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Getting the family to tidy up without nagging

2 min read: Samantha was getting more and more frustrated with her husband and two children constantly leaving their clothes lying in every room in the house. In fact, wherever they took off an item of clothing, that would be the place that it was discarded.

She was forever tripping up over the clothes and as a busy working mum, was getting increasingly frustrated. No amount of nagging them to “put your clothes in the laundry hamper” worked, and she felt like a broken record.

She wanted to fix it in a way that would have a positive rather than negative impact on her relationship with the family and so devised a cunning plan. She knew just how competitive they all were as a family and decided that the way forward was to turn this into a healthy competition, which she called Hamper Wars!

For every item of clothing left on the floor, the individual would score a point, but in this case, points did not mean prizes. The person at the end of the two weeks with the least points would be the winner and be treated to sweets of their choice. She spoke to them all about this idea, which they loved and couldn’t wait to get started, so she made the chart above, pinned it on the fridge and the game began.

At the beginning everyone was vigilant, determined not to get any penalty points on the chart, but as the weeks wore on, the children would sometimes forget. Samantha would just need to say the words “Hamper Wars” and this was enough of a prompt to spur them into action to pick discarded clothing up and put it in the laundry hamper, before any points were added to the chart.

At the end of two weeks, the only person who had any penalty points was Dad, which everyone found hilarious. The children were delighted to have a clean sheet (and the sweets!) and are continuing to use the hamper.

Embarrassed about his performance, Dad sulkily asked Samantha “That’s not fair, why did I not get any prompts the way the kids did?” to which Samantha replied, “Because you’re an adult darling!”

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