Cleaning their rooms!!

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Registered: 06-11-2003
Cleaning their rooms!!
23
Wed, 10-26-2005 - 2:37pm
My two girls, ages 6 and 7, NEVER EVER have a clean bedroom. I've tried everything I can think of. They used to have a TV and DVD player in their room so my husband and I confiscated that. After a few weeks we saw no change so I did a Dr. Phil and removed all toys, book, and dolls from their room and they were pretty much just left with their bunk bed, dresser and shoes. Incredibly, they still managed to get the room looking like a disaster area, with clothes thrown all over the place, papers and pencils everywhere! Once a week, I'll go in there WITH them and help them clean it and it gets cleaned the right way but two days later, you'd never know I was in there!! I'm tired of yelling and fighting and arguing with them. I've taken away privlidges like no going outside, no TV. But nothing seems to work. Can anyone please give me some advice or let me know what I'm doing wrong! They also put clean clothes in the hamper instead of haning them back up in the closet where they got it or folding it and putting it back in the dresser. This is one of my biggest gripes. H-E-L-P !!!!!!!!!
Avatar for wednesday33
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 10-31-2005 - 3:51pm

Here is what we have done at my house for my 6.5 yr old DD:

I wrote down specific chores on strips of paper then folded them up and put them in a basket. As part of her nighttime routine she is to pick one piece of paper then do that chore. If that chore does not need to be done then she is to pick another chore until she picks one that needs to be done.

I think that telling her to "clean her room" is too overwhelming. By breaking it down into smaller pieces it is more easily mananged. On the weekends she may have to go through the whole basket of chores but she finds it fun.

Here are some of the chores that she has:

Pick up doll clothes.
Put all dirty and clean clothes away.
Put all books away.
Clean off table.
Put all play jewelry in their baskets.

Hopefully that idea can help.

Teresa

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Registered: 08-31-2004
Mon, 10-31-2005 - 6:39pm

I don't want to beat this topic to death, but I do want to make sure that you understand that my children are not being in any way starved or denied proper nutrition! :)

First of all, they have never yet in their whole entire lives ever missed a meal, unless they chose not to eat for some reason. Secondly, they are picking up their toys and have never yet missed dinner due to not meeting the 'by dinner' deadline. Thirdly, even if they did miss a dinner here or there it certainly wouldn't hurt them as they eat a nutritious breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack in addition to dinner. And finally, if they were consistently missing dinner due to not having their toys picked up, then I would know that the method was not working and would have to think of something else. They are hardly starved at my house! ;)

I honestly think that missing dinner is not what is truly motivating for them - it is the idea of having to go to bed early that they dread.

All good thoughts from everyone - I just don't want anyone to think that we are in the habit of starving children at my house.

Susan

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Avatar for cdollar
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 7:21am
Teresa has a good point. Some kids are totally overwhelmed by such a general instruction as "clean your room" or "pick up your toys" and do better with much more specific instructions such as "put all the games on the shelf" or "put all the stuffed animals in their basket" or "hang up your coat and put the dirty laundry in the hamper and the clean clothes in the drawers."

Carissa
~ momma to bookworm Keithen (2/1/99), artist 

Avatar for cdollar
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 7:25am

Susan -

No, I do not think that. What I do think is that you have set out a consequence that should never have to be enforced. The experts say that when you set a consequence for something, you should make sure it is one that you will be willing to follow through with if you need too. In this case, I firmly believe that the consequence you've chosen is a poor one that should never be followed through on. So if the kids call you on it, would you really follow through? It's not one *I* would be comfortable imposing on my children based on all the parenting literature I've ever read. No matter how well fed they may be at other times of the day, I think taking away a meal isn't a fair punishment for not picking up toys. If you think going to bed early is the motivator, why not make THAT the consequence?

Carissa
~ momma to bookworm Keithen (2/1/99), artist 

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Registered: 08-31-2004
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 11:21am

Because bedtime immediately follows dinnertime in our house, so waiting until after dinner means going to bed at their normal time.

I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree here. :)

I am not a person who says thing that I don't mean to our children and I actually am completely comfortable with sending them to bed without their dinner should they decide not to pick up their toys in the afternoon. Maybe what you are not realizing is that my husband's schedule is such that he gets home relatively late at about 6:45 p.m. We end up eating dinner about 7:00 p.m. and then bedtime is about 7:45ish. Because of our late dinner, the kids get a good wholesome snack about 4:00 or 4:30. My feeling is that children have the right to be well nourished (which mine certainly are), not necessarily the 'right,' as you put it, to join us for dinner. But we can disagree on this! :)

But again... they are picking up their toys with no problem at all since their Dad and I spoke with them, so it hasn't been an issue.

As for what Teresa (?) said about kids being overwhelmed with too many toys to pick up, I absolutely agree. One of the things that I have done to counter-act that is to say (and this is for my younger daughter - my son doesn't need this anymore) "Start with 10 toys. Put ten toys away and then come tell me." Then I will pick a different number, "Okay, now put away 7 toys." And so on. However, I am finding that I haven't had to do that at all this last week. When they put their toys away every single night, they don't have so many to put away that it is overwhelming.

Take care,

Susan

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Avatar for snowbabies97_98
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 11:25am

Delurking to chime in here.

Rebecca

Avatar for cdollar
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 12:31pm

QUOTE - not necessarily the 'right,' as you put it, to join us for dinner. But we can disagree on this! :)

I never said they had the right to JOIN you for dinner, but that they have the right to EAT dinner. (As a matter of fact, I think in one post I think I mentioned eating their cold dinner alone at the table after the toys were picked up.)

QUOTE - But again... they are picking up their toys with no problem at all since their Dad and I spoke with them, so it hasn't been an issue.

But the point is, what if you DO have to enforce it at some point? 4:00 p.m. until whenever breakfast is served is a L-O-N-G time for a growing child to go without food. As the other poster said, I can put up with crying for a lost toy but what will you do when they are crying themselves to sleep because they can't have dinner?

If you won't take the word of the links I posted or of another mom, I'd encourage you to see what your family doctor has to say about using food as a punishment like this.

Carissa
~ momma to bookworm Keithen (2/1/99), artist 

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 1:08pm

I do not use food as a punishment, but I totally understand

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Registered: 08-31-2004
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 1:39pm

Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. I think we have hashed this topic out enough for this week - at least I have!

Have a good day, everyone...

Susan :)

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Avatar for imomtojd
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 2:46pm
I know this isn't a debate board, but I don't think your punishment is at all appropriate. Your children are still very young, and withholding dinner for not cleaning up toys seems VERY UNHEALTHY, IMHO. I thought you were going to say something like any toys left out after a reasonable time to pick them up resulted in the toys being put away for a week - or something like that. I hope you recind this consequence, and make it more reasonable for the offense. Lisa