Sometimes my kids don't get along. Some days, my kids don't get along. The usual array of time-outs, loss of possessions and privileges, and flat-out begging, pleading, and bribes has slowly lost its punch. Many a day I find myself unthinkingly whipping out the phrase, "You are in SUCH big trouble!"
And then what? I've laid it out there, but what exactly is the trouble? The threat has gotten so deflated over time that my kids now ask, "What trouble?" And then you can hear crickets chirping. Until yesterday. Yesterday, I had an epiphany.
Our new house has ceramic tile floors. Lots of ceramic tiles. Oodles of ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles that children of all ages can scrub clean with a kitchen sponge, and wipe dry with a towel. Now when they ask, "What trouble?" I can say with confidence, "See those tiles over by the front door? They have your name on them."
My floors have never been cleaner.