help me fall in love with him in new ways all over again.

You constantly put others first and I love that your heart overflows with compassion and grace.  There have been times when I’m sad and you simply come over just to hold me.  I’ve cried on your shoulder.  How many moms can say that they’ve cried on the shoulder of their 2 year old like that? You forgive as quickly as your daddy and so completely.  Also like you’re daddy, you sing everything you’re doing.  You have the sweetest voice.

All you want to do all day every day is do anything and everything with your people.  In the mornings while I’m getting ready for the day this often looks like you following me around asking me endless streams of questions and asking me to play with you.  The rest of the day you intermittently request I play with you but for the most part are completely content occupying yourself so long as you’re in the same space I am.

My very favorite time of day with you is bedtime when we snuggle up, read two books, then lay down and pray together.  I’m so honored that you still request that it’s Mommy who does the bulk of the bedtime things with you.  It’s getting rarer the older you get but I still so long for and thoroughly cherish the times you are tired enough to stop talking and to snuggle in forehead to forehead with arms wrapped around each other.  You are such a big girl, you now sleep in the top bunk and you are so proud of that milestone.

I love you with all of my heart,