How do you get your pre-teen to clean up after themselves?

Jeemiet - posted on 05/22/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I have a soon to be twelve year old daughter and she refuses to clean up after herself. My husband (her stepfather) is getting extremely irritated by this. I am after her all the time to put her dishes in the sink, throw away her garbage in the trash not the floor and to clean up her clothes and put them in the dirty hamper. All I get is attitude and frustration! Are there any ideas out there or anyone else feeling the same frustrations?

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Monique - posted on 05/24/2009

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I have a 10 year old daughter and sometimes I can't believe for such a dainty little girl her bedroom is often disgusting. The thing that helped me with getting my daughter to do chores was an idea I got from the t.v show Nanny 911. I got my daughter a calender a list of all the chores that needs to be done. For every chore she does without having to be told to do them she gets a gold star. Every gold star is worth $0.50 and for every chore she doesn't do or if I have to tell her to do it she loses a star. At the end of the week we add up all of her gold stars and she gets to take her money and buy whatever she wants with it. This has been a huge success and now she even does chores that aren't even on her list

Julie - posted on 05/23/2009

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I remind my children constantly. I tell them that I have to (mentally) get after myself to clean up as well. No one really likes to do chores (well, not many people, anyway) but most of us like to live in a clean, well-kept house, wear clean clothes, etc. We all need to pitch in because we all are members of this household.



As far as their rooms are concerned... I just shut the door. If they want to lose or break toys, risk not having their favorite clothes clean, or risk an occasional insect due to cookie crumbs, that is their problem. I've noticed that by having the above consequences for their own irresponsibility, they are more concerned about being responsible. I help them do a semi-annual "spring" cleaning to go through outgrown clothes and toys for our garage sale.



One more tip - I try to give the kids special projects. For example, yesterday my daughter reorganized our pantry. She really enjoyed her success - mainly because I didn't stand over her offering advice (aka, criticizing). She is proud of our nicely cleaned pantry and so am I!

Allison - posted on 01/10/2013

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Another idea from Nanny 911 is throwing stuff away when it didn't get cleaned up. She told the kids to put their things away, then went back in later with a trash bag and took everything that didn't get put away. She gave it back later, but they didn't know she was going to, and were shocked enough to get the point. If you don't care enough about it to take good care of it, you don't need it. Also, you could try taking away allowance money or privileges if the chores don't get done.

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Julie - posted on 01/11/2013

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My husband and I were so frustrated we decided that from now on the boys (one is a tween) had to EARN MINUTES in order to have any SCREEN TIME. Girls are not so hooked electronics, but this includes TV, movies, phone. Basically, whatever she values most should be given as a reward for good behavior/responsibility.
This new rule has my tween not only completing his assigned responsibilities (chore chart), but asking me "is there anything else I can do for you?"
Each chore earns 15 minutes. Physical exercise is also included in this. Hope it helps. I'm afraid it's going to get worse before it gets better :)"

Tanya - posted on 05/30/2009

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You see Sharon I said she helpes in the morning w/ironing and getting her 2 little sisters ready then feels like she has done her share so she slacks off on her chores.So I was giving her a compliment because she offers to do those things in the morning only cuz she wants to go to school and visit w/her friends.However at the end of the day when it's all said and done,she waits till she is told a couple times to do what she knows she is sopposed to do.I let her iron when she offers so she will know how to iron and I let her help get the girls ready in the morning if she wants ,even if it's for her own selfish reasons.If you don't let them help out and you do everything for them,then you will end up with spoiled kids that don't know what to do when they are old enough.No thanks,I had friends,whose parents thought they were too little to do anything and needed to just be a kid,never giving them oppurtunities to experiance responsibilities and they don't make good husbands or wifes,no-they want everything handed to them and think their parents will always be there to do everything.

Carla {Denise] - posted on 05/29/2009

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I have two of those children .Untill I started throwing away things that were not picked up.I tell them once. I don't count to ten.They know what they are doing as long as you are doing what they know! Same action, Same result. I wish you the best

Cecilia - posted on 05/26/2009

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I have a 12 yr. old step-son. On Wednesdays & every other Friday, he visits his mom. He's 12 & a boy, of course he is lazy and messy. So was I!! Here's what I do:
On Tuesdays & every other Thursday his room has to be picked up...if not, I start taking away toys. He gets them back once his room is picked up.

Socks were a BIG problem, he leaves them everywhere (or used to) one day I went in his sock drawer and took ALL his socks and hid them...he had to go to school with no socks or dirty socks.

Clothes in the hamper: if he needs clothes washed he needs to take it to the garage, other than that, like I said Tuesdays and every other Thursday...picked up or goodbye toys. (my husband even took his xbox cables for this). He still needs to be reminded about laundary, which is fine...even my husband needs a little reminder!

Plates in the sink: even though I complain, my ss is a good boy, this part just took some time 'til he finally got it (lots of "Please" and "Thank you"s). Maybe try dessert...everyone who puts their plate in the sink gets a piece of brownie. Oh and if she takes it to her room and doesn't bring it back...then no more eating in the room.

And garbage: I told him I would pick up his garbage, but would not go into detail so anything around the garbage (a toy, a remote, a notebook) is going in the garbage too.

I hate threatening, but it's the only thing that has worked for me. We tried rewards, but when he goes to the other home he is soooooo pampered by his grandmother, that he didn't care if we took him to the movies or baught him something. ...sorry so long :)

Vicki - posted on 05/24/2009

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far out, this sounds farmiliar. my new husband cant believe how lazy my daughter to a previous marriage is. i have to agree, ive done everything for her now she is just plain lazy.she is 14,he thinks if i take what she loves most it will work, but i feel like i have tried everything. if you have any ideas let me know.lol

Lynn - posted on 05/23/2009

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WELL SHE IS A PRE-TEEN SO ITS ALL ABOUT HER..I'VE LEARNED THAT MONEY IS A MOTIVATOR..REWARDS R AWESOME 4 TEENS WHO R FEELING THEMSELVES AND DON'T NO HOW 2 ACT CAUSE ITS ALL ABOUT THEM..G-LUCK

Tanya - posted on 05/23/2009

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O.K-I pick out all our clothes in the morning and set them by the iron.Since she wants to be to school earlier then we need to be then she offers to do a quik iron over their school cloths and slip them on the girls while they are asleep.She does this while I'm getting ready in the restroom.When I get out she does her hair and I get dressed and wake the girls up to do their hair-this way we are not wasting any time.We are a very buisy family and are hardly ever home due to church and keeping ourselves in church activity's.Her chores are to do the dishes,throw the trash and keep her room picked up.If I don't do anything around the house then how does the bathroom get cleaned,the floors stay moped and vacumed,the laundrey kept up and on top of that my girls bathed?Plus I go to school once a week at night.I would rather spend quality time with my family then preparing for the next day,especially in these times where familys are working so hard to make ends meet.I work 10 hr days-which calls for hardly anytime with the family.It is a blessing that I teach at the daycare that my girls attend,including the school that my 12 yr old goes to school-all on one campus,so I see them all day and am there when they need me.Thank you Jesus!

Sharon - posted on 05/23/2009

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I think your expecting too much of her. Where are you during the morning rush? I think she should be helping with doing the chores and it is more than reasonable to expect her to tidy up after herself but to have to do the mornings ironing and everything else is a mothers job !!! I have 4 children 8, 10, 12 & 14 and I believe they all need to do there bit but putting so much pressure on your 12 year old is a bit rich. Why cant the ironing be done the evening before hand by you? Why is the older daughter assisting the younger sisters in getting ready? Something doesnt add up. I could do with seeing the whole picture because at the moment it doesnt sound like your actually doing much around the house yourself...... Sorry to sound hard but fill me in with the gaps....:)

Tanya - posted on 05/23/2009

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My daughter just turned 12 and I'v always been on her to clean after herself.She has her chores(dishes,trash,her room-but when she comes home she will wait till we tell her to do it then she does a half way job.My husband-her step dad has grounded her for going a couple days or weeks getting away w/not doing chores and she will start to do them until she feels we are to busy to notice and she's back to the same thing.She helps alot in the mornings-ironing our school and work clothes and dressing her 2 younger sisters if we are running late,I think she thinks that she already does her share.Is it too much to ask for her to do those chores even though she helps in getting ready for school in the mornings?

Tanya - posted on 05/23/2009

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Quoting jeemiet:

How do you get your pre-teen to clean up after themselves?

I have a soon to be twelve year old daughter and she refuses to clean up after herself. My husband (her stepfather) is getting extremely irritated by this. I am after her all the time to put her dishes in the sink, throw away her garbage in the trash not the floor and to clean up her clothes and put them in the dirty hamper. All I get is attitude and frustration! Are there any ideas out there or anyone else feeling the same frustrations?


 

Jennifer - posted on 05/22/2009

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They have got to earn it, if chores are not done, there isn't going to be any fun things to do. That usually motivates them. If they try to test it, they get bored and end up doing there chores anyway.

Cookie - posted on 05/22/2009

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" Every home has chores that needs 2 be done, rules & regulations. In my home tv, radio, play station,phones, computer & etc; is earned by doing those chores daily, bedrooms has 2 be clean, closets neat & beds made when getting up for the day, there is no Ifs &'s or Buts about it. Teach them early on 2 be responsible & accountable. Dishes & Trash in the bedrooms are a No-No. Not trying 2 be rude Jeemiet but those clothes on the floor would be in the trash, We are the Parent & a little responsibility & help around the house from our children is not a lot 2 ask 4. As far as that attitude goes they will be looking @ 4 walls (GROUNDED). Respect rather Natural or Step/Parent is a MUST. Sounds like you need a family group meeting 2 get 2 the bottom of what's expected of everyone in the home. After that do some 1 on 1 with your Step daughter outside of home. Good Luck 2 you & many Blessings~

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