Getting the kids to clean? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-06-2005, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I posted the thread last week about my kids. Well, no more bragging this week. Ther eroom is a disaster. I am at my wits end!!
They have one small lego bucket of toys, a book shelf, and their beds. And yet, you cant walk through their room!! They take all their bedding off and scatter it everywhere, they rip up paper from magazines that they smuggle in and they throw garbage on the floor. I need it to be clean so I can vaccuum. DS has asthma and the room need to be vaccuumed, but I can barely walk in there.
ANy one have an good tips?
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Old 02-06-2005, 05:14 AM
 
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Old 02-06-2005, 10:58 AM
 
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How old are your boys? Our ds (3) struggles with picking up after himself, too, but we noticed he is going through a period where he would like to "help". We have him do things he is capable of and then help or participate with him. We encourage his independance and self reliance. We are also sending him to a Waldorf preschool, so they incourage particiaption in household chores as a "fun" thing. We also make up songs about cleaning. I suppose if they are 9 and 10, then this would not really work. I would suggest then that you tell them you are rewarding their age and knowlegde with a special priviledge, vaccuming their own room. My final thought, in our house, I am a bit of a slacker, so it is not super clean, but clean enough to function.
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Old 02-06-2005, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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8, 6 and 3. I do not make the three yo clean their room, he helps me.
I have ried charts, pictures, having cleaning time, rewards, punishments, taking more and more and more stuff out of their room.
The only thing that does work is for me to sit there and micromanage to the hilt and I just dont want to do that anymore
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Old 02-06-2005, 02:55 PM
 
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it sounds like the main problem is garbage on the floor, and your need to vacuum bc ds has asthma. is it the 9yo who has asthma? if so, maybe he needs to take responsibility for his own health by making sure the room stays vacuumed.

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Old 02-06-2005, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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no it is the six yo. He is actually VERY responsible and will clean, but his brother wont so that makes the six yo have to do an unfair amount of the work. Also, sometimes the six yo wont bc it is too overwhelming bc there is so much mess. And, he too will get playing with his brother.
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Old 02-06-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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Well I only have one so far, and he's just 15 months, so take this with a grain of salt because it comes from the inexperienced.

It seems to me that an 8 year old is probably old enough to understand that it's unhealthy for his little brother if the room is that messy. Maybe if you explain it to him he'll put in more of an effort to help out? Then again, maybe I'm nuts and he's still too young for that reasoning. Good luck, though!

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Old 02-06-2005, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, i have tried that. He understands it, but he still doesnt want todoit
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Old 02-06-2005, 04:33 PM
 
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Let's see, one thing we do is that every night before bed- the kids clean up their rooms. I do an inspection, and if it's not clean enough I tell them what else needs to be done- no cleaning, no bedtime stories. We also have one day a week where we clean bedrooms- this includes dusting and vacuuming. The big thing for my kids is to have things organized in a way that they have places for everything they want. This means they have file folders for all of the paper scraps that are so precious to them, containers for rocks, etc. About once a month I have to help them go through and re-organize their stuff. Another thing is that even though my kids do a lot of keeping their rooms clean, they do need help. Even if that help is the once a month organizing, or reminders, or just pointing out what else needs to be done- they can't do it all alone. Maybe you can have a special basket for them to gather the stuff that ends up on the floor? That way you can vacuum and you're not waiting for them to put everything away. Do they have a trash can in their room for garbage? Do they make the beds wehn they tear the sheets off? I had to start charging my son money when he would do things that either used household supplies without asking me, or created more work for me that he was unable to clean up. My time and effort is worth something, and that really hit home for him.
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Old 02-06-2005, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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money has no meaning for my oldest. The do have a trash can, and hamper. I might try a basket for paper scraps.
When you do bedtime clean up, are you in there with them?
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Old 02-06-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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I struggle with this too. My dds do clean their rooms each evening, and yes I have to stay in the general vicinity. I try not to "help" too much - it is their stuff and their space! Here is what I will do:

Help break up the tasks - "Try putting away all the dress up clothes first, it will be a lot easier to see what else needs cleaning when that is done." "Let's set the timer for 12 minutes and clean as much as we can in that time, then we'll put on pjs and brush teeth." (12 minutes almost ALWAYS is enough time to put everything in order.)

Put away things that don't belong in their rooms (so that they are not distracted as they go through the house to do it themselves!)
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we do the breaking up of tasks, no good. TImer, no good. Alex is very distracted by books. He ends up reading when he is supposed to be cleaning. Taking all the books out is not an option
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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Now I don't have to be there the whole time, just occasional check ins, but at first- I did have to not only be there, but explain what needed to be done and help out as well.
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, dh and i talked about it and have decided two things have got to go: small toys and magazines.
So, in their room will be books, clothes, mini tramp(stored in the closet, but they can bring it out), big ball(same thing), and that is it. Right now, ds has a big box he is using as his office, I will move that in there. Also, I am going to cut down on the bedding. They have alot of short blankets(crib size) and I think they get overwhelming
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:57 PM
 
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sounds like a good plan
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Old 02-06-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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Sounds like you are going to make some good changes. I am currently student teaching art in a public elementary, and I find 8 to be good natured, but in constant need of simple reminders. One thing I tried with a kid that was being slow and disinterested was to give him a 5 minute or less time limit on a task. I would give him a goal, too, that started small and got bigger as he became more skilled. I often gave him his goals as a challenge. I think the idea of a bit cleaning every night and then dusting and vaccuming sounds good because it creates a rhythm.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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what has worked for me, was a timer. i set it for 5,10,15 minutes and we work. only thing that ever got through ds1's head. then it was the timer that was keeping him, not me. also helped show him how little time we could spend for huge results.
one day his room was trashed- and i mean trashed. i set the timer and we worked 15 minutes out of every hour. by the end of the day he was looking for me when it was time. the other 45 minutes he spent on the computer,watching tv, eating- anything but cleaning.

the other is mostly for my 5 y/o. we have clean up time. every night at 7pm. everyone works together. no discussion, debate or excuses.

all of the above took weeks to enact, and it was a PITA till it was understood, but is a life saver now.
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Old 02-16-2005, 01:03 PM
 
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I have found that removing items that are a distraction works well. If books are a distraction while cleaning, find another area of the house for the to be in. Our guest room doubles as a library. All books are in there. We also have baskets/bins for everything -- on bin for trains, one for dolls, one for horses, one for legos, one for dinosaurs, one for animals, one for dress-up, etc. If they know where it goes, it is easier to put away. I am trying to do that for myself as I am the one that is bad about picking up and putting away. I pile if it does not have a place.
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