Child training for beginners

There are lots of things I like about our new house. I like that I can sit in the living room and look out into the garden.* I like having a garage and a driveway of sorts and not having to drive around the block for ages looking for a space to park. I even quite like having a bedroom back on the same floor as Bee and Belle and being able to hear them moving about.

One thing I’m not so sure about though is the carpets. They are cream. (Cream!) Throughout the entire house, including the bathrooms.

I’m not exactly well-coordinated at the best of times, (think me crying, unable to park a van), and will quite often just walk into door frames, but in the old house, this was OK, as we mainly had floorboards. Floorboards are much easier to wipe down when you uncontrollably slosh tea on them. Here though, nowhere is safe. I already dropped tomato on the carpet today from my mouth. My cream carpets don’t stand a chance.

The worst bit though is shoes. How do you train two unruly children to take their shoes off at the door?

"muddy boots"

Belle at Beautiful Days. I fear she will just walk into the house one day like this.

I have a few ideas:

Distraction – It only takes a few seconds for them to remember, so to avoid them getting to the middle of the hall and going ‘Oh yeah!’, I need to dangle something like a malteser from the ceiling, just out of reach. In the time it takes them to figure out how to get it, (stood safely on the mat the whole time), they will have remembered about the shoes.

Positive reinforcement – This, so I’m led to believe, is the most effective approach to parenting. Whenever they take off their shoes at the door they get a little treat like a chocolate button, a pat on the head or the chance to stroke a kitten.

Negative reinforcement – I hire someone to stand by the door, and every time they forget to take off their shoes they get punched (in a gentle, child-friendly way), in the side of the head.

Desperate times and all that.

*I make it sounds like I occasionally glance up and admire the view. What actually happens is that I find myself staring out at nothing in particular for minutes at a time. I’m tired though. I’m sure the staring will improve.



  1. 6 October, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    hahaha actually laughed out loud at the options! Let us know which you choose!

    • 11 October, 2012 / 7:50 am

      Bee actually read the post and liked the sound of the chocolate button option! Belle is being VERY good with her shoes at the moment, if only to be the ‘best’ and give her the moral highground when anyone else wears shoes on the carpet. I was putting my shoes on in the downstairs toilet yesterday and she caught me. “Shouldn’t you be standing on the mat?” she said, with one hand on her hip.
      “It’s fine,” I said, “I’m going to step out.”
      “That’ll be a pretty big step…”

  2. rinsimpson
    8 October, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    Hahahaha, laughed out loud several times while reading this! Particularly at the image of you walking into a door frame and sloshing tea on the floor. HilARious! :D

    • 8 October, 2012 / 3:16 pm

      Do you know what I ACTUALLY did this morning, no joke? I had a cup of tea in bed, finished it, went to put it on my bedside table and MISSED. I literally just dropped it on the floor. *face palm*

  3. 9 October, 2012 / 11:00 am

    Cream carpets are most definitely scary. They should be banned for any household containing a child. Or a slummy mummy. :)

    • 11 October, 2012 / 7:47 am

      It is definitely me and not the child who are at most risk :-)

  4. LowdenPoole
    9 October, 2012 / 11:43 am

    Cream becomes Patterned – Apparently Patterned carpet IS the new cream – Is Fashion perhaps more explicable looked at like this?.

    • 11 October, 2012 / 7:47 am

      Oooh, maybe you’ve hit on something there! Did brown become the new black when people started drinking a lot of coffee?? We should do some research…

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