Thanks sooo much for all of the suggestions!!
Stacy-I can relate to what you're saying about your dd.....my dd was like that at that age,and she still is an awesome help....she does complain, but I am always amazed at what she can(or wants to) accomplish!! She's my mean,clean,tidy machine!!!
But then along came ds.
And I realized that it wasn't my Montessori approach that was the reason for the love of "cleaning", it was what my dc came to me with.
DS can wreck our house in 5 mins,and has no desire to pick up whatsoever!!!
So,I too have had to be creative. Dd is a Blessing is this area...she acts like she is his "teacher" trying to "teach" him how to pickup.
I have found that what works best for all of us, is to have regular pickup times. Our rule is that we MUST put on fun music first!!
So, we pickup before lunch and before dh gets home. Some may disagree with this, but we do do it as a team(if only dd and ds being the team!) and they're not invited to mealtimes, if they haven't cleaned up what I have asked. I always keep it reasonable-not expecting the playroom to be spotless or anything.
If I am having a difficult day, I let the dc know this, and I give them the warning that I need extra help....on these days, if they are not doing their share, I give them the warning that I am about to get out *THE SACK*. If they still don't pickup, I take a grocery bag and start picking up whatever is in my path. That usually gets dd scrambling to cooperate, but ds will get upset. I tell him that he can get his toys back the next day when dh comes home *if* he's a helper when I ask. He gets it now.
I approach keeping the house picked up as a safety precaution, and also to keep our young puppy and kitten from chewing on items.
I LOVED whoever compared asking a dc to pickup during a movie to asking your partner.....I have caught myself about to do this, but my Montessori background usually whispers "respect" into my ear, and I wait for the right time.
This is hard.....we don't want to raise slobs, and we want our kids to learn to take care of what they have. We all make mistakes...but really, this is an issue that *is* worth battling, otherwise they turn into teenagers that have bedrooms that are scary, and then college roommates that are icky to live with, and THEN dh's that take years of practice to "make the shot" into the laundry basket!!!
I married one of those dh's. and my dh married one of those teenagers!!!!!