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My 6.5 year old daughter is a major slob. She does not take care of her things, everything ends up on the floor and she'll just walk all over it. Keeping her room clean has been a constant battle since she got her own this past September. I'm to the point where I want to take everything that is not essential (clothing, bed, blankets) out of her room. I've decluttered and decluttered but it's just not working. I don't know what else to do to get it through her head that she has to take care of her things. I found her mp3 player under the couch cushions, she had lost it unbeknownst to me and didn't bother to look for it. She's already lost her chance at a DS which she wants desperately. I told her that her actions have shown me that she is not responsible enough to have one yet. Right now the only toys she has in there is a toybox of baby dolls and accesories, a milk crate of barbies and a milk crate of my little ponies. I've tried putting things in trash bags when she doesn't clean up and then given her a chance to earn the items back. Most of the time she just doesn't care.<br><br>
So, I guess I'm asking if my idea is too extreme or not. I don't know what else to do.
 

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I don't have a six year old yet so I'm just guessing - how does she do if you remind her to pick up every day at a certain time? Like an hour or so before bed if you said ok, DD, time to put all your toys in their crates. Follow up with ok, time to put all your dirty clothes in the hamper, and then whatever else. My daughter is only 4.5 but I find she does pretty well if I tell her specifically what to do, one thing at a time.<br><br>
As for expensive items like mp3 players and her DSi, she asks for them when she wants to play with them and she gives them back (or I have her put them in their spot) when she's done. They are not free-floating for her to keep up with. They both have a spot on my desk. If she wants them, she asks for them. If she wants to play a different game, she gives me the old one and I get her the new one. It just works for us.<br><br>
I know there's a WORLD of difference between 4.5 and 6.5 and sometimes I think I'll be happy not to micro-manage her so much, but if I didn't do things this way her room would be a wreck and her DSi would have been lost long ago.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NiteNicole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15420578"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't have a six year old yet so I'm just guessing - how does she do if you remind her to pick up every day at a certain time? Like an hour or so before bed if you said ok, DD, time to put all your toys in their crates. Follow up with ok, time to put all your dirty clothes in the hamper, and then whatever else. My daughter is only 4.5 but I find she does pretty well if I tell her specifically what to do, one thing at a time.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">She goes upstairs, tells me she's cleaned and then when I go check find she has lied. We used to sit in her room when she shared with oldest dd and watch them clean but have moved away from that.</span><br><br>
As for expensive items like mp3 players and her DSi, she asks for them when she wants to play with them and she gives them back (or I have her put them in their spot) when she's done. They are not free-floating for her to keep up with. They both have a spot on my desk. If she wants them, she asks for them. If she wants to play a different game, she gives me the old one and I get her the new one. It just works for us.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">This is a good idea-my friend does this with her sons and their DS systems. I've got her mp3 player stashed right now but will implement this soon.</span><br><br>
know there's a WORLD of difference between 4.5 and 6.5 and sometimes I think I'll be happy not to micro-manage her so much, but if I didn't do things this way her room would be a wreck and her DSi would have been lost long ago.</div>
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Oldest dd (8) is getting her DS at the end of the week...maybe seeing this will motivate the middle girl to start taking care of her things.
 

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I don't know what a DS is, but can that be a motivation for her to improve? I'm assuming it means Digital something or other, so I would guess it's expensive. Perhaps she can earn money or points toward it through keeping her room clean. I'm not personally enamored of this tactic, but if it starts the habit, perhaps it would be a good thing.<br><br>
I don't think taking things away and having her earn them back is extreme. I think it's a reasonable consequence.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15420838"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know what a DS is, but can that be a motivation for her to improve? I'm assuming it means Digital something or other, so I would guess it's expensive. Perhaps she can earn money or points toward it through keeping her room clean. I'm not personally enamored of this tactic, but if it starts the habit, perhaps it would be a good thing.<br><br>
I don't think taking things away and having her earn them back is extreme. I think it's a reasonable consequence.</div>
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Its a Nintendo DS handheld game, and yes it's expensive. So far it has not been a motivator. Believe me I am a firm believer of intrinsic motivation but this girl just doesn't seem to have it.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk"><br>
I have the same problem with ds. I've tried everything, nothing works.
 

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I don't think that's too extreme at all. In fact, I have been considering doing the same thing with my kids. Good for you for actually doing it. Your DD sounds like my DD. I think that she (mine) is overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that she has (goodness knows, that I am) and that it might actually be liberating for her to have to take care of less stuff.<br><br>
I have a feeling that a DS would wind up with the same fate as her MP3 player, so I'd ensure that once she earns it, she only gets it on the condition that it be kept in X spot when not in use otherwise she'll lose the privilege of having it for a while.
 

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My daughter is almost 18, and she's never learned. I'm actually afraid of her bathroom.<br><br>
Now, I am just waiting for her to go to college and then her roomates can deal with it.
 

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I think this has to be her thing. She has to want to be clean for herself. No amount of money or praise will get her to do this. Kids have to come to a point where they value their body, their space, and their things. When she comes to that point, it will be from her own inner need to care for herself and her things. Comments like, You might feel better when the room is clean, might help her start to think about the value of cleanliness and taking care of her own things.
 

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I think she suffers from to much stuff.<br><br>
I do think she needs to work for a DS. She has so much stuff it doesn't matter that something is lost.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Freud</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421222"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think this has to be her thing. She has to want to be clean for herself. No amount of money or praise will get her to do this. Kids have to come to a point where they value their body, their space, and their things. When she comes to that point, it will be from her own inner need to care for herself and her things. Comments like, You might feel better when the room is clean, might help her start to think about the value of cleanliness and taking care of her own things.</div>
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I agree with this.<br><br>
I'm TERRIBLY HORRIBLY AWFULLY lazy. To the point where it sometimes interferes with important things like my daughter and my marriage. I don't know why I am like this but I always have been. Its a struggle.<br><br>
I learned as a teenager though that if I was just left to figure it out rather than always being hounded by my mom, I would actually take care of things. my mom stopped making me clean my room sometime around 12 and although it would often get really messy and gross, I'd always end up NEEDING to clean it and I'd do a completely thorough clean complete with getting rid of stuff, dusting, vacuuming, and even rearranging the room. I'd 'pick up' probably once or twice a week but I'd do this thorough clean 2 or 3 times a year (definitely winter and summer.. it seemed seasonal)<br><br>
I think it is something she is going to have to figure out on her own. Til then, I agree with keeping the expensive things in your care unless she is using them. Its not a fight worth having when it is over something expensive. I'd also agree that she might just have too much stuff. I'm not sure what her mess is, but my MAIN problem was always clothes. I needed fewer clothes and I needed a good laundry basket and I had an easier time putting them away if I was using a dresser instead of hangers in a closet. dirty and clean would just mix up on the floor if I didn't have a basket I could easily toss dirty clothes into and dresser drawers I could stuff when I was feeling to lazy to put things away nicely.<br><br>
I still struggle a LOT with this problem but I do much better when I can find my own way to resolving the problem rather than being made to do something. I don't think you should just let her room get trashed, but perhaps talking to her about ways that might make it easier to keep things cleaner for HER and talking to her about how she feels when her room is a mess vs when it is spotless might help her consider her options and find ways for the two of you to work together. It might help her realize she WANTS to keep her room clean but has her own special needs in terms of guidance.
 

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As a fellow slob, I thought I'd share a little about how we work (or don't work <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> .)<br><br>
First of all, I'm not really motivated by stuff. If I cared about stuff, I'd be more inclined to take care of my stuff. So stuff is not a great motivator for me. (She's not materialistic! That's good, right?) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I've gotten better at seeing mess as a SAHM, but as a kid, I didn't see it, and actually a very very clean room would make me feel a little uncomfortable, because it seemed like a place where whatever I did would ruin it.<br><br>
Organization is difficult for me, but if someone else sets up an organizational system for me, I can usually keep it going, at least for a while. Faced with a big mess, even now I struggle with how to start. I would take your dd's lying about cleaning as a sign that she is overwhelmed with the task-- have you tried giving her more specific instructions (i.e. Go put your toys in the toy box.)? I'd also make sure she knows where everything goes, and try to avoid shaming her about messiness-- this really is harder for some people than others (you strike me as someone who is naturally tidy, and IME naturally tidy people think messy people are just lazy when there's more to it than that).<br><br>
I think it's age-appropriate for a 6.5 year old to lose her mp3 player in the couch cushions. I wouldn't give her a small toy like that if you can't cope with her misplacing it from time to time. I would tell her where to put it when she's not using it, and give her a gentle reminder if I found it elsewhere.<br><br>
I don't know that I'd bring the DS into this conversation, unless you are able to give her a very specific standard she has to meet to be judged "responsible". It sounds like she's a pretty normal 6 year old, and she may not feel capable of meeting your standards. I don't see anything in your description that suggests that she'd lose the DS permanently, it's not like you found the MP3 player out in yard after a storm, or she left it at the playground at school.<br><br>
A question: if you are perfectly happy to throw all her non-essential things away, why do you care if they get stepped on? Is it the mess that bothers you, or is there something else?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">A question: if you are perfectly happy to throw all her non-essential things away, why do you care if they get stepped on? Is it the mess that bothers you, or is there something else?</td>
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I'm not throwing it away, I'm taking it away from her. All toys are shared amongst my three girls. So, these toys would be moved from her room to another girl's room. It makes me angry to see them strewn all over the floor and getting stepped on because I expect my kids to respect their stuff and take care of it. I was raised by a huge neat freak and while I'm not as strict as my mom is, I do like things picked up. I guess I need to go back to supervising her while she cleans her room. I have talked to her several times about how if she picks up as she goes it won't turn into a huge mess. I'm going to clean up her room tomorrow (she was upstairs for about 2 hours after school and says it's mostly clean) take some stuff out and organize her clothing and see if that helps.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Hey Mama!</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421456"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not throwing it away, I'm taking it away from her. All toys are shared amongst my three girls. So, these toys would be moved from her room to another girl's room. It makes me angry to see them strewn all over the floor and getting stepped on because I expect my kids to respect their stuff and take care of it.</div>
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Ok. I'm not being snarky, but why do you expect her to "respect" plastic horses? If she's not stuff-oriented, trying to make her respect her things is probably a losing battle, because that's an outgrowth of loving one's things, and we aren't all cut out to love stuff. I'd encourage you to focus on her keeping the room usable and clean, and not trying to make her value her things in the way you might have as a child.
 

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I am like zeldamomma. Unfortunately I am a slob. LOL My house is rarely, no it is never, perfect. Hubby comments that I am amazingly good at stepping over things on the floor rather than pick it up. Clutter doesn't bother me much. I get to a point where....ok time to clean....then I am good for many days. My house isn't dirty...just messy. I have an apron and matching dish towel that say "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life"....says it all to me. I respect my stuff...I do not break things, I have toys from my childhood still in amazing shape....I stepped over, around but never on my things. I know where everything is and can find things quickly, unless hubby decides to "clean".<br><br>
Is her room hiding old food or is it smelly? Or is it just cluttered? Can you help make tidying a fun task? An easier task? Some days my son doesn't like to help tidy....but squeakers his puppet does <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> So Squeakers and mommy pick up Tyr's toys for him.<br><br>
Is she motivated to clean when friends come by? I wasn't as a kid, but am now....well not if they are our super close friends because they know the real us....but other friends, family for sure.<br><br>
Now....if she is stepping on and breaking her toys, electronics....well then they do not get replaced...this is something I have made sure DS understands. Cluttered rooms with toys on the floor do not bother me...broken toys, ripped books...well that is a major sin. WE do have a lot of possessions, more than most, too many for some...but care is taken to make sure what we have is not ruined. If ds no longer wants a toy, or is treating it poorly, I ask him about giving it to another little boy who may want it. This either prompts a yes, or he very quickly puts it away in it's spot for next time.<br><br>
Anyway...sorry I may not have any advice...but just wanted to give a bit more insight to the life of a self confessed slob. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm not a slob - I like a very neat, clean house. I just can't function well in a mess.<br><br>
My ds? He's 7 and would be happy to live in his room with every single toy pulled out. In fact when I stepped on a lego and hurt myself the other night, he said "See Mom, that's why I leave them out, it keeps people out of my stuff!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
But I also don't expect him to clean his room all by himself - I help him. Yes, even at 7 and about to end 1st grade. I give him directions like "put the legos in the lego bin ... ok, now take any laundry on the floor and put it in the hamper" and I do that until we are done. We do a quick clean up of his room each evening before our bedtime routine, so it never gets out of hand. Helps a TON.<br><br>
As far as DSi's go - those things have TINY parts and I can't tell you how many stylus pens we've lost. He is not allowed to take his DSi to friends houses & when we take it out and about it stays in my purse until I had it to him. I just don't expect that a 7 year old can keep up with it in addition to all the things that distract him. Maybe your 8 year old is very responsible (ds has a good friend who is like that) but not all children are.<br><br>
I think you need to adjust your parenting to who your dd IS .. not who you want her to be. She's obviously not neat, not able to clean her room without direction & not motivated by possessions. I get it ... my ds is the very same way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
What you have been doing is not working, so why not try something different? Something that might work better with her personality? I've found that helping my son keep his space neat over a long period of time has started to help him want it more neat himself .. no where near my standards <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> but a big improvement.<br><br>
I just don't see with everything you've shared here, how stripping her room down to the basics is going to teach her anything and will probably make her feel pretty darn bad about herself. Just my opinion.
 

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I'm a "slob" too - actually i resent that word, i don't think having a completely clear room with no clutter, no dust and no sign i live there is a healthy or necessary or valuable reflection of my inner life or intrinsic value as a person (see how lazy i am! i have spent many many hours justifying my untidyness, rather than just tidying up!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">).<br><br>
She is probably not going to get it. I didn't "respect" my plastic ponies either, nor did i care particularly if they got lost/broken/borrowed and never returned. Because, well, they are just plastic horses. Pets i looked after exceptionally well, and their living quarters were certainly cleaner than mine! But stuff, no.<br><br>
Being a mama didn't cure me but it has treated me a little. The mess my (very like-minded) 4yo can make in 15mins is pretty breath-taking, and since i have to help clear it up, i tend to be a little tidier myself so i'm at least not adding to the craziness. But it's not like that means i'm "tidy".<br><br>
Do you want to fight about this and feel frustrated about it for the next 10+ years? My mother NEVER got that i wasn't tidy. My grandma got it. She had a cleaner (and was an author!). She told me "you get a good job and hire a cleaner!" and it's my aim, believe me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Some people are just NOT overly concerned about stuff or tidyness. I'm not sure how you can "make" them be so.<br><br>
I think it's perfectly reasonable to not get her expensive toys if you worry she won't take care of them, it's YOUR money! - encourage her to save up herself for such things, i DID value things I'D had to buy more than gifts, and by all means, if she leaves her stuff all over the house then bin-bag it. But have you considered being more relaxed about HER space? I have found my DD is much less messy overall if i let her keep her room like a sty which we tidy once a week. I can remember my mother forcing me to tidy my room and i would be thinking "in what sense IS this "my" room if i have to keep it how YOU like it?".<br><br>
Anyway, i wish i could tell you what will "work" but in my experience as a slob, nothing much does. I don't care, i am not under the impression that it matters and nothing, so far, has convinced me otherwise. Don't get me wrong - my house is not horrible dirty or anything, but equally if you go in my bedroom you WILL see clothes not in the hamper, dust on the lampshades and my toilet doesn't sparkle every day of the week....which is not to say it hums either.<br><br>
Ah, see how much more us slobs have typed...? We're all frantically posting on MDC so we don't have to go hang out the laundry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>zeldamomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As a fellow slob, I thought I'd share a little about how we work (or don't work <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> .)<br><br>
First of all, I'm not really motivated by stuff. If I cared about stuff, I'd be more inclined to take care of my stuff. So stuff is not a great motivator for me. (She's not materialistic! That's good, right?) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I've gotten better at seeing mess as a SAHM, but as a kid, I didn't see it, and actually a very very clean room would make me feel a little uncomfortable, because it seemed like a place where whatever I did would ruin it.<br><br>
Organization is difficult for me, but if someone else sets up an organizational system for me, I can usually keep it going, at least for a while. Faced with a big mess, even now I struggle with how to start. I would take your dd's lying about cleaning as a sign that she is overwhelmed with the task-- have you tried giving her more specific instructions (i.e. Go put your toys in the toy box.)? I'd also make sure she knows where everything goes, and try to avoid shaming her about messiness-- this really is harder for some people than others (you strike me as someone who is naturally tidy, and IME naturally tidy people think messy people are just lazy when there's more to it than that).<br><br>
I think it's age-appropriate for a 6.5 year old to lose her mp3 player in the couch cushions. I wouldn't give her a small toy like that if you can't cope with her misplacing it from time to time. I would tell her where to put it when she's not using it, and give her a gentle reminder if I found it elsewhere.<br><br>
I don't know that I'd bring the DS into this conversation, unless you are able to give her a very specific standard she has to meet to be judged "responsible". It sounds like she's a pretty normal 6 year old, and she may not feel capable of meeting your standards. I don't see anything in your description that suggests that she'd lose the DS permanently, it's not like you found the MP3 player out in yard after a storm, or she left it at the playground at school.<br><br>
A question: if you are perfectly happy to throw all her non-essential things away, why do you care if they get stepped on? Is it the mess that bothers you, or is there something else?</div>
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That's me, too. I was a very messy kid, piles of everything in my room, horribly messy really. But I am pretty neat and organized adult. I'm organized now because I need to be in order to do my job and run my home and deal every day.<br><br>
I didn't and don't really care about things. I like people, I like to go outside. Sure I have wanted certain things through out my life, but I don't equate putting them away or up on a shelf with caring about them.<br><br>
I also lost a lot of stuff, just because. I still do. I am 41 and I lost my carkeys in the supermarket a few weeks ago--it was horrible! But it's a part of who I am and at this point, I accept it and I try to do somethings to compensate (like, I have extra keys because I know I will lose them at some point). Also, losing car keys doesn't mean I don't care about my car, ykwim?<br><br>
You mention you've tried to declutter--that's good. I know when I was little a lot of it was just feeling overwhelmed and not having that place for everything.<br><br>
Another thing to do, and she's a little old for it, but it's how I handle things with my five year old (also messy) is that we do a quick clean up each night before bed, so things can never get that out of hand.
 

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Thank you all for your insight. I know that this is going to be a struggle for me to deal with. As for "respecting" a plastic horse, it really goes beyond that. I'm not saying put it on a shelf and worship it, just want them to realize that I will not tolerate them breaking/tearing up stuff just because they feel like it or because they don't want to clean it up. I know kids like that and one has come into my home and willfully broke our wooden table and chairs set by pushing on the legs til they broke off. It was during a birthday party so my attention was elsewhere. She had time this morning and I suggested that maybe she might want to try to put some more things away because I was going to clean her room for her while she was at school. She worked on it some more. I'm past the mindset of punishment, and looking for a long term plan that we can both live with. I have tried to ignore her mess since it's upstairs and I don't often go up there, but when I do and see that I feel like my head is going to explode. I keep telling myself I could be like my mom, she would break our stuff for us if it wasn't kept up. Yes, I was raised by mommy dearest<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
Oh, and my oldest dd is diagnosed OCD and likes to keep her room clean. She's also very responsible with her expensive toys. I know that I cannot expect the same from middle dd as I do from the oldest. It is hard for me though.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421268"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think she suffers from to much stuff.<br><br>
I do think she needs to work for a DS. She has so much stuff it doesn't matter that something is lost.</div>
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That. My boys have a few select special things in their room and beyond that it's bed and clothes. But we do have a playroom for their toys. I only ask that they pick it up every few days. And I do help. My 8 year old is a bit of a hoarder (or collector as he puts it) so he has a dresser drawer that he can put whatever he wants in and I don't even look at it, it's his own space to do what he wants with.<br><br>
As far as rooms go, I only ask that he pick it up before I vacuum and he does make his bed every morning.
 
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