Is this crazy for getting help cleaning up? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
richella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: middle of nowhere, KS
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is an idea I heard and am interested in other people's opinions on it.

The idea is that when kids don't clean up, whatever mom has to pick up goes into a box or something and if they want it back, they do chores to earn it. The mom who suggested it noted that there was a lot of stuff they didn't actually want, if they had to work for it.

I have really tried to take a more consensual approach, noting when dd talks about how much nicer it is to have a clean room, offering to help, noting when people step on toys and trip or hurt their foot, etc etc, gentle nagging, talking about how much more time I would have to play with them if they helped me with cleaning the house, asking if anybody wants to do x job with me before I start it, letting them play without me if they don't, etc, but it is not working at all!!!! I'm getting nowhere. The other day when she refused to put away a jacket that was on the floor, I finally took it and said after I had washed it, she would not get it back. She didn't like that. Couple days later I told her she could have it if she put all her clothes away (not very much, I knew it would be an easy task, though I've never seen her complete it yet). Took her all of 3, maybe 4 minutes, and she seemed pleased to get the jacket back. I actually think she's been doing more helping spontaneously since, not expecting a reward.

Any thoughts?
richella is offline  
#2 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 08:10 AM
 
LilyGrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Who do the toys belong to? That's the most important question. If they belong to you, then you have every right to put them away until the privilege to play with them is earned. If they belong to her..........well........


I don't cajole, nag, reason, or bribe. It's easier to get compliance when those tools are taken away, because they all rely on guilt or other emotional responses from the child. To me, it's not worth it when it comes to enforcing a house rule.

Rule - toys must be put away when play is over. (that's all toys, even grownups'!)

There's a hundred ways to get there, but the option to NOT put toys away cannot be one of them and have it still be effective. We can use a timer, play yogi bear, be dump trucks, pull tickets out of a jar, race, use music...

But my job is to enforce the house rule. If we consistently have problems getting it done then that's when we sit and have a house meeting to come up with other ideas that lead to the same goal.
LilyGrace is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 09:12 AM
 
mommy2abigail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
See, I've heard it said before about toy ownership, and if I believe that they are my kids toys, I have no right to do anything to them. Well, I believe they are my kids toys BUT they are thrown all over OUR house. So, I feel like even though they are HER toys, they are affecting the way the rest of us live, you know? I have no problem putting toys up for a time if they are not being taken care of. I'm not consensual though...
My take is that if there are too many toys that it's overwhelming for her to keep them picked up, we need to declutter or find a better way to organize them. She understands this and is actually very good about picking up. Of course, our house is pretty picked up in general, so it's easy for her to see that it's only her toys out, you know? I could hardly fault a kid for leaving toys out when there is a bunch of other stuff laying around.

Lately, we have been in a major decluttering mode. I put away 90% of the toys, just moved the shelf we had them on into a closet. The kids can still go get them, they are no off limits. HOWEVER, since we've moved the toys, I can count on one hand (in about 4 months) that they have been played with. It just goes to show that out of sight out of mind. I plan to keep the shelf in the closet and only keep what fits on the shelf. It's worked out great so far, and the house stays SO MUCH cleaner. Games, puzzles, and toys with a million pieces are put up high and she can get one out at a time so that parts and pieces dont get lost/mixed up.

Sorry, I kinda got sidetracked there! I DO help her clean up, I'm not a tyrant or anything! However, if I ask her to pick her stuff up and she refuses, then I remind her that she is creating more work for me, and if she is creating more work for me, I will want to declutter a little bit so that next time there wont be as much for me to pick up...she gets that concept pretty easily.
mommy2abigail is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
richella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: middle of nowhere, KS
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2abigail View Post
Games, puzzles, and toys with a million pieces are put up high and she can get one out at a time so that parts and pieces dont get lost/mixed up.
One thing my dds do is play with those little pieces as other things, such as food in their play kitchen. eg they play with puzzle pieces every day, but they hardly ever put the puzzles together! I've heard about the one-toy-out-at-a-time rule, but it does seem to me it should be okay to play with toys in different ways than some toy designer intended, or to mix things up, if that's how they want to play with them. But I also don't care if they get put back in the right collection, I just want them out of the way.

I like your ideas, though, am thinking about how to apply them to our household. Lilygrace, I have to think some more about your response before I reply. Thanks both of you. I love the diversity of opinions here at mdc!
richella is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 08:33 PM
 
Liadan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got so sick of toys all over the floor and even more tired of nagging etc. So I told my boys (5 and 8) that any toys I picked up after they went to bed would go into a bag with the date on it and get put away for one month. I told them I am at least not going to have to pick up the same toys every night...lol. Anyway, I let them know about twenty min before bedtime---"In twenty minutes we will be getting ready for bed, so if there's anything you would like to clean up, now is the time to do it" And that's it, no more reminding or nagging. I picked up a lot of the five yr olds toys the first couple weeks, but not any more. They scramble to clean up
Liadan is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 08:44 PM
 
Shera971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't really have any problem with my 4 year old DS because any toys left out have the potential to get eaten - literally by our 80lbs huskey! LOL If he ever balks at cleaning up I just remind him of that fact.

I do like the idea of the toys left out going away for a while. Seems like a good consequence to me.
Shera971 is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 07-01-2009, 03:06 PM
 
mom2grrls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 381
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Perhaps go through the toys and see if some can be put away in a garage or attic for a while and then rotate in a few months, sometimes that helps with clutter. But I agree with lilygrace I don't like the idea of taking things away b/c then they still didn't really clean.

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

mom2grrls is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 07-01-2009, 10:50 PM
 
AngieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it's a great idea. You had to take time out of your day to pick up her toys so in return it's only fair for her to take time out of her day to help you out with a simple job.
AngieB is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 07-02-2009, 12:27 PM
 
GuildJenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well - here are my thoughts, since you asked.

I think if your end goal is to have a clean house, then probably the system you describe will be very effective - as long as you are willing to continue it for life. So when your child is a teenager he or she will look for the reward for helping out, like "if you do your chores you can have the car for two hours," etc.

In other words, in your house you will have established that chores are a transaction and unpleasant enough that they deserve a reward (earned the toys back). Lots and lots and lots of adults do chores this way and for this reason and you know, hey, whatever.

For me it is just not the way I want chores to go in my home, even if it means more mess in the short (and potentially long) term. I grew up with a lot of battles & issues around chores and it took me probably 5 years as an adult to begin to see chores as anything other than Punitive And Something To Be Resented.

I personally feel very glad that for the most part (not always!) I now see chores as merely one of the ways I interact with my environment - sure, I do not sing for joy at cleaning the toilet bowl, but I also spend much much MUCH less time hating it or trying to figure out expensive ways to reward myself for doing it. It's just a toilet bowl, it needs to be cleaned, part of my weekly life is that I clean it.

So at my house we do chores by rhythm. At the usual time for cleaning up, we clean up. If my son is into it that day, great. If he isn't, that's okay too. I don't hide my feelings about it either way ("I wish I could have some help with this") but I don't yell, cajole, etc. I simply don't want it to dominate our interactions and our days. My son is only turning 4 so I cannot yet tell you how he will turn out but I would say we're about 75% compliance, and he's starting to surprise me more and more often with choosing to clean things up on his own. He also takes his own plate to the dishwasher, wipes out the tub after his bath, and so on.

He actually is dying to clean the toilet because I told him you have be at least nine years old to do that. He's bargained me down to eight.

I do not have a spotless house at the end of every day, I assure you, but we also have a reasonably pleasant, reasonably pleasant, reasonably clean house.

I do want to say that one thing I feel very strongly about in our home is that this is not "my" house. It is our house. My son had zero say in which kind of home we would buy, whether it would be easy or hard to clean, where the plates are kept, and so on. And yet of the three of us, he is the least able to leave or make other choices.

So for me it's actually most important that he feel okay with being able to use and explore his things. We still have to tidy them up so people don't trip and so they don't get vaccuumed up, but I really don't consider his toys a blight on my spotless life. I am pretty aware that one day he will leave, and I will have a toy-free home again.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 07-02-2009, 03:57 PM
 
ewe+lamb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: just journeying along .....
Posts: 2,268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a child all my toys had to be tidied away, whatever we or I had built with lego, or dolls or anything had to be tided away, it was a real bain in our lives as children and all of us as adults with children let our kids leave toys around alittle, not so we have to trip or jump over but they don't have to put away their prize architectural work at the end of the day. I personally think that if you put to the kids that we have to work together as a family and that we all like for the home to be nice then they'll start working towards that or at least that works for us, but then you have to find your solution ... never easy!!

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
ewe+lamb is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 07-02-2009, 07:13 PM
 
sunshadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have heard it a different way. If a child doesn't put away certain toys they go in a box and come out the next day (or maybe it was next week?). The toys that end up in the box over and over are donated or put away for awhile. I guess it's pretty much the same thing, but I wouldn't except a child to do a chore to get a toy back that they are currently bored with. They won't want it back that much, but they might still enjoy it at another time.

SAHM to DD (May/07) and DS (Jan/10)
sunshadow is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 07-02-2009, 08:49 PM
 
OGirlieMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,031
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Well - here are my thoughts, since you asked.

I think if your end goal is to have a clean house, then probably the system you describe will be very effective - as long as you are willing to continue it for life. So when your child is a teenager he or she will look for the reward for helping out, like "if you do your chores you can have the car for two hours," etc.

In other words, in your house you will have established that chores are a transaction and unpleasant enough that they deserve a reward (earned the toys back). Lots and lots and lots of adults do chores this way and for this reason and you know, hey, whatever.

For me it is just not the way I want chores to go in my home, even if it means more mess in the short (and potentially long) term. I grew up with a lot of battles & issues around chores and it took me probably 5 years as an adult to begin to see chores as anything other than Punitive And Something To Be Resented.

I personally feel very glad that for the most part (not always!) I now see chores as merely one of the ways I interact with my environment - sure, I do not sing for joy at cleaning the toilet bowl, but I also spend much much MUCH less time hating it or trying to figure out expensive ways to reward myself for doing it. It's just a toilet bowl, it needs to be cleaned, part of my weekly life is that I clean it.

So at my house we do chores by rhythm. At the usual time for cleaning up, we clean up. If my son is into it that day, great. If he isn't, that's okay too. I don't hide my feelings about it either way ("I wish I could have some help with this") but I don't yell, cajole, etc. I simply don't want it to dominate our interactions and our days. My son is only turning 4 so I cannot yet tell you how he will turn out but I would say we're about 75% compliance, and he's starting to surprise me more and more often with choosing to clean things up on his own. He also takes his own plate to the dishwasher, wipes out the tub after his bath, and so on.

He actually is dying to clean the toilet because I told him you have be at least nine years old to do that. He's bargained me down to eight.

I do not have a spotless house at the end of every day, I assure you, but we also have a reasonably pleasant, reasonably pleasant, reasonably clean house.

I do want to say that one thing I feel very strongly about in our home is that this is not "my" house. It is our house. My son had zero say in which kind of home we would buy, whether it would be easy or hard to clean, where the plates are kept, and so on. And yet of the three of us, he is the least able to leave or make other choices.

So for me it's actually most important that he feel okay with being able to use and explore his things. We still have to tidy them up so people don't trip and so they don't get vaccuumed up, but I really don't consider his toys a blight on my spotless life. I am pretty aware that one day he will leave, and I will have a toy-free home again.
I really like the way you stated your POV, and I agree except for the part about beng reasonably clean and pleasant most of the time, since I am a lousy cleaner-upper, too.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
OGirlieMama is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 07-02-2009, 09:03 PM
 
Sasharna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2abigail View Post
See, I've heard it said before about toy ownership, and if I believe that they are my kids toys, I have no right to do anything to them. Well, I believe they are my kids toys BUT they are thrown all over OUR house. So, I feel like even though they are HER toys, they are affecting the way the rest of us live, you know? I have no problem putting toys up for a time if they are not being taken care of. I'm not consensual though...
My take is that if there are too many toys that it's overwhelming for her to keep them picked up, we need to declutter or find a better way to organize them. She understands this and is actually very good about picking up. Of course, our house is pretty picked up in general, so it's easy for her to see that it's only her toys out, you know? I could hardly fault a kid for leaving toys out when there is a bunch of other stuff laying around.

Lately, we have been in a major decluttering mode. I put away 90% of the toys, just moved the shelf we had them on into a closet. The kids can still go get them, they are no off limits. HOWEVER, since we've moved the toys, I can count on one hand (in about 4 months) that they have been played with. It just goes to show that out of sight out of mind. I plan to keep the shelf in the closet and only keep what fits on the shelf. It's worked out great so far, and the house stays SO MUCH cleaner. Games, puzzles, and toys with a million pieces are put up high and she can get one out at a time so that parts and pieces dont get lost/mixed up.

Sorry, I kinda got sidetracked there! I DO help her clean up, I'm not a tyrant or anything! However, if I ask her to pick her stuff up and she refuses, then I remind her that she is creating more work for me, and if she is creating more work for me, I will want to declutter a little bit so that next time there wont be as much for me to pick up...she gets that concept pretty easily.
I really like this post. We just went through the same thing recently. I thought DS1 would be very upset about storing most of his toys in another room, but after the initial disappointment he was actually relieved. His room just felt nicer, too. We have a set number of toys he can keep in his room at a time and we keep the rest elsewhere. He can trade out toys every few days.

It's really difficult these days to keep the number of toys to a sane level when a kid has lots of doting relatives. Really, what is my son going to do with 200 Matchbox cars, besides dump 190 of them on the floor and play with ten?

Gallifreyan nerdfighter :, doting partner to the sasquatch , mama to the boss : (10/05) and the new little one (4/14/09). :: and hoping to :
Sasharna is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 07-03-2009, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
richella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: middle of nowhere, KS
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Still thinking, and listening. Thanks everybody.
richella is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 07-03-2009, 03:32 AM
 
camracrazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We had "toy wars" yesterday. :

I got frustrated because I've been sick for 6 months (lots of drama there, but that's another thread!!). I'm tired of the mess and of stepping on little sharp toy pieces. DD's can't play their games half the time because they can't find all of the pieces. I went in the toy room and filled up a garbage bag. Oldest DD was upset at first, but I didn't put anything in there that I knew they loved. Then I asked them to help me decide what they wanted to keep and what could be donated. I put out a box for the keepers so that we would have a visual cue of how much we were keeping. Oldest DD would have gotten rid of a lot more if middle DD wouldn't have kept saying, "Oh yeah, that's mine!" LOL I started only asking middle DD about every second or third thing I was trying to get rid of, because she was saying "Yes" to 90% of things! We put pieces back with the games and put sets of stuff together. They were really happy to see things they thought they had lost because they were buried at the bottom of the toy box! We aren't quite "done" but it already feels so much less stressful. Now I'm trying to think of how we can make some shelves or cubbies so everything has it's place. I remember when I volunteered at preschool all the games and stuff had their specific shelf or basket and when it was clean-up time it went quickly because all of the kids knew where things went. I want to set up our room like that so that hopefully it will become second nature to put something back in its "spot".

As for puzzles and projects like that, I gave DDs an old dry erase board that we weren't using anymore. It is the perfect size to do puzzles and stuff on and can be slid out of the way when not in use (and it didn't cost me anything!! LOL)
camracrazy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off