I promised an up-date on my latest parenting strategies so here it is...
I decided not to change nap time to room time, I thought it might confuse the kids and I didn't want to give them the wrong impression. The first day I tried this I had three little peanuts that thought it would be fun to do chores. After putting the kiddos down for nap and telling them their two choices--1) take a nap or 2) if I can hear you then they would have to do chores. As soon as I was upstairs and turned the monitor on I could hear giggling and talking going on. I head back downstairs to find my culprits---I had a good idea who they where. I reminded them that since I could hear them they were choosing to do chores. They were excited. I had the two little honey's wipe down a bag of blocks, separately and that there couldn't be any talking. Of course that didn't go over very well. After they were finished they were excited to go back down to nap. Again, once I got back upstairs I could hear them talking again. So I repeated the process again, except this time one dusted and the other wiped down the bathroom floor. After of an hour of doing chores each one asked at a different time if they could take a nap. One sweetie woke up about 45 minutes into nap time and didn't want to go back to sleep so he choose to do chores. His mom, later told me that he was excited to come back to my house the next day to do chores.
The next AM when one of the kiddos that did chores got dropped off his dad told me that he said that he didn't want to do chores at my house. The next nap day was awesome! Everyone went right down. However, day three I had some little monkey's that decided to jump on their beds, so I let them jump on the floor! They jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped some more. Some of the kiddos started to get mad and said that they wanted to go to a different daycare, somewhere where they could excel! (I was laughing so hard) This is when you use your coasting responses so you don't get sucked into their little pity party---Probably, Maybe, Sorry, That could be, Nice Try, I don't Know. Once cheeks were pink and the majority of them appeared tired I had them lay back down and take their naps. I reminded them that if I could hear them they would get to jump again or do chores. They slept for 2.5-3 hours that day!
I have come to the conclusion that jumping in place for a few minutes is a much better option then doing chores. Chores can take some time to complete and doesn't always wear the child out, but jumping in place does the trick in just a fraction of the time. Also, my littlest ones love to help and some of my older girls really do love to clean. Speaking of that, I implemented another rule that if the kids don't hang their jackets up then they will have to either buy them back from me or work it off. Two of my girls thought it would be fun to do chores so they purposely left their coats on the floor. I had one clean a vent with a toothbrush and one wipe down a huge basket of toys. So far they haven't left their coats on the floor again, so I don't know how fun it really was to clean. Don't worry, if the child is too little to hang their coat up all the have to do is ask for help!
I attended a parenting conference this morning called, "Raising Truly Great Kids" by Dr. Tim Kimmel. He echoes a lot of the same principals that Danny Silk does in his book, "Loving Our Children On Purpose." It's so fun to be learning so much! I can't wait until these principals are written on my heart and that I don't have to think twice about it. Check out familymatters.net for some great parenting resources!