Dear Blake,

I have three children, 6, 8, and 10 (two boys and girl). Here is the problem, they are always leaving their toys scattered all over the house, and it’s almost a daily battle. It’s driving me crazy! When I yell at them about it, they’ll honor my request for a day or two, and then they’ll go back playing with their toys and leaving them on the floor all over. Please help, I’m desperate!

Signed. Victoria
From Roselle, Illinois

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Dear Victoria,

Even though I believe that children should be allowed to play, I agree with you in regards to maintaining order in your own home. So, to get this to really stick in your children’s minds, you should immediately begin to emotionally traumatize them. Here are some ideas for your consideration. Get a golf club, and in front of all three kids, stand at your front door hitting the scattered toys, watching them sail over a neighbor’s house. If your daughter leaves dolls on the floor, in her presence, use a saw cutting it into pieces, and tell her this is how the Mafia does it. If your son has a train set, put the tracks near the sink, with the last track right over the garbage disposal. You can enhance the effect by yelling out some high-pitched screams, pretending to be one of the passengers. And lastly, walk around with a garbage bag, and in front of your kids, put into trash every toy that’s left on the floor. And when you go into their rooms, if it’s organized, take a couple of toys that were neatly placed on their dresser and trash them, and tell them that you have a feeling they’d be eventually left on the floor, so what you’re doing is a preemptive strike. I hope this helps.