I really wanted to title this post, "I'm Taking Hostages," but somehow that seemed completely inappropriate and I was afraid some well-meaning friends would become concerned and I would find a S.W.A.T. team on my doorstep. I'll clarify.
We've had sort of a clutter issue at the Jackson house. Lately, I've found myself tripping over dolls and the accompanying accessories, legos, books, shoes, slinkys and more. I also found myself having to remind the kiddos multiple times to put things away, only to find them a few minutes later, in the middle of the chaos playing and *gasp* getting out even more items!
We had two problems: 1) they were not following directions and
2) I had created a pattern where they expected me to run around reminding them of what they should be doing until I became frustrated and picked things up myself.
The other day during rest time, I was
wasting time relaxing and looking on Pinterest when I noticed a friend's pin. It was an idea for getting your children to pick up their own things. This mom created a 'ransom' box. If her children did not pick up their things when asked, she simply put them in the ransom box. If they wanted to have those items back, they had to complete a task in order to redeem those items.
That was a huge light bulb moment for me. So, yesterday I asked my children to pick up their toys. Unfortunately, they didn't pick up everything. I got them both ready for rest time, and once they were asleep, I set about taking hostages:
And wrote the kiddos a ransom note:
When my wee ones got up, I gently explained the situation and what they would have to do to redeem their beloved toys. When I got to the task of putting away all of the shoes that had collected near the backdoor, the little Mr. exclaimed, "But, mooooooooooom! Those aren't my shoes! Why do I have to put them away? That's not fair!"
I simply smiled and said, "You're right buddy. You know, I was thinking the exact same thing as I was picking up your toys today."
The rest of the time, they did their assigned tasks with kindness and zero complaining, then the three of us worked together to put away the redeemed toys.
When we were all done we talked about what it meant to be redeemed. I shared with them how we should have to pay the price for our own sin, but instead God sent Jesus as our Redeemer. Jesus paid the price for our sin so we wouldn't have to. I explained that we are sort of like hostages to our own sin, and the only person who can free us is Jesus. The little Mr. really liked the idea of Jesus in the role of hero. But that's what HE is right?
So, back to the box...it's sitting in plain view at the moment and so far there are no hostages. A success? Maybe. A good friend laughed as I shared this idea with her and said, "You know it's a good possibility this could backfire right?" I wasn't following how this could go awry until she said, "One of these days you are going to find your favorite shoes in that box, and who knows what your kids are going to make you do in order to get them back."