Cleaning and kids

Crystal - posted on 01/17/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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How do I get my 7 and 5 year old to pick up their rooms? I have tried allowance, pick a job from the hat, "throwing" the toys away (my 7 year old hands me the trash bag), and taking away privalidges. All I want them to do is pick up their toys, take their dirty clothes to the laundry room, and put clean clothes away. I am at my wits end and losing patience rapidly...HELP!

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Veronica - posted on 01/17/2010

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Im the same as Melanie, and I also started my children early, like Shulena. My children started 'picking up' or 'helping mommy' the first moment they could follow simple instructions/directions. Which is around the 1 year mark. I would be simple - put toy in box. My children are 7, 5, 4, 2, and 1 -- they all have to clean and pick up.

First of all - the vacuum cleaner is almost persuasive enough -- they love vacuuming their rooms - so when i tell them to clean and they can do their own room - they are off in a hurry. We've done races, and I've offered treats, etc. A game they love is I Spy -- I'll say, "I spy a pink sock" they all race after it, and pick it up and put it where it goes. They like the 'whispering game' -- i whisper a task into each of their ears - they run and do it, and come back to get another 'secret job'. Its fun.

I have to say - the most effective thing out of all games and tactics is this: A) Praise. Praise. and more Praise. Tell them how well they did, how well they are doing, get them to understand and appreciate a clean and organized home - and make it exciting! I offer treats too -- but not as often - more on rare occassions - i dont want them to think that they will always get something - i want them to get the satisfaction of a clean home/room, etc. And being proud of themselves.

B) This is the most important -- DO IT WITH THEM. If you are sitting on the couch and pointing and demanding what they should do - they aren't going to be as willing to do it. Mom is sitting on her bum, why should i do anything. (type of attitude) So, what i do is, i start it in motion "mommy is picking up the garbage - one can get the dirty clothes, one can get these toys, one can get those toys, etc. etc." Or "let's hurry and clean up, so we can relax and spend time together."



These are just ideas, and things that work for me - I hope some of it will help you!

Take care,

Veronica

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My kids are 4 and 7. Yesterday, our basement play area was a huge mess. But I had great success getting them to clean it in 60-second increments. I'd give them a specific job, like picking up all the Legos, and tell them that whatever wasn't cleaned up when I counted to 60 would be donated to needy kids. No problem! A little hands on, but it worked perfectly and was a good way to tackle an otherwise overwhelming mess.

Angie - posted on 01/17/2010

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You say you've tried "throwing" things away. Don't mess around actually throw their stuff away or donate it to charity. If they realize things aren't coming back, they may decide to pick things up. It was hard for my son to lose a couple of pairs of jeans and have to wear the same ones over and over to school - he hated it and at 16 he's pretty good about picking up after himself.

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Ruby - posted on 01/23/2010

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ok, your kids may be to old for this, but i have made a star chart for my 4 year old. we actually discuss a toy he really wants from a store. we even go online to look at it together. then i lay down the rules, he knows that he can earn two stars per day. most gifts take 10-15 stars to earn. To add excitement to the hard work he put in, he places his own stars on the chart and i also let him go into the store and purchase the item.
So far it has kept him on track! good luck

Karen - posted on 01/23/2010

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emmmmm well my mom used to take all my toys out my room and and hide them and say to me until i picked up my own mees i would get them bk and it did worl cause i do with my own 4 year old he hates it but it works.

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I did read that if you tell children that they be able to eat after they get their cleaning done that they will do it. Do this if all else doesn't work. I did this to my children when they were young and it worked.

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I finally decided that the "once a week" system would work. I don't nag them about keeping their rooms clean during the week, but come Saturday they have to bring their dirty laundry to the laundry room and clean their rooms (with my help---mine are 5 & 6). So at that time they have to collect all the dirty clothes and pick up their rooms so we can vacuum the floors, etc. We also clean the bathrooms that day too so each person has a specific task with that. Has been working so far. Funny thing is...I'm not great at keeping my bedroom picked up, so why should I try to control them and that environment if I don't set a good example. They'll keep it clean when they find it important.

Aliree - posted on 01/21/2010

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I gave each of my girls 1 chore that has to be done every day. Then when ever I am doing dishes or making supper they have to go pick up their rooms. We play music and kind of make it fun. My youngest is 7 and she likes it when I count when she runs in her room and cleans for a minute or so. I also try to break it down so they clean for 10 minutes and then do something else for awhile.

Joyce - posted on 01/21/2010

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I'm a little late to the discussion but I agree with the people you are suggesting you be specific and one at a time. instead of pick up your toys try telling them exactly where to put them, toybox , closet where ever they go . pick up your laundry and put it in the basket , take your clean shirts and put them in the drawer etc

Vandna - posted on 01/20/2010

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ts the same for me as well...i spend as much time as possible with the kids...so if its time to play together then they first hv to clear up the day's mess...so the result is they do it in a jiffy so that we all can play together...btw my kids r 11 and 7..

Melanie - posted on 01/20/2010

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My son and I sat down and made a simple list of things that needed to be done everyday in the mornings and evenings. I took the list and laminated it so that he could use a dry erase marker and mark through each thing as he finished it. I simply told him that he could not watch tv or play with any electronics until all of the items on the list were done. these were little things like pick up ur toys, get ur clothes out for the next day, finish homework, unload the dishwasher, ect. keep it simple for the week. Then on Sat he had to "clean" his room and "clean the bathroom " to my standards. If this was all done I would give him $5 a week. we would inspect things together so that he would see how to do things right. It works as long as I keep him focused on the list. Good Luck!! and remember to keep it simple!

Sonia - posted on 01/20/2010

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well what i do is take what they really like the best away and if that dosent work just dont pick up the dirty clothes leave it where they did and it will come where they will want a favorite shirt or pants and it wont be clean it will be where ever they left it and if the mess is to much for u to see and it bothers u just close the door it worked with my kids cuz at one point all the favorite clothe they had was on the floor of their bedroom and now they do put it in the hamper cuz if its not in the hamper it does not get washed .as for the toys it could also be a favorite night like we have friday night movies time at home and if they dont do what they have to well they lose that night so they make sure they get to watch it i hope this can help u

Kelly - posted on 01/19/2010

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I think it's a challenge in any house! I've been working on our routines since school started and now with the new year rolling in, thought of stepping it up a notch. Mine are 9 and 6. We have their schedules up on the fridge of things they do every day, before & after school, and before bed. When they get in from school, they know they need to put away coats, boots etc...then clean out lunch bags, get to homework and then put it all away so that it's ready for the next day. We also had a family talk about them doing some chores to help out. Garbage, dishwasher...small things they can do as a team even. It's been fun so far. For these 'jobs', they get paid a small amount...perhaps 50 cents. I told my oldest that in this way he can control the amount of money that he can earn. He has a new game that he's wanting to buy and putting his money towards that.
I find that I do have to remind and for things like laundry, sort my own at the same time as they do theirs. It's more fun for them to do things with you than on their own. They make the laundry a game, similar to basketball....who can get it into the right pile from the bed.

Karen - posted on 01/19/2010

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Have you tried taking away the tv or any electronic theings they like to play with.My kids are 7yr girl and 4yr son and it is a dailyu battle with them unless i am in there doing most of it then it takes days.I finally took away her tv and her special outing trips(ice skating and girl scouts) and told her that when her friends asked why she wasn't there then she could tell them that she wasn't there because she couldn't clean her room and that embarrased her enough that she did it just so they didn't find out.My son i have to work with him and keep on him not very big attention spand.

Crystal - posted on 01/18/2010

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Thank you for all the great ideas. There are some new ones I will be trying soon. It seems my youngest (age 2) likes to do it the most.

Brooke - posted on 01/18/2010

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hmmmm... in my 5 & 6 yr olds room we have boxed everything up, taped it and put it all in thier closet except ONE toy box. They cant even keep that stuff cleaned. I dont know..its a fight here too. the only thing I know is they love to vaccum so I make it a treat on who cleans the most gets to vaccum. lol. BUT I take stuff away a lot too and they get it back if they clean. even clothes. I will not clean with them...they are old enough to clean themselves. When things start crawling to the living room there is a HUGE problem ya know? I know i am not much help... but all i can say is fins something to make a reward outta it...quarters, uhmm stickers...take stuff away..no tv..whatever.

Melanie - posted on 01/17/2010

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I find giving my daughter specific jobs helps. So I might start with putting clothes away, then move on to her ponies etc. This works really well when there is a lot of mess as I have found she doesn't know where to start otherwise. Although it requires you to put a lot effort in as well. Once her room is clean I remind her how nice it is and how much easier it is to play and to please put things away when you are finished with it. Once her room is tidy she seems to be more able to keep it clean.



With dirty clothes I have a small laundry hamper near her door. All she has to do is pop it in there and it is no big deal for me to grab it and take the clothes to the laundry.

Margaret - posted on 01/17/2010

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am still havin a prob with my 16 year old his bedroom is a mess i have tried puttin his clothes in the bin and not washin his clothes. i just shut the bedroom door now and let him get on with it he seems to have it clean with he as mates around tho

Shulena - posted on 01/17/2010

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I really don't know what advice to give to you. I started having my son pick up his own things at a very earlier age (2yrs old), so now that he's 6yrs old it's not an issue. Good luck

Suzie - posted on 01/17/2010

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i have a 9, 7 5 and 10 mth old so i know how you feel. i always try to make it a game like saying who can clean their room the fastest will be able to pick the tv show or game we play that nite. i also encourage them to help each other clean so they usually help each other and that makes it faster. doing a chore board is too much aND FIZZLES OUT AFTER A WHILE SO i just try to make it a game for the little one and the other 2 help each other. with my 5 year old i always say your not big enough to clean ur room youd better go hang out with the baby and she gets so mad and cleans her room no problem.

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