Barbies In the Street!! !?@%!

Building relationships in your neighborhood

Posted on Facebook on Cyndi and Chris in the Morning:

“We got a message from Lindsey looking for some advice. What should she do about her messy neighbors??

“Dear Cyndi and Chris,
I am going freaking crazy!
My husband and I live in a cul de sac in Sahuarita, and every day when we come home it’s like an obstacle course on our street. There are tricylces, toys, dolls, food wrappers, and all kinds of random stuff scattered all over- and I know it’s coming from my neighbor’s house.
Their 3 kids have no concept of cleaning up after themselves. The other day one of their daughters left a pile of Barbie’s right in front of our drive way. I had to clear a path just to park in my own garage!
I am so sick of having to clean up after my neighbors. I have tried dropping hints, but they are not getting it! How can I get them to pick up after themselves??

Love you guys
Lindsey”

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Here’s our response with a recipe for building relationship!

Building new habits is SO much fun!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 (some sarcasm here). As a classroom teacher, I follow the practice of Harry Wong‘s “First Days of School” and Fred Jones‘ “Positive Classroom Discipline”. Being intentional helps set a happy healthy community (which IS fun) 🙂 . Here are some “recipes” that might be helpful… (P.S. If no one is home, leave a note on the door.)

—–

Day One (Barbies in street): “Giving information”
Time to allow: 10 minutes

< Knock knock. > Hi, I’m Lindsey, and I live next door! I just wanted to say hello! How are you? <chat chat chat, then casually say…> Oh, by the way, I almost smooshed the barbies on my way home yesterday… I was wondering if you could keep them out of the street? Great, thanks! Bye! 🙂

—–

Day Two (if no Barbies) 🙂
Time to allow: 2 minutes

<Knock knock >. Hi again! I just wanted to say thanks for having the barbies out of the street! I hope you have a good day! Bye! 🙂

<You are done and the problem is solved! Be aware that you may need to revisit this recipe again in the future, in which case you would start with Day 3 below.>

-or-

Day 2 (if Barbies) 😦 (Attempt #1)
Prep: Get a reusable bag (available at the Dollar Tree, the Public Library for $1)
Time to allow: 2 minutes

<Knock knock> Hi again! How are you? I wanted to let you know I almost smooshed barbies again! I was thinking about how you have so many of them, that they might be hard to carry. I use a bag like this to carry things when I have too many. May I give this to you? Thanks! Bye! 🙂

—–

Day Three (if there were Barbies on Day 2, and no Barbies today) 🙂
Time to allow: 2 minutes

<Knock knock >. Hi again! I just wanted to say thanks for having the barbies out of the street! I hope you have a good day. Bye! 🙂

Or

Day 3 (Barbies) (Attempt #2)
Time to allow: 10 minutes

<Knock knock> Hi again! How are you? I wanted to let you know I almost smooshed barbies again! I have a couple minutes to help you bring your Barbies in. Sometimes it is helpful to have a friend help when there’s a lot to do! <Help bring barbies in… make sure you are not hungry, lest you become hangry>

—–

Day 4: (No barbies if there were Barbies on Day 3)
Time to allow 2 minutes

<Knock knock >. Hi again! I just wanted to say thanks for having the barbies out of the street! I hope you have a good day! Bye! 🙂

or

Day 4: (Barbies!?!?@#!) (Attempt #3)
Time to allow: 10 minutes total with a 5 minute preparation (You might be really frustrated now! So “Take 5” to breathe, relax your jaw and shoulders before you go to your neighbors’ home)

<Knock knock> Hi again! How are you? I wanted to let you know I almost smooshed barbies again! Want some help? <Help get them started, then excuse yourself to “check the oven”, etc. so they finish independently.>

—–

Day 5 (No Barbies, after there were Barbies on previous days)
Time to allow: 2 minutes

<Knock knock >. Hi again! I just wanted to say thanks for having the barbies out of the street! I hope you have a good day! Bye! 🙂

or

Still Barbies? Following the “three attempts with the same result, so now we need to take action” concept from baseball… something has to happen now… the batter either walks, or is called out. As painful and cruel as it may seem, natural consequences happen, and a barbie may be smooshed.

Day 5 (Barbies)
Time to allow: 2 minutes

<Knock knock> <sad face> I am so sorry that your Barbie was smooshed. I hope you have a good day. Bye. <sad face>

—–

*Keep in mind: (1) It takes 30 days to build a new habit; (2) Laying the groundwork in the beginning takes time, but it is worth it in the long run, because happy neighbors are helpful neighbors, and we never know when we might need a helping hand :); (3) Natural consequences happen when people don’t take responsibility. Feeling guilty? Don’t. Feeling frustrated? Normal. Feeling sad? Also normal.

Go make your luck! ❤ 🙂

 



“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life. Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


http://www.feliciachew.com


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