Originally Posted by kathymuggle
I have had issues with people leaving food, including wrapper around. while we are still a work in progress, interupting what they are doing to make them put their food away has helped.
Yesterday I made my youngest get out of bed to put away a food wrapper she left on the couch. I have made people get off the computer, tv, etc, to clean up food messes.
Quite frankly, I would focus on one issue at a time so you do not drive yourself insane.
Agreed. I cleaned up after my kids a LOT for the first 5 years of their lives..I mean, they would pick up their toys and stuff, but I was the one that was doing all the cleanup of their messy/careless stuff...one of the things I regret not starting them on sooner was taking care of those kind of messes. So now, we all help each other, but it's no longer "mom will just get it". So if I see a wrapper, about half the time I might get it (and if they're in the room say something like, "oop, a wrapper, that should go in thne garbage not on the floor, I'll get it there." ), but half the time I will occupy myself with something briefly (so they don't ask me why I won't just do it) and ask one of them to stop what they're doing and get it - and if they say they didn't do it, I say, "I didn't ask you if you did it, I'm asking you to please take care of it because it shouldn't be dropped there....we all need to help each other take care of the house." We have ongoing conversations about how it's all of our jobs to keep the house running smoothly, that they are growing up and part of my job is to make sure they know how to keep a house running when they're adults. That I'm not trying to be bossy or mean, but these are real life skills they need.
Mine were treating the couch like a jungle gym a couple years ago and we had tons of spills starting to happen too, and I went pretty hardcore on them and had a 1-time warning, then you have to sit on the floor the rest of the day thing. They had plenty of other places they could bounce (their beds, the mini tramp) and climb (our swingset with several climbing features) so this was one place that just wasn't OK.
Two phrases I make use of are: The world is not your playground, and The world is not your garbage can. This of course is all preceeded by and followed by more extensive, kind discussions about responsibility, but in the moment a blunt sentence is more effective.
With kids your age, I would sit them down and tell them that this has gone on long enough and that changes need to be made, pick a date, let them help you come up with the consequences, etc. and then you just have to DO it. This is just as much about follow through as it is about getting them to care about it. I know what I would personally do with regard to individual issues, but those details are really better left to you and your kids to sort out. They are DEFINITELY old enough to participate in the discussion.
My parents were very tidy people. I am a slob, by nature. We had a kind of unspoken, casual agreement that when I was in mutual living spaces in the house I was expected to pick up after myself, but my room they wouldn't bug me about much - however, no food in the bedroom was a rule for everyone. So I could have clothes and papers and toys all over the place and so long as they could close my door it was all good. Maybe you can designate one "slob room" that has a door...or all bedrooms can be their realm, but mutual living spaces require more attention.