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What is expected of 4 & 6 yr olds?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm am truly on the verge of a nervous breakdown...my boys are constantly fighting and tattling on each other. I never know who did what when they aren't in the same room with me. In fact as I just wrote those lines my youngest comes in the room crying...which I specifically told them both to play nicely for a little bit while I came upstairs to nurse the baby, to get her a nap since she is over tired and teething. He woke her up some but she is sleepy now and nursing contently again.

To get them to pick up there own room is a big deal. They whine, cry . Refuse. Today is a gorgeous day, I told them to clean up their room and we'd go for a walk to this creek close by. Later we could play in the wading pool if they picked up their room! I usually pick it up, but I am tired of it...they dump bins of legos, marbles, cards, cars, blocks all over the place...they knocked down a shelf in the closet that had books and games in it. They took out dresser drawers to make boats and broke the drawers so now they don't have drawers for some of their clothes. They are constantly going through socks where I can not possibly keep up with them to have any around clean. They miss the toilet all the time and bathroom constantly smells of pee...I just can't keep up with them. I think they are big enough to know better on a few of the things....a friend was telling me "that's boys" but I don't see why I have to be the slave around here, I think they can help. I don't expect a perfect house, it'd be nice to walk without stepping on a lego or going in the bathroom without sitting in pee or getting my sock wet with pee....the messes are one thing, their constant fighting is even worse for me. Today I have yelled at them so much for fighting...I don't like yelling, I feel frazzled and I am so stressed and angry. I don't want to be angry with them....

What can be expected out of a 4yr old and 6 yr old typically. I have even made games of picking up the room where they draw cards with things on them like "pick up red things" or "pick up some thing soft" I even throw in silly ones like "run in a circle" or "give mom a kiss" They just don't want to pick up...errr....

very frazzled today...
post #2 of 17
I have a 3 and 6 year old and what I require of them is to clean up their toys (we try to get them to just get out one thing at a time, but you can't always be there so I have found that quick clean ups several times a day are better than just once- before meals are great for this), put clothes in the hamper, dishes in the sink and set the table.
post #3 of 17
Sorry I have no great answers here, but something that stuck me from reading your post is that, a while ago, I read an "expert" saying that you should say "WHEN you've cleaned up your room we can go to the creek". Using "when" gives the expectation that it will be done, and 'if' gives your cuties a whole lot more power to turn this into a potential thing for them not to do. Since then, I've tried to use 'when' with my 4.5 and 6.5 kids (girls, so we don't have the pee issue!)

Hang in there!!!!! I feel your pain!!!!!!!
post #4 of 17
lovinglife that is a great tip- it's called Grandma's rule and it really does help. A really great book is "How to Talk so KIds Will Listen and Listen so KIds Will Talk"
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
After I got done posting and baby was asleep, I went downstairs and my 4yo was asleep on the chair! My older son and I went our ane planted flowers, made lunch and the afternoon was much better. I have read " How to talk so your Kids can listen..." a long time ago...I should probably re read it. My older one and I clash so much and homeschooling him makes things even harder.

post #6 of 17
The weekness of homeschooling is that young children feel they are not in control. Have you considered what is known as Un-schooling?

post #7 of 17
I don't know how much helpful advice I can offer but I just had to reply because I got such a laugh at your description of your boys
room after they've been playing. I've only got one 3.10 mo boy and I am always amazed at how he can destroy the play room. Blocks, plastic animals, books, cars EVERYWHERE and it doesn't even take long! And I've watched him in action too. He can't get out just one block or car at a time, no, he's got to dump the whole tub over, same with blocks or whatever, and then make his selections. And this is not noisy play either....he's about hissusiness with distasterous results. And taking things apart! Is this not a typical boy-thing or what? Everywhere things dismantled to see how they work then I come along and have to figure out what to do with the pieces. Dh and I have long tired of stepping on painful objects/sitting on painful objects on the futon....as well as the overall non-asthetic look of our play/entertainment room. Here' what I did: I cleaned out the walk-in closet and now use it as a toy closet. AND I put one of those door knob locks on the door. Now I can regulate what is being played with and can enforce the one toy/game/bag of animals at a time rule. Also, like on of the other posters mentioned it's easier for them to pick up a few toys rather than a whole room full, I know my ds is overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning up his huge messes. Now, if he wants something from the closet, I can hem and haw and say that I don't want any messes and he tells me he'll clean up the toys if I get them out.
I wish I could tell you this works every time but unfortunately it's up to me to be dilligent. Anyway, with the toys away in the closet it really does cut down on the overall enormous messes.
About the pee: he's only been trained for 3 months so at this point I'm thrilled that most is getting in the toilet Marilyn.
post #8 of 17
Wow--we have a lot of similarities in our lives! We homeschool too! I have always felt, though, that hs'ing our kids, ESP our oldest who is very stong-willed, has actually helped our relationship. We've been hs'ing two years, and, just by virtue of being together so much, we've HAD to work on our relationship in ways that we never would have had to if she was out at school from 8-3 every day.

Good luck, and at least you know you're not alone!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
I would say we are more towards unschooling than homeschooling. We don't do regular lessons, we do what we feel like doing. I have some saxon books we'll go through, but our schooling is very relaxed. Still I think of it as an added pressure for some reason, feel like I'm measured how well my son learns and succeeds since I am the primary one at home with him. He has been talking of school which gives me all sorts of mixed feelings.

The toy dilemna, I'm going through them soon and giving them away, throwing them out and reorganizing...we do have bins for things...I wish I had a closet solution but we don't have any extra space around here. Maybe suspended from the ceiling or something! LOL!

post #10 of 17
In terms of cleaning up their toys, I think you just hit on something when you said you're going to sort through everything. About a year ago, I went through all of our 3 boys' toys and through out/donated/gave away as appropriate and then put away at least half of the ones we kept. I've found that the fewer selections they have, the more focussed their play and clean up. Every so often we rotate the toys and everything seems new and exciting again. That seems to work for the toy issue -- as far as the peeing, well, I'm kind of in the same boat! But, hopefully as they get older . . .:
post #11 of 17
Hi - A few tips on keeping the toys from taking over the house (sorry if these have already been mentioned)-

Store toys in baskets/containers by type. Then you can ask Ds 1 to pick up the vehicles and animals and ds 2 to pick up the dress ups and blocks, etc. Or let them choose. I have better luck when I ask my 6 year old to do a specific job than to 'clean up' My 2 1/2 year old responds well to 'filling up the basket with dinos' game...

I limit their play to two areas of the house at a time on days when I am feeling especially worn out. This means, for example, that they can play in their room and outside, but have to clean up before moving on crafts in the kitchen or the toys in the living room. This way at least part of the house is in order all the time (well, not *complete* order!)

With my 6 year old, I emphasize the idea that taking care of his body and his things is his WORK. He can enjoy the satisfaction of doing a good job (sometimes!) I also try to talk to him about why we try to keep the house tidy - how it is easier to find toys and make choices when things are in order, how peaceful is feels to walk into a room that is uncluttered. Hopefully he will begin to appreciate these things, too.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
All the suggestions are really great. Since the long weekend is over we are going to comncentrate more on the room today, also it is rainy so that helps to do an inside job!

Yesterday we found a lost library book that we have been looking for for weeks. Had Late fees mailed to us, so I didn't even know ot was lost till we got the $2 late fee notice! I renewed it twice with hopes we'd find it and not have to buy it for $12! Maybe we'll find some more treasures today...hopefully nothing groiwing or rotting! LOL...

I was thinking yesterday as I was sweeping up the floor for the 3rd or 4th time that one day my house is going to be quiet and clean and I will deeply miss picking up after my kids and wiping their smudges off th walls and windows....this time is so short. I'm not going to let things bother me too much....

post #13 of 17
hang in there. my 5yo dd used to be a human tornado. well, she still is, but not quite as extreme as she was. i instituted a 'no friends over 'til the toys are picked up' policy (and she always wants to have friends over). when this began, we went through several days of misery. i had to spend more or less several entire days in her room, instructing her piece by piece what to pick up. we took breaks, of course, and she filibustered, of course, but i stuck with my guns about 'no friends over'. once she got her room all cleaned up, it has been a lot easier to go in every morning and remind her of what to clean before she can see friends. after a few months of this, she is even spontaneously picking things up without reminders -- and I can also just say 'pick up your room' and she knows what to do without me instructing her.
post #14 of 17
(((((MOTC)))))))) hugs 2 u baby feelin it for you

It's never ending!!!!!!!i sweep & then it's trashed again with rotting banana on the floor and cheerios everywhere and dirty bibs and diapers to wash and if i want a moment to myself, the tv is on then i feel guilty and.............aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

They won't be babies forever.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Found this cool websitewww.flylady.net and it has all sorts of info for decluttering your house. It's pretty funny too if you need a good laugh! So I thought I'd try to declutter the boys room and was going through a toy box and kept smelling pee...found at the bottom pee! So my decluttering turned into washing the toys and waste basket! Ugh! But I did get something accomplished! One bag of trash, and one bag to go to goodwill!

I know the babies won't be little forever....and the messes will gradually become less and less as they get older. Still if the house could be clean for one whole week that'd be SO nice!!!

Also I decided if I spent the time cleaning or organizing that I did on the computer I'd be getting more accomplished...so I'm going to get this house more organized so it's easier on me and then I can get back to doing things I want more.....I vision myself getting up early and doing yoga or something...in reality...I stumble to the coffe pot after tripping over half a dozen toys...push dirty dishes from the night before over, make the coffee, befor I even have a cup to drink or get to the bathroom at least one kid is up and either wants breakfast or to get dressed as in yesterday....it'll get easier (deep breaths) I know....

post #16 of 17
Hooray! Another flybaby!

flylady is the way!!!

I've been following flylady since around thanksgiving and though I do sometimes slip up, things, everything as a matter of fact is SOOOO much better!

Though my baby is on the way (not yet peeing on the wall) I've had great luck transforming my and my husbands habits...(no nagging though! not allowed). It's funny how what you do, not say, can really affect others.

I'm trying to fly as much as possible before baby arrives, maybe it will make the transition easier.

Declutter! Declutter! Declutter!

post #17 of 17
Make sure you sign up for the flylady e-mails....that's how it all started for me. It really makes a differece and if you get behind, just delete with abandon.

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