What is "it" exactly?
Allow me to explain...
In our house
- Shock & Denial- Holy cow! How did the entire upstairs get so bad in such a short amount of time?! Oh well, I'm sure if we ask them nicely, they will pick it up before it gets completely out of control, right? WRONG!
- Pain & Guilt- OUCH! Dang Legos! That's it, they are cleaning this up tonight! I totally should have made them clean it up yesterday, so it's really MY fault that I punctured my foot...
- Anger & Bargaining- You are grounded from T.V. until the entire upstairs is clean! I mean it! If you want to have dinner tonight, you will clean your rooms! Okay, maybe that's too harsh. How about, if you guys get the whole upstairs clean, then we can have a family movie night, or go to Six Flags? That sounds fair, right?
- Depression, Reflection, & Loneliness- I'm so tired of living in filth! Maybe they do it because I don't pay enough attention to them. I'll try anything! I feel like I'm trying to rebuild after a flood, all by myself! Can't somebody help me?!
- The Upward Turn- What?! You cleaned your rooms?! Finally! Oh they look wonderful! Wait...did you just shove everything in your closet/under your bed?! That, my dears, is NOT cleaning!
- Reconstruction & Working Through- Perhaps, if I set the example by getting my areas of the house spick and span, they will follow suite. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Then, I'll help them, by breaking down their rooms into "zones". They can start by picking up books. Then, stuffed animals. Then, dirty clothes. I'm sure that will work...
- Acceptance & Hope- Alright, Roon. It's gotten really bad up there. I don't even want to put their laundry away, because I feel like I'm risking my life to walk into their rooms. I'm pretty sure that they are to the point of overwhelmed. I guess it's up to us, now. On Saturday, we will go in there, and clean it up. We'll get things organized, and then all they have to do is maintain it. This totally seems manageable now!
We decided to offer an 8th step in the stages of cleaning... COMPLIANCE.
Their eyes were big as saucers, and Boo began to cry as they watched all their newly re-organized boxes, buckets, and storage containers being relocated to the attic.
Their rooms have been stripped down to the bare essentials. Beds, clothes, their favorite blankets/stuffed animals, and one or two toys. That's it. Their T.V. has been unplugged. Their computer games have been stored. Even their DVD's have been put up until further notice.
My kids are being thrown cold turkey into a world free of "privelege" and full of "necessity". Let's hope they learn to appreciate and respect what they have...and fast. I think Boo is starting to go through Dora withdrawals...