A busy mother devised a genius parenting hack to keep her young sons occupied during self-isolation while also getting them to help out with the housework – by having them match up more than 600 odd socks in return for time with their electronic devices.
Mendy McNulty, from Nashville, Tennessee, had been worn down by her 11-year-old identical twins Joseph and Jack, and their brothers Hudson, eight, and Andrew, seven, asking to play on their consoles all day.
So, after the family spent their first week in self-isolation, the 39-year-old teacher decided to come up with a game of her own, challenging her four kids to match up the mountain of odd socks.
For every pair that they successfully matched, the youngsters were rewarded with a minute of time with their electronics.
Her brilliant parenting hack quickly went viral on Facebook, where she shared a photo of her children standing in the family living room surrounded by an enormous pile of laundry.
‘One min of electronics for every match you make,’ she captioned the original image, before dubbing her creative game ‘Sock-a-palooza’.
The mother revealed that she has so many odd socks because of the huge loads of laundry that she does for her family every week, which always leave her with dozens of odd socks that she refuses to pair up herself.
When asked why she has so many socks, Mendy confessed, ‘I’m a hoarder’, before adding that she’s also using this challenge as an opportunity to clear out some unnecessary items.
‘After today I am letting go all that are unmatched!’ she vowed in a comment posted on her Facebook image
Her creativity was met with much enthusiasm online – with more than 102,000 people sharing her post on Facebook, while 5,600 users liked the image.
Many fellow parents said that they are going to try the trick out on their own kids, with one person commenting; ‘Omg!!! I need to do this!!! I have a HUGE bag that I avoid daily! This is our plan for tonight!’
Another chimed in: ‘This is the best idea! We’ll be implementing soon.’
Others simply complimented Mendy on the idea, with one person writing: ‘Mendy…you are such a cool and creative mama!!’
Many joked that the mom shouldn’t throw away the leftover socks, and instead save them to use as toilet paper if the family happens to run out while quarantining.
‘Someone says save the extras for days you don’t have tp!’ one person commented.
A number of users also asked Mendy to update them on the kids’ progress, with the mother-of-four revealing that within hours of starting the challenge, the boys had managed to ‘match over 200 pairs’.
She then added that she was ‘spreading out’ their electronics time, explaining that she wasn’t going to let the boys use all of their allotment in one go.