How can I get my 9 year old daughter to keep her room clean?

Kelli - posted on 10/19/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Ever since she was little, I have always encouraged her to keep her room clean. I would always make it fun and she used to actually keep her room clean. Now that she is older, I have absolutely no luck. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just clothes taking up space on her floor. She won't even throw her garbage in the garbage can. She has one in her room and it's never used. She uses her floor. It is absolutely disgusting! I have tried numerous things with her but no matter what i try she continues on with this. Allowance doesn't work. Taking away all her things accept the bare minimum doesn't work. Praise of her room being clean ( after we clean it) only lasts a couple of days before it's back to being a mess. I have tried a few other things and so has her father and nothing seems to work. PLEASE HELP me help my daughter to keep her room clean.

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Rachael - posted on 10/19/2009

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I don't think you can force the desire, unfortunately. Some people care and some don't. I was very messy as a kid and a teenager...then, when I moved out, something snapped and I became overly anal about being clean & organized. I have tried to impose my way of thinking on my step-daugther (6 1/2...been in her life since she was 4) and my own daughter (3 1/2). My daughter is almost more particular than myself!! She tells me I need to clean things! Grab a mop, kid...I'll NEVER complain if you wanna help out! My step-daughter, however, will watch something spill off her plate and just walk away! Rather than make an argument about it, I just tell them both that their rooms need to be clean before we leave in the morning, before they are allowed to go anywhere during the day, and before bed. If it's not done right, I go back in and take everything that's not in its place and throw it on the floor. If my step-daughter is late for school because she won't clean things the right way, then that's her own fault. And if there's no time left to play with the neighbor because she took too long to clean her room and do her laundry, well then that's her fault too. I've stopped expecting that she'll just WANT things to be clean; it's not gonna happen! I think you just have to let them know that they might never like it but being responsible for their own stuff is expected of them. To most kids, chores suck! Like yourself, I tried monetary compensation, extra priveleges, taking away toys, etc. She still doesn't LIKE cleaning her room and none of those things helped make it happen more often. So, I think that if you just understand that she probably isn't going to ever want to clean her room...and then just set some rules about how often and how well her room needs to be clean...you'll find a somewhat pleasant medium (and trust me when I say that this medium ground isn't EXACTLY the way I'd like things to be either...but, as you know, there's no such thing as a perfect mom...and there's also no such thing as a perfect kid).

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