So.. Do you make your kids clean their room? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is almost four. Is it too early to make him start cleaning his room? I will go in there on e a week or so and make his bed and help him clean his room but it doesn't seem like a big deal to me if his room is t clean everyday. I mean, it's his room. Should I care a lot a out how clean it is on a daily basis? Lol

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#2 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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My boys don't really 'clean there room' yet (they're 5.5 & 3), but they do help pick up - both in their room and throughout the house, usually in the evenings as bribery to watch tv or a movie...
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#3 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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Yes I do.  I think it shows respect for your things and frankly I don't want to step on a million legos(those things hurt!).  My kids share a room.  They are expected to pick the stuff up off the floor and put up when done, every day.  The 4 yr old isn't a big help(but my other kids at 4 were big helpers).  I do help them and make it fun but they are a part of the family and I don't have the time or energy to go in there all the time cleaning behind them,  I also make the 4 yr old fold towels and do other chores lol.


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#4 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 05:09 PM
 
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Yes. My teen boys share a room and if I don't some of their clothes start to walk ..and the smell.....

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#5 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 06:26 PM
 
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I don't. My kids are 4 and 6, share a room and their room is only for clothing, a sitting/reading area and sleeping. They do have a play room that they clean with help occasionally.

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#6 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 07:00 PM
 
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I never made my DC clean her room and for some reason she always did it - even at 4. What I did was kept the clutter minimal, organized and tried to keep it pretty clean. Really early on she just got with the program that her room should be clean. 11 years later and her room is always clean. I suppose I did tend to "disappear" things that were a real pain to clean so maybe that was some incentive. 2whistle.gif  Or maybe it has nothing to do with me and it's just her thing. I donno. 


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#7 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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Yep, my kids clean their rooms. I make it easy by making sure they don't have too much stuff, and have a spot for everything to go (those stacked bin-shelf things are awesome for this). So when I say, "Clean your rooms," they know that means to put toys in the bins, books on the shelf, laundry in the hamper, and make the bed.

 

Up until very recently, I always helped DD (age 4.5) with her room, but about a month ago I was busy with something else while she cleaned, and she did a terrific job, so now she just does it on her own and does great! 

 

They only do a proper cleaning like that maybe once every two weeks though, although I do have them do a smaller sweep every evening to make sure there's at least a clear path to their bed so that DH and I don't hurt ourselves stepping on Legos and the like (ouch!). 


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#8 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 08:59 PM
 
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my older 2 do but my 3 yr old just toys. and put stuff in laundry bucket.

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#9 of 33 Old 10-17-2012, 06:15 AM
 
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DD(7.5) likes to clean her room, I've even had friends say what a delight it is having her play at their houses because she will clean their kids room. DS doesn't really care although he will sometimes clean if asked. I usually invite my kids to help me clean their room once weekly, but if they refuse I just pick it up quickly and it's no big deal. I figure it's their room and they can figure out the level of cleanliness that works for them. Their room hasn't gotten too bad really so I figure they must have worked up a pretty good system.


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#10 of 33 Old 10-17-2012, 07:21 AM
 
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Yep.  If you want to have have friends over your room must be clean.  If you want clean clothes, they need to be in the hamper.  If you want to be able to find your "stuff" it needs to be put where it belongs.  We have certain toys that stay out (like a Lego or Barbie set up) that doesn't have to be put away at night, but everything else needs to be picked up.  I'm kind of a hard ass about keeping the house picked up.

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#11 of 33 Old 10-17-2012, 04:14 PM
 
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Yes I do..She just turned 5 and has been capable of picking up after herself for sometime..If I let it go then it would get to the stage where it would be overwhelming and then she would just sit and cry..If I see that something is frustrating her like a big pile of legos I might put some fun into it..A race or something like that...I also have her "help" me make and straighten her bed...In a few years she should be able to do this task herself...I have always felt that if you start teaching them (within reason of course)when they are young it works better in the long run...I do help her if she becomes overwhelmed though...I don't make it a battle..Just an everyday chore that must be done just like I make my bed and I do the dishes..Kids get it even at a young age...

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#12 of 33 Old 10-17-2012, 04:18 PM
 
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I would start getting him into the habit of cleaning his room every night before bed. Give extra time and then go in and help him at first, but he will most likely eventually get used to everything being neat and cleaning up after himself if it is done very very very consistently. Like every single night without fail.
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#13 of 33 Old 10-18-2012, 03:59 AM
 
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well at 4 it isnt about clean the room, its about helping mommy pick up the clutter. in fact i made it a game so i think dd got used to picking up from 3 i think. or even earlier. i cant remember. it is a skill set i wanted to encourage where you do it automatically. 

 

its a good idea to do it in a structured form. like regularly. as they grow older and they can follow directions independently, i made sure their room v. rarely got trashed. because once it got trashed it was very difficult for dd to clean it. she'd see all the stuff and would be VERY overwhelmed. then i'd have to guide of what and when to do it. it no longer was 'go clean your room', but first go pick up your books. when she has done that then i tell her ok go pick up all your art materials - pencils, markers, etc. 

 

this is for your future use. but its important to not allow things to get really bad. 


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#14 of 33 Old 10-18-2012, 07:26 AM
 
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Maybe this is for younger children, but at 10, my son is reminded every few days up to a week, to sort through his clothes that are strewn on the ground. Some how he can't get his dirty clothes into the hamper anymore - he used to be careful about that!  And the used once, but not dirty clothes, he stuffs back into his dresser (he used to fold them - whats happened here??).  Other then clothes, his room is tidy.  Occasionally I sort through his dresser, putting shirts back in the shirt drawer, shorts in the short drawer etc.

 

Scattered toys were never an issue. I do the vacuuming and dusting.


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#15 of 33 Old 10-19-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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All my children (well except the newborn) is expected to help keep their room and playroom clean as well as do chores around the house. They live here so they can help keep it clean.


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#16 of 33 Old 10-20-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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I would much rather my DD cleared up her stuff from the living room than kept her room tidy.  Unfortunately, she's prone to cleaning her room to the state that she likes, but leaving art supplies and clothes and plates and whatnot scattered about the living room.

 

It's hard to really get down on her for it since her father does exactly the same thing :-( Only substitute "tools" for "art supplies".  Sigh.

 

At least DD DOES tend to keep her room moderately tidy.  I think it depends on your family and what your child sees as normal in terms of tidiness.


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#17 of 33 Old 10-20-2012, 08:56 AM
 
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I'm torn between wanting to post my thoughts and not because right now our family is in one bedroom.

 

For now, toys are in the living spaces, not the bedroom.  I decided this a long time ago, remembering the torture that was cleaning my bedroom as a kid.  (This is not a "rule", it has simply been our habit since my first daughter was old enough for toys, 7 yo.)

 

Dirty clothes need to come out of the bedroom.

 

No dishes in the bedroom beyond water glasses.

 

We need to be able to find shoes, etc. so when we need those things where we can find them.

 

Don't fuss to me about finding the stuff you refuse to put away.

 

Games set up in pathways are going to be cleared ASAP.  I have been known to use the broom.  orngtongue.gif

 

 

I have a higher tolerance for untidiness, though not for outright dirtiness.  If I can operate in a space, we aren't forever looking for things, (or *finding* things! yikes2.gif) I'm OK with it.


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#18 of 33 Old 10-20-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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I'm torn between wanting to post my thoughts and not because right now our family is in one bedroom.

i am curious to read what they are.

 

 (This is not a "rule", it has simply been our habit since my first daughter was old enough for toys, 7 yo.)

i so agree with you right here. that has really REALLY helped.

 

I have a higher tolerance for untidiness, though not for outright dirtiness.  If I can operate in a space, we aren't forever looking for things, (or *finding* things! yikes2.gif) I'm OK with it.

me too :)

 

one of the things i have found is if i have a place for everything it really helps for them to be organized better. for instance i have a dirty laundry basket in the bedroom and bathroom. makes it easier on dd.

 

also i found i need to allow her to 'fail' sometimes. that means when she is in a hurry to run out the door, i pick up her wet towels and dirty laundry instead of making her do it. 


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#19 of 33 Old 10-20-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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meemee, those were my thoughts.  I hesitated sharing before because my girls do not have their own rooms to keep clean yet.


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#20 of 33 Old 10-22-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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I would much rather my DD cleared up her stuff from the living room than kept her room tidy.  Unfortunately, she's prone to cleaning her room to the state that she likes, but leaving art supplies and clothes and plates and whatnot scattered about the living room.

Ha! We have this issue at home too. DC keeps her room FAR neater than her standards for the rest of the house. Most days, I'm just happy to have a kid with a clean room but other days we have talks about her doing a better job with the rest of the house. But, part of why I don't come down on her for that is because we ALL tend to leave the rest of the house pretty messy. Sometimes I'm tempted to gripe about the number of DC (or DH's) shoes in the living room...till I do a count and realize that I've got a few pairs of my own. Sheepish.gif


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#21 of 33 Old 10-22-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Ha! We have this issue at home too. DC keeps her room FAR neater than her standards for the rest of the house. Most days, I'm just happy to have a kid with a clean room but other days we have talks about her doing a better job with the rest of the house. But, part of why I don't come down on her for that is because we ALL tend to leave the rest of the house pretty messy. Sometimes I'm tempted to gripe about the number of DC (or DH's) shoes in the living room...till I do a count and realize that I've got a few pairs of my own. Sheepish.gif


Yes I'm not entirely innocent either :)  It's very, very hard to cultivate tidy children when one is not naturally tidy one's self.  On my own, I am actually fairly good - but I find that tidying up other peoples' messes (*cough* DH *cough*) to be mentally draining.  Where do I put things? Where does he want them? How do I keep track of things in my head so if I put them away they're not "lost"?  Occasionally I'll just collect everything up and dump it in his office, but that usually backfires because he just shunts everything back out into the hallway, which creates a bit of a fire hazard for exiting DD's room :( 

 

The problem is that DH works long hours, and he does a ton of stuff around the house in terms of renos and fixing things.  His time priorities aren't my time priorities though. 

 

Anyway, total digression - the point being, it's really hard to get DD to clean up her stuff when she's got poor role models asking her to do it.  HOWEVER I did find a partial solution this weekend - I invite my sister over, have her sit on the couch, and THEN ask DD to tidy stuff up.  All of a sudden she's more interested in looking good for Auntie Rachel than arguing tidying strategy with me, and bam! we can see the coffee table again.  Good thing Auntie Rachel lives in the same city as me now!


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#22 of 33 Old 10-22-2012, 12:04 PM
 
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All of a sudden she's more interested in looking good for Auntie Rachel than arguing tidying strategy with me, and bam! we can see the coffee table again.  Good thing Auntie Rachel lives in the same city as me now!

Ah...the old "have guests" angle. Yes, I am very familiar. orngbiggrin.gif


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#23 of 33 Old 10-22-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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I didn't, and my daughter is the messiest adult in the entire world.  I don't think she can ever have a room mate at this point... she's that messy.  

 

I with i'd instilled that in her when she was little.  But, it was easier not to fight with her.

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#24 of 33 Old 10-23-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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Until age 5 or 6 I go clean with them, it's the only way to keep them on task until it is done and prevent it becoming a fight. We're living in a very small space right now so every day they need to pick up their toys in the house and in their room. In our old house, he playroom was allowed to become a disaster for days at a time, it was out of the way. Bedrooms had to stay tidy-ish though.

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#25 of 33 Old 10-23-2012, 09:16 AM
 
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I didn't, and my daughter is the messiest adult in the entire world.  I don't think she can ever have a room mate at this point... she's that messy.  

 

I with i'd instilled that in her when she was little.  But, it was easier not to fight with her.

My parents did... or tried.... and I'm still pretty messy.  My sister is a neat freak, and my other sister is somewhere between neat freak, in-the-middle or catastrophe, depending on her schedule.  We all know how to clean, but not all of us choose to.

 

I doubt it was you!


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#26 of 33 Old 10-23-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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My parents did... or tried.... and I'm still pretty messy.  My sister is a neat freak, and my other sister is somewhere between neat freak, in-the-middle or catastrophe, depending on her schedule.  We all know how to clean, but not all of us choose to.

 

I doubt it was you!

Nextcommercial - I agree with SweetSilver. ditto here. my parents tried. but even today its a struggle. i am super messy. however dd on the other hand is a neat freak.


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#27 of 33 Old 10-23-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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This is why I love coming to the mothering forum.  My DD age 4 doesn't clean as enthusiastically as I'd like.  Talking to a dad at her preschool had me all upset, apparently his daughter cleans everything she gets out, never leaves a mess for any reason.  He simply explained to her it was his house and his rules and that worked, from that day forward no mess was ever made.  It's so reassuring to know there are other moms out there going through the exact same thing I am.  I felt like such a softie, having never made an absolute rule like that.  It honestly is so much easier for me to pick up after her, but we're slowly working some tidying skills in.  


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#28 of 33 Old 10-23-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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This is why I love coming to the mothering forum.  My DD age 4 doesn't clean as enthusiastically as I'd like.  Talking to a dad at her preschool had me all upset, apparently his daughter cleans everything she gets out, never leaves a mess for any reason.  He simply explained to her it was his house and his rules and that worked, from that day forward no mess was ever made.  It's so reassuring to know there are other moms out there going through the exact same thing I am.  I felt like such a softie, having never made an absolute rule like that.  It honestly is so much easier for me to pick up after her, but we're slowly working some tidying skills in.  

eyesroll.gif that's the way dd was at her dad's house. she was just too scared to be grounded so she complied. and ex limited the number of toys so it wouldnt be such a mess. i think men in general are v. strict and children sense that and behave accordingly. dd was the opposite and still is at my place. but when things get out of hand, she does it willingly instead of worrying about being punished. she has been grounded so much that when i tried it for the first time at 10 years old it didnt really even work. actually punishment didnt in general.

 

so be a softie but with clear limits. 


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#29 of 33 Old 10-28-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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I'm pretty strict about keeping things clean.  Now... the house never IS really clean because we're all home every day and things just get messy.  But every day we have clean up time.  Even if 15 minutes afterwards it's messy again, at least it's tidy for 15 minutes. :)

 

We have a playroom that is next to DH's room, and he lets them play there while I work.  They make a mess of it, and he sometimes makes them clean it up, sometimes not.  We rotate toys so they don't have TOO many things out at once, but they have their play kitchen, Lego's, dress up box, and Matchbox/train collection down there... so really, it just has to be sorted into those four bins and that's it.

 

Their ROOMS have minimal toys out at once.  I keep most stuff away in bins in the closet and they can have one toy at a time (roughly).  Like, they can have their musical instruments down.. or pattern blocks... or Barbies... or puzzles... or Play Doh... but not all at once.  Other than that, they both have some books in their rooms, DD has some stuffies and dolls, DS has a drawer full of "treasure" that he's collected up in various places, some marbles.  Both have some toy animals.  They're really not hard to keep clean.  So yes... I expect everything to be tidy, at least at the ends of the day.  We don't do food or drink upstairs, and clothes go in the washer or closet when we take them off.

 

Do toys still end up here and there and everywhere?  Do DD's clothes end up everywhere?  Yes... but yes, if I see it, I will have them take it to the right place.  (Right now they're already in bed and the house IS a mess... but we'll do yet another cleanup in the morning... it's never ending.  Gah.)

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#30 of 33 Old 11-11-2012, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just thought I'd update. I've started a new rhythm to the day which includes making beds in the morning and cleaning up before bed, and its working well!! He has only a few toys in his room and a couple books, so most of the clean up is the playroom, but he knows in the morning that he has to brush his teeth, get dressed, make his bed and eat breakfast before playing and we've just sort of made it a rule and he's doing great! Thanks for the tips!

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