Yes, the wise mother knows the day will come when her children pick up after themselves. But it can be hard to see how, exactly, that will ever come about. There are, of course, a multitude of strategies she could use to get her children to tidy up more, to help them help themselves, to create independent and responsible children.
The stereotypical well-heeled, well-educated suburban mother might pursue those strategies with the vehemence that the now notorious Tiger mother puts into piano practice. But after early experience with baby books touting specific plans to achieve specific results (e.g., Baby Wise), this mother is wary of overly prescriptive advice and ambitious efforts to re-engineer her children’s behavior.
So she will have to be content to nudge her children along as best she can, attempt a select few strategies gleaned from those advice books, keep trying, and remain confident that these small individuals with a penchant for strewing stuffed animals, small toy parts and articles of clothing throughout their homes will likely grow into responsible, kind and trustworthy individuals.
Besides, if a recent Wall Street Journal article is to be believed, any parental orchestration of the “home environment pales in comparison to the power of genes and peer group.” Guess it’s time to go start meddling in friendships or, at the very least, fretting over who might be a "bad influence." That should keep her busy until around June 17th, which is thankfully forecast to be the happiest day of the year.