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I have three boys who are 6,4 and 2. My oldest is pretty good about picking up thier shared room but I feel it is really wrong to expect himto continue this. Thier room is THIER responsibility and i will not tidy it for them but It has to stay neat as i do home daycare. My 4 year old is the biggest struggle. He s soooo stubborn. I try to make it a game, make it a race, encourage him to help me clean up, etc... but he refususes. My two year odl is teh same. It took me three hours one day to get him to pick up soem magnet letters off of teh floor! I end up getting frusturated and yelling at them. Yesterday I began at 11 am asking them to pick up thier room.Every time i went in to check on them they wer goofing off, playing and altogteher ignoring me which was very frusturating. BY 7 pm it was WORSE than when they started. I spent all day repeating, asking, threatening to take away priveleges, and finally yelling and I even spanked them both (not the 2 yr old) I feel liek I messed up so bad yesterday and obviously need a plan. I have been letting my two yr old get away with no helping cuz its easier than fighting with him and Aidan. That needs to stop. Any ideas? Reward systems? What about if i lock thier toy closet and just set out a few things each day like the blocks and cars and rotate? If they wanted something else they could ask me? Is that too harsh? Any ideas are welcome. This is a big battle in our home and as a single mom i just cannot do it all myself. they need to help out by cleaning thier messes.
 

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nak<br>
i have a 2 yr old - the only thing that works is limiting his toys. If we play with 1-2 toys at a time, he will help put away - more that that and i think its too overwhelming for him, plus he tends to start throwing toys instead of playing at that point.
 

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I watch a stubborn 4 year old. In the beginning he would not pick up his toys either. I had serious talks with him about how lucky he was to have to many toys, he needed to respect and take care of them, and that many children in the world only had 1 or 2 or none. In the afternoons, i would tell him that it was time to pick up and let him know that i would take the toys still on the floor and put them in my giveaway bag for kids who dont have any toys. Well, i always give him a handful of chances, he gets it done, and has even given me a couple of toys to give to children without. I have never had to take any away from him. I have to be very serious with all of it or it wont work. It has worked for us very well and he gets satisfaction from completeing a task on his own. I also help him once in awhile if I think he is extra tired.<br>
Good luck.
 

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my daughter has a huge cedar chest to keep toys in. cleaning up is just throwing them inside and closing the lid. my son has large dark stained baskets in his room for toys. it makes it much easier on me.
 

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I don't have three; but I have 2 boys who will be 10 & 3 in 2 weeks. I agree it's not fair to expect the older one to do everything & I do believe strongly that kids should start cleaning up their own messes as soon as they're able. On the other hand, getting a 3yo to do exactly what you want when you want can be more trouble than it's worth sometimes.<br><br>
When we do room cleaning (and we usually do a little every day & then a big clean out once a week), here's what I do. For DS1, I give him a general list of tasks, which he can do pretty easily. Then DS2 and I form a team and I help him out with stuff that's trickier and generally keep him on task.<br><br>
It usually goes smoother if I'm in there and part of the action, rather than telling them to clean their room and then leaving. If I leave, they pick up stuff for about 30 seconds and then end up jousting with DS2's stick pony or jumping on the pile of sheets, etc <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
And - there are always those days when DS2 just wants to battle and I usually just let it go at that point. I've spent hours trying to "make a point" about something - like the magnet example in the OP - and it usually just makes me stressed out and DS2 cranky. Now, I either just do it myself or leave it until later and try it again with DS2 when he's in a different mood.<br><br>
There's such an expectation in our house that everyone clean up after themselves, that I'm sure DS2 will get it eventually. If I have to pick up a few toys in the meantime, it's worth my sanity, yk?
 

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I jump in and help out. We all clean together. And I tell them what needs to be done if they are too overwhelmed - "DS why don't you pick up all the cars, DD you pick up all the blocks" - so that they can concentrate on what to do.<br><br>
But in the end, if they just flat out refuse to help clean up their stuff with me, then I gather everything in a bag and when they decide they want to put it away, then they can have the bag of toys back.
 

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First, you need to decide and believe firmly in your heart that nothing...nothing...no thing.... is going to permit you to violate your children by hitting them ever again. And apologize to them. It's more important than cleaning up. Things might get more chaotic before they get better, but it'll be worth it in the long run.<br><br>
About the cleaning:<br><br>
At 4, mine got easily overwhelmed. I just picked up. She did other stuff around the house. (check out <a href="http://littleredrobin.com/forsmallhands.com" target="_blank">littleredrobin.com/forsmallhands.com</a>) Now we do it together. My three year old likes to put things away, but then her favorite thing is to sort things by attribute and line them up...so it's just an extension of play.<br><br>
Is it important to you as a fairness thing? a moral thing? a practical thing?<br><br>
Kids that age often imitate and respond to story and song. You might enjoy looking through the Waldorf book, You are Your Child's First Teacher.<br><br>
Lawrence Cohen's Playful Parenting is really good when thinking through a paradigm shift.<br><br>
I think if it's important to you, one way to approach it is to get the family into a rhythm where cleaning up is a part of the day.<br><br>
They are very little. The years go fast. Remember to enjoy them.<br><br><br>
HTH
 

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My ds is almost 3. Just as part of the house rules, the place needs to be decently clean, so it's important to me to enforce that. What works for us is to say, "It's time to clean your room now. How about I'll put away the... (and look around for something that interests me) CARS away and you put the... hmm, what do you want to put away?" It usually does work, and he likes that I'm right there with him. During obstinate times, we also have a Goodwill box that toys that don't get picked up go into (I do let him know ahead of time that toys that remain on the floor will go to the donation box). It's rare that it's needed.
 

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Oooo, I'm a neat freak so your post speaks to me.<br><br>
My ds' awesome teacher told me that interrupting play to clean up is extremely hard on a young child and it's better for their imagination to move from one play session into another. So I don't clean until the end of the day.<br><br>
But I do let my ds know that a clean house is important to me. I fully own this issue, and then I let him know that messiness means more work for me. And more work for me means less time with him sometimes. So I'd appreciate that we work together on keeping things clean. Then he's pretty willing to help me, and one thing I do is ask him if there is something he'd really like to leave out (a train set, puzzle, whatever) and that won't be cleaned for now. This empowers him and it becomes a give & take thing. I get my 98% clean house. He gets some choice in the matter.<br><br>
HTH
 

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My kids are almost 8, almost 6, and 3.5. I find that cleaning rooms still requires close supervision much of the time. Particularly for the 3 year old, cleaning up her room (she shares with the 8 year old) can be overwhelming. The kids don't spend much time playing in their rooms, so having once a week clean up in there works pretty well. We also do a daily clean-up where they bring any toys from other parts of the house back to their rooms (if they came from their rooms). Every morning they make their beds before school, 3 year old included (she's pretty good at it, only sometimes needs help). With supervision they all put away their own laundry (after I've washed and folded it).<br><br>
It helps a lot to do things together with the kids, so if it's bedroom cleaning time, I'm upstairs with them and spending time in their rooms. If it's time to be in the kitchen, I'll ask them to help out in the kitchen or living room. It helps to make it fun, so for example we call mopping 'swabbing the deck' and have the option of using an actual mop or skating around on wet towels. I find that for us, it doesn't matter so much which areas the kids are cleaning or what chores they're doing, it only matters that they do help-so we have a list of a large number of chores that need to be done to take care of our home, divided by room, and frequently they choose what to do. And even little things like clearing your own spot after dinner and putting your dishes in the dishwasher help a lot. Routine also helps: After every meal, the kids clear their spots. Every morning they empty the dishwasher. Every morning they make their beds. It's just part of life. They do need reminders, but if it's part of our regular routine they're used to it and (mostly) willing to do it without any issues.<br><br>
It really does also help to declutter. Periodically we go through the toys to throw away anything broken, and either throw away or give away anything that hasn't been used in a long time.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chfriend</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9053989"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">First, you need to decide and believe firmly in your heart that nothing...nothing...no thing.... is going to permit you to violate your children by hitting them ever again. And apologize to them. It's more important than cleaning up. Things might get more chaotic before they get better, but it'll be worth it in the long run.<br><br>
About the cleaning:<br><br>
At 4, mine got easily overwhelmed. I just picked up. She did other stuff around the house. (check out <a href="http://littleredrobin.com/forsmallhands.com" target="_blank">littleredrobin.com/forsmallhands.com</a>) Now we do it together. My three year old likes to put things away, but then her favorite thing is to sort things by attribute and line them up...so it's just an extension of play.<br><br>
Is it important to you as a fairness thing? a moral thing? a practical thing?<br><br>
Kids that age often imitate and respond to story and song. You might enjoy looking through the Waldorf book, You are Your Child's First Teacher.<br><br>
Lawrence Cohen's Playful Parenting is really good when thinking through a paradigm shift.<br><br>
I think if it's important to you, one way to approach it is to get the family into a rhythm where cleaning up is a part of the day.<br><br>
They are very little. The years go fast. Remember to enjoy them.<br><br><br>
HTH</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This is the way I think too. I don't really care if toys are around, it' s their house too, and I am not a spotless person. I keep laundry done, kitchen clean, etc, but I do have clutter here and there. Everyone does. We make a time at night where DD and DS see us picking up toys, and they usually join in. Sometimes DS asks "daddy, can you pick up toys tonight, I'm really tired" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. We have big open toy bins that we put big things in, and I relaly try to keep their sets of things, like farm set in a closed big tupperware thing and keep them sorted through the day. I am not obsessed with everything spotless, and sometimes they are playing with something they specifically say they want to leave out. When I have a project going like a scrapbook or soemthing and go to bed, I leave it out to finish the next day and I alow them the same.<br><br>
I figure it's all of our house and no one here keeps their mess picked up 100% of the time. I wouldn't be stepping on toys all day, but a few here and there are no biggie to me
 
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