I am linking up with We are that Family for What works for me Wednesday. Who couldn't use some great advice/tips/treasures that are tried and true! Head on over to We are that Family and check out some of the other blogs!
What works for me is bribery! My kids can occupy themselves with one, or several, of the many toys/games/coloring books in the house until the moment I need to focus my efforts on dinner. Then all of a sudden they want my undivided attention and will do what they need to do to get it, which usually involves arguing/fighting each other.
My oldest is really into the concept of money lately and I am using it to my advantage. The other night as I started dinner, I told them that if they would clean up their playroom (which was in enough of a disaster to get me through cooking) they would each get .50C. Jackson, of course, got excited (Wrigley got excited only because he saw Jackson cheering. Coins are just shiny round things to him.) I then explained the rules. One quarter was for cleaning the room. The other would be given if they could get through the cleaning without fighting! They had to work together to get the room in it's original state. This was a flash of genius on my part. Normally clean up time is filled with tears, yelling, things getting thrown. My youngest doesn't quite understand the part about doing his share of the work. He likes to play with the toys while his brother is trying to put them away. With a quarter up for grabs, my oldest worked with Wrigley and showed him how to clean up rather than yelling at him the whole time. It was so nice to hear them giggling while cleaning rather than arguing. So far this week I am out $2, but SO worth it!!!