how to get a 4yr old to clean their room?

Kayla - posted on 10/01/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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she does nothing but complain and say it's to hard, i just want to get her into the habit of doing it now so i dont have to fight with her later on in life like my parents had to with me.

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Get a little sticker chart and give her a sticker every time she completes a chore. Once she earns so many stickers she gets a special treat or reward.

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Shanae - posted on 10/06/2009

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Hi Kayla, i remember when my son went thru that stage. What worked for me was i would make a song about every step to make it fun for him. For instance, a counting song for each truck or doll that u put away. we would even make silly dances or make sounds for each item. Although u end up lookin like Barney jumping around the house.It is very effective, and it teaches them while they work. And if all fails, try reverse phsycology, Say " Oh no i dont think your big enough to clean your room, Only big girls can do that"! It worked for my son, but u no boys with the whole male ego thing. Dealing with a little girl she may say" I no mommy can u do it, your a big girl"? LOL

Krissy - posted on 10/04/2009

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We made it a race between our older child and her. Or I will race her while I'm cleaning the kitchen or something. She thinks it neat to win.

Nichole - posted on 10/04/2009

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when my son was under 3 we would make cleaning into games. hes 5 now and he has daily chores. basically he has to tidy up before he can go out and play, watch tv, ext. just be consistant and good luck!

Michelle - posted on 10/04/2009

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I play clean house with my 3yr old stepson, he picks up all his toys and puts them in his toy boy and puts his close in the closet ( on the floor but they are there)

Jennifer - posted on 10/04/2009

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I have the same problem. My son is a angel always has been but my daughter what a slob. We've tried games me helping her everything I can think of but she will just sit there or get her brother to do it for her. It must be a girl thing.

April - posted on 10/03/2009

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I know this may sound weird but watch the big comfy couch. They do a ten second tidy thing that gets the kids up and cleaning. Basically make it a race if they get there room done before you get the clothes put a way the win a cookie or a special sticker. I have also done i won't play a game with you if you don't pick up. My daughter loves to play hide and seek. So when she picks up her room i drop everything and play hide and seek with your for 15 min. My sons on the other had didn't work that easy. I had to tell them that i was going to set the timer when it goes off. I will take the toys left on the floor to the goodwill. I made them go with me to the good will. It took two times and after that they picked up because they knew i would take them to the goodwill.

Elizabeth Carroll - posted on 10/03/2009

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We use "clean up music". My husband has a record player and a large selection of old records. They are only played when we are cleaning up. I think the novelty keeps it fresh. We take turns flipping through the big "old fashion" music. They kids run around and dance while putting their things away. Also I think the LOUD music deters anyone from picking up a toy and playing with it.

Heather - posted on 10/03/2009

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You could go in her room with her and help her but make it a game. Sometimes, this is just from my own experience they get overwhelmed and just want you in there with them to help. Not really to do it all but just for support but they do have short attention spans and she may begin to play and that is where making it a game comes in. What you do is see who can pick up the most and put it in its place and if it is her then she gets a reward. Then the more and more times that this is done you give rewards little and little until you do not need to anymore because she is picking up her room all by herself and you may still want to give her a reward but it will not be something that is done on a basis of if you do this you get this.

Yolanda - posted on 10/03/2009

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Chore charts and rewards! My 3 year old wants to help and do things on his own all the time. He tries to help with the dishes, sweep the floor, fold the clothes. I think it starts with the small things first and early. For example, they have to clean up their seating area after dinner.

I also have a 6 year old. She has a chore chart and is really excited about marking items off the list so she can get a star at the end of the week. She then gets "mommy bucks." She can use her mommy bucks (fake money with my picture on it) to buy her rewards. It may be a snack, extra tv time, a date night whatever. It's fun and she's learning the concept of money, saving and spending. Most importantly, I DON'T go behind them to "fix." I don't expect the bed to be made perfectly. I expect it to look like a 6 year old did it. She is now teaching her brother (3 years old) to make his bed in the morning. It's not perfect, but if I go behind them and fix it then it will appear as if their job wasn't good enough. They get better with practice and a little coaching. For example, I give specific instructions on how some things should be done, like cleaning up the closet. I tell them to make sure all the shoes are lined up neatly and there are no clothes on the floor.

At this age it's important to make sure it's fun and not work and that there is a reward. At the age of 4 you may want to help your child, but give them specific tasks while you work on something else.

Amanda - posted on 10/02/2009

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i worked in child care for years and i found using a clean up song helped a whole lot! the goal is to finish cleaning before the song ends and if you do finish before the song you get a sticker on a chart you have a goal of how many stickers you have to get and when you reach that goal you get to pick a prize from a treasure box filled with different prizes the kids seemed to love the game and picked up singing the song. i love the beatles and the song "Help" is a good choice for a song its up beat and the kids loved it too hope this helps.

Taylor - posted on 10/02/2009

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If my four year old doesn't clean her room how I would like it done, she isn't allowed to play with her toys that are in there. Sometimes I have to tell her step by step what needs to be done because it is difficult for a young child to concentrate on all the tasks at hand. It helps to break it down for them.

Leslie - posted on 10/02/2009

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I always played games with them. as they got older I started giving them options. Clean this area and later clean this one. Clean up or lose privileges for fun things. Sometimes we went for ice cream if they did what was asked. You have to find what works for you. I really dont like awarding them to do what is expected. They tend to think they are supposed to get something every time. I change things up. My son loves it when I say who ever gets done first,gets to pick out dinner,a movie, etc... Even with one child you can do this. There is something you need to do. of course she is only 4 so you need to let her win some or it wont work.

Amber - posted on 10/02/2009

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Thats exactly what my daughter says! Katelynn has a chore chart and she knows before she does anything she has to do her very few chores. I am one of those people who thinks it has to be perfect and that wont happen until she is older i have realized so she does the best job she can do and then when she goes to school i go in and make the bed the right way and little stuff like that. She also earns 20 minutes wii time for every chore she does. Therefore she is not playing video games all day but earns it :)! She also get an allowence and Friday is her pay day so i look at the chore chart and everyhintg adds up tio like $2.50. If you want i can be more specific for you but i think that is enough for this essay lol!

Nichole - posted on 10/01/2009

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we play "beat the clock" I use a timer and set it on ten minutes..then let them know a prize is waiting for her if she beats the timer before it goes off!

Melissa - posted on 10/01/2009

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when my daughter was that age we started giving her a little allowance which was 2 dollars a week if she helped clean her room and pick up after herself.
it really worked...you can give whatever for an allowance. i have no problems with my 22 yr old hes a clean freak like me lol.. well i hope i was of any help ..

Bre - posted on 10/01/2009

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make it fun and praise them. my 3 year old girl cleans her room ever night. i will sit with her and watch her clean and if she asks for help i will. If you want them to clean they have to know that you will to. i praise her eg; how she is such a wonderful girl how she is doing such a wonderful job,

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My friend used a chart & sticker system for her children and it worked wonders I am definately using it with my son when he is old enough. What you do is on a big bit of cardboard draw up a chart of jobs they need to do around the house. Each job done (and done properly) gets a sticker. On a smaller bit of cardboard write a chart stating what the number of stickers is worth and place it somewhere that your child can see it. Use pictures to describe prizes if your child is not at reading age yet. Then at the end of the week (or daily however you wish to do it) add the stickers up and give the corrisponding prize.

Heidi - posted on 10/01/2009

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I make clean up a game....pick up three things then pick up two things...or pick up all the red blocks then the green ones....if there is a big mess I will play army where they line up and I give them one job and they go do it and race back in line. Set a time see who can clean up the fastest....make it fun and do something diffrent....you helping will also help...keep them on track

Robin - posted on 10/01/2009

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Give him or her options and if they can't pick one. For example, You can clean your room or no play, or whatever you know that they feel they can't live without.... AND STANDBY IT!!! MUST HAVE YOUR HUSBAND AND OTHER CARE TAKERS STANDBY YOU ON YOU DECISIONS!!!

Hailey - posted on 10/01/2009

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im always trying to get my girls to clean their room they r also 4 but they never seem to do it properly or get distracted and start playing with the toys instead of picking them up , i found offering them some type of reward after they have cleaned up helps they might not do the best job but i figure any atempt they make is worth a reward as they r still little and learning that with good behaviour comes good rewards it might only be a water ice block but they love them and everylittle thing they pick up is one less thing for me to do

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