Thursday, January 21, 2010

#20 The Fight Box

#20-Again, the 30 Things List allows me to give you another suggestion on where to put stuff.  Part parenting technique, part clutter controller the Fight Box can be your best friend when breaking up squabbles over toys.  Multiple times a week I used to find myself taking a toy away from a pair of children in a death struggle over who got to play with it.  I'd find these confiscated toys high on shelves, in the kitchen window, perched on the upper ledges of my cabinets, on top of the entertainment center, on the dresser in my bedroom, and generally cluttering up my home while they waited for the heat of the moment to pass.  Then, we got a Fight Box.  It's an medium sized, opaque bin that I keep in the laundry room on a high shelf.  When I hear a toy quarrel approaching the point where I need to intervene, (usually I wait until the last minute because my hope is they'll work it out without me) I shout out my single warning, "Work it out or it's going in the Fight Box!"  Toys that land in the Fight Box are only returned to the collective once a month.  On the last day of the month we empty the box and they are thrilled to have their things back.

My point.  The Fight Box, which simply started out as a place to store all that confiscated junk that was perched around my house out of reach of my little people, has become the final warning that works magic on my children's ability to find a solution to a toy disagreement for fear of losing possession of something for weeks at a time.