Don't Upset Your Stuffed Animals, Kids - Make Your Beds!

It has been a BIG week in our house. I finished my detox.  Whoa! Those were some interesting 10-days. I plan to do another diary installment for you next week, but honestly, I haven't had a chance to sit down, and put my thoughts on paper.  Let's just say that you will be surprised about how post-detox/cleanse is shaping up in this house.

And in our other news, we now have a big girl bed for Baby Diva. So far, she is balking naps again, but is sleeping at night. Thank god!  This is about the time that things went downhill with my son, and we basically went sleepless and psychotic for more than a year. We waited six weeks for her bed, and of course, it came with a defective, and crooked headboard.

New "Big Girl" bed. She helped pick out her sheets, and quilt. 

Are we the only people that things like this happen to?  It needs to be replaced, and it's on order AGAIN. We currently have her bed in the exact same spot we had her crib, and of course, my mother has already told me that is not the right spot for the room.

Let's worry about one thing at a time, and keep her comfortable, happy, and sleeping right now. Decorating is not really my talent, but neither is parenting.  I don't have time to read a lot of parenting books, and truthfully, I don't want read a lot of parenting books either.  I would rather watch Person of Interest, The Voice, and Modern Family in my spare time.

I told my girlfriend that I needed some CliffsNotes (remember them) on some parenting issues, and when opportunities came my way for some easy notes, I'm going to run with it.  Well, one fell in my lap. The first topic we're tackling is getting kids to make their beds.  As you can see,  I now have two beds to make.

I must stop blogging, and make these beds!

That's got to change soon.

I have a great guest post on the subject today, and I think he has some great ideas. Let me know your experiences.

Don't Upset Your Stuffed Animals, Kids - Make Your Beds!
By: Justin Greig

When I was a kid, I made my bed every morning. I might have even made it twice. There were about 30 stuffed animals that needed to safely be placed in their respective spots next to their best friends on top of my  bedspread. I truly believed that when I left, they would magically come to life. My little blue stuffed Smurf would be sad if he woke up and saw Smurfette laying on the other side of the bed. Odie might have a spaz attack if Garfield was across the room when he came to life that morning. My Cabbage Patch Kids might just sob all day if they weren't cuddled in a group in the corner of the well-made bed, guarded by my large teddy bear, Mr. Beasley. There was a formula; a ritual. And I loved it.

That playful little sanctuary still exists today, yet in a more realistic way. In fact, I've helped my kids become more willing to clean up their rooms each day and it all begins with making the bed.

Begin with a Bed Worth Making

Ask your child what type of room decor they would like to wake up to everyday. If it isn't decorated with Hello Kitty or Disney's "Cars" already and that's what they ask for, begin by finding bedding on a website like Leigh used PB Kids. Get creative with paint and accessories. For "Cars." locate stoplight lamps or a crosswalk sign. Once you get their rooms into the form they see fit, with encouragement and motivation, they are more likely to keep it tidy.

Be a Role Model

Get them on the right track and there's no turning back. There is something very important we, as parents, must understand. What we do, our children will do. They watch you because they look up to you. They mimic our habits. If you want your kids to make their beds in the morning, you must also make yours.

Give Them Motivation

If you have to help them get started, that is perfectly acceptable. Experiment on what tactics work on your child. Do you kill them with kindness? Maybe offer a treat, like breakfast (which you're going to give them anyway). Accomplishment always makes a kid feel confident and special. Offer incentives. Take a photo of the well-made bed and hang it on the fridge for the whole world to see, or at least daddy. Pride will fill your child and they'll want that feeling everyday. Be sure daddy recognizes the achievement and acknowledges them for it.

Get them started around age 3 or 4 to create habits that will last a lifetime.

Getting Creative

Make it a game. Sing the sheets up. Start making the bed as they are still laying inside of it. Toss the bedding across the room, lay in their bed and ask them to tuck you in nice and tight, then slip out of the covers and assist them in the finishing touches. Show them different ways to tuck the sheets — military style, cowboy style, Dora style or mermaid style. Tell them how proud Elmo would be of them.

I'm not sure whey I thought my stuffed animals would be upset with me if I didn't make my bed, but I might still believe this today. Regardless, making the bed can be fun! It can be ritualistic. And, starting early can shape your children into having a cleaner room and, quite possibly, a more organized life.

Justin Greig A self-proclaimed "21st century hippie," Justin studied Journalism at Berkeley and freelances for many environmental publications. He has a special interest in conservation, and he and his wife recently added solar panels to their home.

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