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Old 06-14-2007, 05:58 PM   #1
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Default Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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Title: I did it! I did it!
Post by: Radosny Matka on April 17, 2005, 05:49:32 PM
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I'm feeling pretty proud of myself tonight, so I just had to share.     I turned what could have been a major struggle into something positive.  Tonight we had to pick up the toys.  It was a HUGE job.  We focused our attention on other (much needed) things besides picking up toys.  Nathaniel started out helping well.  He got 3/4's of the way through the job and stopped helping.  He was jumping over toys.  I could tell that he was tired of picking up toys.  I couldn't blame him.  So was I.    I tried the empathy technique in Becky's book.  It totally didn't work.  I tried it again.  He told me, "I don't want to pick up the toys."  I didn't know what to do, so I sat down with him and hugged him.  He started screaming and protesting.  I was getting frustrated and thought about just taking away the rest of the toys.  But, he did so well for the first 3/4's, I didn't want to turn all his previous hard work into frustration for next time.  I stepped back and said, "this isn't working.  I want to teach him.  What can I do to help him pick up the toys."  I then started tickling him and announced that we were taking a "2 minute fun break."  We tickled and played for 2 minutes.  I then announced that the fun break was over and directed him to a toy.  He got up and put it away.     After we were done, I praised him well and we had a few more minutes of tickle time.       


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Title: Re: I did it! I did it!
Post by: sadie on April 17, 2005, 06:02:28 PM
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and 

That's great!     I think taking a break is an excellent idea.  I do the same thing when I am sick of cleaning.  A quick rest recharges me and I am ready to tackle the job anew. 


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Title: Re: I did it! I did it!
Post by: milkmommy on April 17, 2005, 09:30:56 PM
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Excellent! and your teaching him a skill he can use forever.
  Deanna


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Title: Re: I did it! I did it!
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 17, 2005, 10:00:06 PM
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That's so awesome  What a way to prove that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down


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Title: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: Robersonlass on April 14, 2005, 03:11:05 PM
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Hi there.
I am not sure what to do when it is clean up time.  I will tell the boys 3.5 & 5 that they have 5 more minutes to play and then it is clean up time (I set a timer to let them know.)  5 yo will do it with coaching but 3.5 yo will tell me no, I don't want to clean up.  I have tried making it fun, making a game of it, telling him he needs to stop playing or have a seat in the cuddle corner until he is ready to clean up, he will sit, come back and start playing again and tell me no again.  Are there some natural consequences I could use, I thought about making the toys (ones he was playing with) go away until he shows me he can help clean up. Would he "get" the consequence at his age.  Am I am thinking developmentally appropriate?
I have tried it during different times of our daily routine, before dinner, after dinner, after shower, it does not seem to make a difference.
Is it "normal" for an almost 6 yo to need constant coaching to clean up, should I just tell him once and have a natural consequence?
They will say they can't clean up, it is too much, no matter the amount of toys, legos or a few stuffed animals.  They did not need help getting it all out to play with so I think they should be able to clean up the messes they have made.  Is that reasonable?  Sometimes I feel like they are being lazy and need a gentle push to teach responsibility.
Ideas??


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Title: Re: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: sadie on April 14, 2005, 03:36:25 PM
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One thing that comes to mind is that children of this age need to be micromanaged.  When you say, "Clean up your room,"  they are unsure of where to start and become overwhelmed.  I would suggest being very specific.  "Put these blocks in this box, now put these clothes in this hamper, now put thix puzzle on this shelf," etc.  When a big task is broken down like that, it is easier for them to handle and comply.  IKWYM about how kids seem to have an easy time making the mess, so why is it such a battle to clean it up?    But really, they do need the close management and the breaking down of tasks to help them out at this age. 

I think the cuddle corner is being misused in this situation.  It's more for when the child needs to cool off and regroup.  I don't think it's being used effectively in this scenario.  I would not use it unless he tantrums and needs a break after the bear hug.  And when he is calm, I would explain immediately that you will help him clean up what wasn't done before, and then lead him right back to the cleanup. 


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Title: Re: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: milkmommy on April 14, 2005, 03:40:02 PM
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How much is out when its time to clean? Too much and he might get over whelmed. honestly we do the get one toy at a time thing. That wasy their only a few items to clean up when its time.
Some kids also do better NOT being told "were about to do this" but needed the immediate steps walked through. My DD is that way. If I say clean up in 5 mintues she goes  and starts the "I'm too tired hurt, sad etc...  At the same time if I just suddenly said STOP time to clean we'd still get  .
I wait till its time then we sing a clean up song and that helps DD focus
Deanna


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Title: Re: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 14, 2005, 07:28:51 PM
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I don't expect my 3.5 yo to be able to clean up--I clean up with him.  I also don't expect my 5yo to be able to clean up without me telling her, "Now clean up X" etc.  My 7.5 yo is finally able to clean up without much supervision.

Today my friend and I spent about 4 hours organizing the playroom into containers that will be locked into the closet and accessible one at a time--new container out when previous one put away. It looks amazing in there--never better!  I'm very excited

Also, natural consequences are what happen unless you block them.  Logical consequences could apply as in toys going into time out but I've not found that effective with my children mostly, I believe, because I've had too many toys *out* and accessible for them and they are overwhelmed which is a whole different phenomenon.


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Title: Re: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: milkmommy on April 14, 2005, 08:20:42 PM
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Quote
Today my friend and I spent about 4 hours organizing the playroom into containers that will be locked into the closet and accessible one at a time--new container out when previous one put away. It looks amazing in there--never better!  I'm very excited smile


Ohh good is it going well?  Have enough containers 
Deanna


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Title: Re: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 14, 2005, 08:25:01 PM
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exactly enough and we got it gorgeous 


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Title: Re: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: AmyDoll on April 14, 2005, 08:49:29 PM
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My little one is only 18 mos - so I'm not an expert in this area *at all*

But I read an interesting thing somewhere:  For a kiddo who had a lot of little toys - blocks and cars etc.  The mom bought him a rake and shovel and when it was time to clean up - he raked and shoveled the toys away! 

I thought it was neat & maybe worth a try...

XOXO Amy

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Title: Re: teaching to clean up toys
Post by: godsgracegiven on April 15, 2005, 01:11:01 AM
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Quote:
Today my friend and I spent about 4 hours organizing the playroom into containers that will be locked into the closet and accessible one at a time--new container out when previous one put away. It looks amazing in there--never better!  I'm very excited
We do this too, and boy, does it make a difference. I think my kiddos have a hard time when they don't know where to put the toys. We have a small toys box filled with misc. toys (mainly stuffed animals.) But everything else has it's place. We use a small dresser. So blocks go in one drawer, play food goes in one drawer, and on and on. When it is time to put them back,I direct them to the spot where the toy belongs. Not only does it help w/ pick up but I really think that when toys have thier places they seem more fun to the kids.

Quote:
I think the cuddle corner is being misused in this situation.  It's more for when the child needs to cool off and regroup.  I don't think it's being used effectively in this scenario.  I would not use it unless he tantrums and needs a break after the bear hug.  And when he is calm, I would explain immediately that you will help him clean up what wasn't done before, and then lead him right back to the cleanup.
ITA, plus, if they are feeling overwheled by the task they will continue to feel that way in tell directed otherwise.

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Title: Picking up toys game...
Post by: godsgracegiven on April 25, 2005, 08:25:29 PM
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hehehe, this was cute so I had to share. It has probably already been mentioned here but I can't help it my ds thinks it it the best idea. He has been asking me to rhyme each toy before putting it away.  Hehehehe, and I am pretty pround of my self cause so far I have came up with a lot of  rhymes for car.  Anyway, I had to share. 

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Title: Toys toys everywhere
Post by: milkmommy on April 27, 2005, 12:12:33 PM
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are not a place to walk I need HELP! Our home is small and because of how its set up is not practicle to insist she keep things in her room nor do I want to spend all day going up and down stairs :/. I've tried weeding down what she has a truthfully its not a lot but their are many pieces. 2) tried putting in covered plastic containers she can now open these so in under 15 seconds EVERYTHING is dumped out again :/. We have no closet to store toys... what I'd like to find are containers my child can't open! (we had the simple clear with snap on lids from sterlite) because this is getting dumb. I can't have anyone over with a house looking likethis.

Deanna


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Title: Re: Toys toys everywhere
Post by: Mamaka on April 27, 2005, 02:41:48 PM
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I'm not sure if this will be helpful, but what about containers she can't see into? But then that might make the curiosity that much greater. Hmmmm...

I'm not sure if this will work for you but here's what we did: divided ds's toys between 3 rubbermaid containers and only pull 1 out at a time (and then hide the other 2). Every few weeks we trade containers and that makes the toys seem fresh & new and also cuts down on clean up and toys scattered around.

ITU how frustrating this can be.


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Title: Re: Toys toys everywhere
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 27, 2005, 04:15:51 PM
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what about shelves for the containers that are up where she can't reach them?


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Title: Re: Toys toys everywhere
Post by: milkmommy on April 27, 2005, 05:03:21 PM
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Well DH and I hit target and gota bunch of GOOD containers with good tight lids in Various sizes I'm going to have to think of now where I'm going to keep stuff. Honestly her room isn't a good choice she just takes everything down stairs and honestly I hate going up and down stairs 300 times a day. We have don't have high shelves. I have a empty book case in her room that I was using to keep toys and it works well problem is its in her room, ans her toys aren't (most of them) soo I'll see if we have space too move that down stairs. I'll give updates

Deanna
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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Title: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: Radosny Matka on May 17, 2005, 06:43:24 PM
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This has been an ongoing battle.  Yet again, tonight was another battle.  I know I handled this poorly.  My toolbox is empty.  I tried several different things to get Nathaniel to help clean up toys.  He refused, no matter what I said, or how I presented it.  I was fed up.  Totally and 100% fed up and reached my breaking point.  This was probably more puntative, but I told Nathaniel I was taking away all his toys, putting them in a box in the basement, because he couldn't help clean up.  I told him that he could have them back in a few days.  I went downstairs, got a HUGE box, and started putting all his toys (that we on the floor) in the box.  He was yelling, so I sat him on the couch and told him to sit there until he could calm down.  He didn't care about the toys until I got to his tackle box (he has a tackle box and some lures, with the hooks removed).  Then the waterworks started.  I told him that if he wanted to help clean up, we could put the toys back.  He refused and just kept crying.  I got all but about 2 toys in the box.  This would have left him with a small handful of toys for the next few days.  All of a sudden, he said he wanted to help clean.  I said, "if you help me put all these toys away, you can have them back."  He got down off the couch, crawled into the box, and started helping me put away the toys.  He actually had a blast crawling in and out of the huge box, so we made a game out of it.  When done I gave him a huge hug and said, "guess what, Nathaniel.  We are done.  It is no fun to put away toys.  I am very proud of you for choosing to help me pick up the toys."  Then we went on with our bedtime routine.

Sometimes I just don't know what to do with this child.  He is persistent and a tad stubborn ( just like his momma).  I'm glad he decided to help put away the toys, because I felt bad taking them all away.  I just am not sure what else to do.  I have tried all the advice here.  I even went so far as to put 1/2 of his toys away (to rotate) a couple weeks ago thinking maybe he just had too much.  Didn't help any.  


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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 17, 2005, 06:45:41 PM
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some young children have personalities and temperaments that will have them consistently helping to clean up . . . many do not.  Keep modelling it, keep including them, keep teaching, and they will get it.


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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: milkmommy on May 17, 2005, 06:56:19 PM
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How old is he again?
  How are your toys oganized we have all of Cecilia's stuff in clear plastic containers and she LOVES to play the sorting game. ( putting the right toy in each box) other thing I do. Give her a wicker basket like for Easter eggs and we go hunting to leggos or blocks I give her a plastic shovel and she scoops up toys with it and dumps them in the right box.
To keep heer from spreading ALL her toys everywhere we bought some small bath mats (dollar store) and taught her it was a special matt for playing. (as in the toy stays in the mat) were no obsessive about it things still get messy shes 2  but it does help her focus. We pick up through games.
Lets stand up tall now touch the ground and pick ofsome toys now lets twirl around and put up our cars. lets close our eyes and hand mommy three things.
  HTH

Deanna


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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: kristen on May 18, 2005, 01:48:59 AM
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I've done that before...they won't pick them up, so I give them a warning and put everything away that is out on the floor. I did it as a threat/punishment because I was mad that they didn't put them up and I didn't want to do it. But what I realized several days later is that there was way too much out for them to handle. They don't play with hardly any of it anyway- they have their favorite stuff but the rest just gets thrown around in order to get to their favorite stuff. We have less out that we ever have before and they are fine.


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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: jmom on May 18, 2005, 05:40:08 AM
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I have a tool for you...  I just learned this myself and it's a really good tool.

It's the no more than 2 toys out at a time rule.    The child can have any two toys out at a time, and if they want another toy, they can have it as long as one of the toys they have out goes away.  The consequence to not keeping to the rule is the toys that are not put away when another is taken out is to be put in a trash bag or box and put away until the child can adhere to the 2 toy rule.  They can start "earning" toys back as they start following the rule.   For younger children 2 and under, this rule can be modeled by mom and dad get toys out for the child, and put away one toy when they want another. 

For some kids putting away more than 2 toys at a time is overwhelming to them - even with help.    

HTH.




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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: snlmama on May 18, 2005, 06:30:14 AM
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Well, here's what we do. I think my oldest ds is one of those who just likes things orderly so it's probably a bit easier for me than for you. My second isn't, so we have to work more on him, but often ds 1 will put up stuff for ds 2. 

Anyway, here are a few things that work w/ my kids. I keep stuff in the plastic bins like milkmommy does and have specific spots for the other stuff. Then I regulate how many bins they can have open at a time. Generally it's one each, but I'll make exceptions if they need two for a specific game or something. Also, if they get out a board game, all other toys must be put away and the board game it to be put away right after they use it. Started this when ds 2 was crawling and now they're just used to it.

If they are wanting a new toy out I tell them they need to pick up the stuff they already have out first. They don't do it, no new toy. Then, just before bed we do kind of a general clean up for all the stray stuff that's not really in boxes and gets out (stuffed animals, books, etc).  I have been setting the timer for 10 min. and they pick up and clean for 10 min. That's been working OK. Last night I had trouble getting them going so I raced them to see if they could each pick up 10 toys before I could (I kinda let them win   ) We did this in the family room and each of their rooms. I was amazed at how fast it all got done. Pretty much it all boils down to keeping their stuff organized, not letting them have too much out and setting up a regular routine for clean up.


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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 18, 2005, 09:19:16 AM
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Oh yeah--we finally got our playroom all organized with plastic bins and they are allowed one each at a time unless they need something from another bin for a specific use. It's MUCH easier to clean up and they only run into trouble if they get out too many bins (which isn't happening now that we've gotten the lock on the handle )


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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: MarynMunchkins on May 18, 2005, 10:28:32 AM
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Yep.   Our toys are organized in bins too.  They're only allowed one bin at a time, and we do "clean up" 2 x's a day.

If, for whatever reason, more stuff gets dragged out, than I make them responsible for cleaning one bin and do the rest.  Than we're "helping" each other, and neither is as overwhelmed or frustrated.


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Title: Re: Sigh...more on picking up toys
Post by: Joanne on May 19, 2005, 04:30:10 PM
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Adding to the great ideas above..........

Also try to have "clean up" times routined and predictable.  If kids know that clean up comes after reading, but before snack, every day, it helps minimize the battles that emerge when mom imposed "clean up" unpredictably.

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Title: enforcing clean-up
Post by: mama2mad on June 30, 2005, 01:31:59 PM
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with kenz, it's gettin pretty easy, tell her she can't go out to play or play noggin until it's done, give her a section or certain items to pick up at that time, she usually does it.

abbey, well, it's different. she's younger, of course it's different. I tell her to pick up one thing at a time, she will refuse. i tell her mommy will take this toy, while you take this toy, lets hold hands and put it away together, she yells and collapses, atleast about 70% of the time. she doesn't care if she can get to play outside or not, or if that means no noggin until she does.


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Title: Re: enforcing clean-up
Post by: Irene on June 30, 2005, 01:38:56 PM
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my three yr old does that too... extremely frustrating. or she goes around and collapses and says "its too haaaaard" even if Im helping.

the only thing I have figured out and it only works probably 25% of the time is to ignore it and be like "okay whatever well, when you decide that you want to play/watch dvd etc just let me know when the toys are picked up" and walk away and just dont care. then they will get done if Im not watching her...

but for the other 75% of the time... I will watch for others answers


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Title: Re: enforcing clean-up
Post by: snlmama on June 30, 2005, 01:49:47 PM
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I don't know if this is considered GBD or just and exercise in futility, but when my 3 year old (today!!!) absolutely refuses to help clean I ask if he needs my help, then help him move his hands to pick up a couple of things and put them away. He usually decides to do it on his own after that. 

Before taking that step, though, something that helps w/ both my kids is setting a timer for clean up. Instead of requiring that they "pick up everything" or do a certain job, I have started setting a timer for 10 min. a couple of times a day and telling them we all need to clean until the timer goes off. It's amazing. It can take my 6 year old an hour or more to clean his room if I just tell him to do it, but if I set the timer, he can pick up everything AND dust and vacuum in 10 minutes flat. 
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Title: Picking up toys
Post by: JoyfulBirth on July 09, 2005, 08:52:16 AM
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I'm curious about how others handle picking up toys, etc. I've got three boys ages 5, 3, and1. It's always amazing to me how quickly a room can go from clean to a total mess. I'm not sure how to apply the 5 steps to this without ending up picking up all their toys myself! I've read before about taking the "feel free to pick up any toys you want to keep" approach. I've thought about approaching it from this angle, with the idea that if it's too difficult for them to pick everything up, then perhaps they have too much stuff. I could keep the stuff I pick up in a box, and each day (or half day, or whatever) that they are able to keep their things picked up, they can each choose a toy to get back out of the box. Does that sound reasonable? Or do you all have other ideas? I'm pretty open to suggestions here. Obviously this is for the older two boys and not the baby    I have tried directing them very specifically (G, pick up the red truck and put it in the toybox), playing "beat the clock" with a timer, etc. but even when they aren't fussing about having to pick up or resisting getting started, they get perpetually distracted by playing with the toys they are supposed to be picking up.

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: ellies mom on July 09, 2005, 10:11:41 AM
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I like the idea of separating the toys into smaller containers and they can only have one at a time. To get a new box, they have to pick up the old. My personal hope for this plan is that looking forward to the new toy will inspire them the pick up the others. Also there will be less toys at the end so maybe it won't seem so "hard" to clean up.

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: J3K on July 09, 2005, 04:21:51 PM
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I would suggest cleaning out their toy box. Donating those toys they no longer want to children in the hospital. My kids liked this idea.  Really re-inforced the spirit of giving.

I have one daughter that needs things seperated. She has a clear lidded shoe box for just about everything she has. (stock up when they are on sale ! )   If things were tossed willy nilly into a large container she'd freak out. She must be super organized. She  cleans in categories. All the Barbies. Then the Barbie clothes. Then the diaries. Then the arts and crafts. One right after the other. Rapid fire. With me sitting on her bed to help her.

Our youngest dd who MUST have things tossed into one or two  large containers. To seperate things really overwhelms her. First I ask her to remove all trash from her room. Just the trash. Done ? Okay fine. Let's wait a beat and get a small glass of juice. Then we return to the room and use a shovel method. Scoop and dump into a bucket. She is quite happy with this method and strangely , knows where everything is as well as the other daughter does.

Find their cleaning /organizing styles and work with it.  Sort or scoop  ?  Fast or leisurely?  Everynight or every other day ?  I tell you , since training myself to learn THEIR styles of cleaning , it has really eased up pressure on all of us.  It took trial and error on all our parts.

I once told the youngest daughter to sort her toys . When she didn't I explained I'd take away all the toys she didn't put away.  She waltzed into the room , put up three things and said "you can have the rest. Sorting is just too much trouble".    Three lawn and garden trash sacks later........ her room was indeed clean. The grandparents of course freaked out that her toys were gone and by the end of the following week she had another large mess.  

Likewise I asked the oldest dd to scoop her stuff and dump it in a bucket. She threw the mother of all hissies     The mere thought <although I didn't know it at the time> of dumping all her toys together created havoc in her head.

Let's see.....anything else to ramble on about.     nope. I'm done.  

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 09, 2005, 06:29:39 PM
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the best thing we ever did in this regard was to declutter the toy room and separate and box up for organization everything that was left.  The boxes are kept in a locked closet.  Liam can open the lock and he only gets out what he has permission to get out   When somehow things get our of hand or if Aidan makes too big a mess we help Liam clean up, otherwise Liam cleans up every morning before the tv comes on.  Granted he cleans like a child but it's his room and his toys and he gets better all the time.  This is the first year we could have had a rule like this.  With our 5yo we give her on cleaning instruction at a time.  "Go get X cleaned up"  "Now do all the Y" and that breaks it into bite sized pieces for her   With our 3yo we sing our cleaning song and do it together.  We might both pick up the little people together or I might ask him to hand me things or I might hand him things to throw in a bucket, etc.  It needs to be a group activity.  This is when we teach him *how* to clean up.

It really helps to have regular clean up times during the day so that things don't get so out of hand and overwhelming.  Having it be part of a regular routine also brings less resistance

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: JoyfulBirth on July 09, 2005, 08:01:18 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I have tried to declutter their toys, and will continue to do so. I have also tried to organize their things as best as I can so that they know where they go. It's a work in progress - while a lot of it is neatly sorted I don't currently have enough shelves to put things away exactly as I would like. And we have recently tried to implement regular clean-up times before rest time in the afternoon and again before bedtime, as well as some periodic 5 minute quick pick-ups and that has definitely helped. Truthfully, although it often *looks* like a lot of stuff, it tends to be lots of pieces of one toy, etc. and really wouldn't take that long to pick up if they would get right to it. But I think the sight of it is overwhelming to them at times. Anyway, the one question I still have is this: what if they just refuse to pick their stuff up? Say there isn't a ton of it out, I'm willing to get down and help them, but they just aren't interested in participating right now because they'd rather be doing their own thing. What do I do then? 

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 09, 2005, 08:07:03 PM
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With your children's ages I'd make it playful. If they still can't help even with the toys begging them to put them away, and songs, and that Mary Poppins spoonful of sugar then I'd probably pick it up.  I was less hesitant to say that before my oldest hit the age where he wanted his room clean and was willing to do it himself, and  my dd got better about where she was.  Now I'm less worried about it and figure they really are little at this age.  However, if they are in a mood or it's a bad day then I don't okay the big boxes of lots of pieces being taken down   And they also know that refusing to help clean something up means the next time you ask it's probably not coming out

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: JoyfulBirth on July 09, 2005, 09:11:46 PM
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That's good to know. Sometimes it's really difficult to know what they will grow out of and really isn't a big deal, and what I probably need to go ahead and address. And we may need to work on ways to keep the stuff with lots of pieces up where they can't get it down quite so easily

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Title: wont pick up toys
Post by: Heather Micaela on August 11, 2005, 04:40:20 PM
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in a rush - elaborate later but din't want to forgtet to post

but ds wont pick up his toys
5 steps not working
says "Idont want to" and just lays ther
now what?


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on August 11, 2005, 05:07:08 PM
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He's your 4yo right?  That's pretty typical.  Have you broken it down for him?  I would suggest decluttering the toys, organizing them in a way he can feel organized, and then do it with him and/or walk him through it.  "now pick up all the cars". Add a clean up song; have the toys talk; make it fun


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: palil on August 11, 2005, 05:14:53 PM
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The stuff Crystal said has worked for us...    also making it part of a transition to something he likes to do..

"Clean up toy, then we will vacuum"  (I chase them w/ the vacuum cleaner    THey love it)

or..  then we will go play outside..  then we will read..  then we will have a snack.  If you make it part of the transition to something they like for a while, you may eventually be able to make it part of transitions to other things, too, b/c they're used to hearing it framed that way.

I also limit the number of toys he has access to at one time.   
(My ds will be 4 in Oct..  a tad younger than yours)



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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: Mamatoto on August 11, 2005, 05:24:36 PM
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Make it part of a daily routine.  Clean up one thing before doing something else consistently.


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: MarynMunchkins on August 11, 2005, 06:36:25 PM
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FWIW, I have a rule that they have to clean up 2 things before I start helping.  Otherwise it ends up with my cleaning all the toys.

And if they refuse to clean, I pick up the stuff and put it away until they show me they can clean up their toys.    I'm not the maid, and I don't keep stuff around for other people to play with and me to clean up.


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: Heather Micaela on August 11, 2005, 08:34:44 PM
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Quote:
FWIW, I have a rule that they have to clean up 2 things before I start helping. Otherwise it ends up with my cleaning all the toys.

And if they refuse to clean, I pick up the stuff and put it away until they show me they can clean up their toys. I'm not the maid, and I don't keep stuff around for other people to play with and me to clean up.

that is why all his thomas trains are in the garage.  I just feel it unfair to do to dd's toys when he plays with them and makes a mess.

i've been a little lax on routine because it's summer, ( I was raised by a kdgn teacher and born in june - I am cursed to assume I have to have 3 months with no schedule) but i think routine will help him a lot too.

Thanks again for reading my shorthand post, understnading, and responding

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Title: Do you ever take away toys?
Post by: lumpofclay on August 17, 2005, 02:58:13 PM
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As your children get older, what kind of requirements do you have for them taking care of their things/toys? Do you have daily pick-ups? Or a rule about putting one thing away before getting out another?

If so, how do you enforce your rules? Do you ever take away toys for their lack of caring for them?

I encourage the girls to pick up as we go through the day, but sometimes they get carried away and have quite a few things out at once. So we have daily pick-ups. DH & I both participate in these pick-ups. I do expect the girls to participate as well.

Our rule has been that they get one reminder, and then they get sat down on the couch. Anything of theirs that is still out after they get sat down gets taken away. The toys (or whatever) go away until they complete a pick-up without getting sat down. (so they get their toys back after successfully completing a pick-up)

Most of the time, the girls are fairly good about picking up. Some days, though, it's difficult to get them to stop playing and pick up. I do not use the "I'm going to take away your toys" as a threat. It's never been treated as such. Pick-up time is inevitable, and losing toys is a natural consequence of not participating.

I'm beginning to wonder if they just have too much stuff. They have been very blessed. They do have quite a bit. We have cleaned out. I did put some toys in containers to rotate through. (Essentially, about half their toys are packed away, and we pull out the other boxes every two weeks.)

They just don't seem to be very grateful for what they have. Is this common? Or is this something that needs to be dealt with to avoid future issues?

Sorry to cut this short. . . we need to leave for an errand right away.


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Title: Re: Do you ever take away toys?
Post by: milkmommy on August 17, 2005, 03:12:16 PM
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We limit and roate toys she has around five choices of things in her room plus a few dolls cars etc.. I have 4 containers of therapy toys in the living room that she must bring to me to open (some stuff is special and pricy).
  When asked to clean and she is simpily too out of sorts to comply even with help and patience and I have to clean then the toy gets put away on a high shelf  for a bit. Now its ussually untill after a major transitional moment say naptime or till after a meal. Some transitional time that breaks to cycle so to speak.
  For the most part when it seems DD getting un greatfull (a lot) its because shes out grown what she has and its time to give away. I'm keeping watch on whats shes going for as her Birtday and the Holidays approach.

Deanna


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Title: Re: Do you ever take away toys?
Post by: Fourormore on August 18, 2005, 02:58:40 PM
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My sister tells her daughter once to clean up.  If it doesn't happen my sis cleans it herself and then puts the toys away for couple of days.  Not the five steps, I realize, but it works for her.
I usually sit in my kids' rooms while they are cleaning.  If they stop working I suggest something they could pick up next.  I don't often help because 1. they don't all like where I put things and 2. they need to learn to be responsible for their own things.  My mother thinks this method is too time-consuming, but I usually do it while nursing or mending.
My oldest is now so meticulous he doesn't need a reminder to clean and if I *do* go in there he asks me to please sit in the chair, not on his bed as I might mess the cover.
Now if only dh would be this way about office.
Becca



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Title: Re: Do you ever take away toys?
Post by: Mothering by Heart on August 18, 2005, 03:06:53 PM
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We have a rule here, "If you can't take care of your things, you have too many things to take care of."

And that applies to the adults as well We are still working on finding the "right" amount that they are able to take care of. It is ongoing.

I tried taking toys away before and they just sat in a trash bag in the garage until I forgot about them and they drug them out again 

Sometimes their floor is barely visible beneath all their junk, and that is when reiterate the rule and we have a clean-up where they need to get rid of things they don't really want or need. The strange thing is, the smallest, most bizarre ~even broken~ piece of whatever turns out to be so crucial to whatever it is they are playing.

So the real work is finding the balance between what they want and truly need. I try to respect what is important to them, but at the same time, we all have to live in this house and one person can not take it over with their things.



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Title: Re: Do you ever take away toys?
Post by: lumpofclay on August 18, 2005, 07:12:43 PM
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Hey, Amy, so how do you clean out? Do you do it? Do you require them to get rid of so many toys? Or do you just tell them to clean out? Or something else?


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Title: Re: Do you ever take away toys?
Post by: Mothering by Heart on August 18, 2005, 07:23:37 PM
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Quote from: wigleys on August 18, 2005, 07:12:43 PM
Hey, Amy, so how do you clean out? Do you do it? Do you require them to get rid of so many toys? Or do you just tell them to clean out? Or something else?


It depends

When dh has the kids for a while and I have the time, I will go through and declutter. Getting rid of stuff that I *know* hasn't been played with and probably never will. I usually have it in a "Goodwill" bag(black trashbag) that hangs around until I can drop it off. It all goes in there and I believe only once has anyone inquired about something I had put in there.

Other times, especially with the oldest, we will go through things together and talk about whether having "x" makes her life better or makes her have one more thing to put away, think about, clean up, etc. We also talk about whether someone else would enjoy it, or could use it more than her.

The hardest thing to get them to get rid of is their paper It seems that any scrap of paper they ever wrote one iota on is a treasure :/ And they shove them into all kinds of weird places. When I find them, we sift through those and keep the best ones.

When I find that they are getting overwhelmed cleaning up their rooms, we go through them again. Like I said, sometimes together, sometimes just me.

I don't have any rules about one toy out at a time because I would be spending my whole day monitoring toys. We talk about putting something away when you are done with it, but hey, I still have trouble with that one myself



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Title: Re: Do you ever take away toys?
Post by: godsgracegiven on August 18, 2005, 07:31:14 PM
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(toddler sleeping in my lap ) We do a clean out too. About 4 times a year we go through everything. We throw out broken toys, donate unwanted toys, and organize the ones they want. Every group of toys. The kids do a toy round up every morning after they clean up. Sometimes the need more direction than others. Hmmmm, one type of toy out at one time. Most toys stay in their rooms. I do it a lot like Denna.  

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Title: My Little Saint, about your question.............
Post by: Joanne on May 27, 2005, 06:43:30 AM
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Quote:
Ok, this works... until I get to the step where I start helping him get the toys cleaned up or his shirt put on. He starts jumping an screaming and throwing a fit. I bear hug him and start to speak in his ear, but he just screams louder at me and get REALLY mad What do I do? I hate time outs, but I am resorting to them. HELP!
I'm cutting and pasting the above so the question and answers don't get "ignored" in the 5 steps thread.

How old is your son? I'm guessing 2-3?

First, try some proactive solutions such as making dressing and cleanup as predictable as possible. If you do the same things in the same order as often as possible, kids can anticipate their days. This makes them feel in control (appropriately) and competent. This helps to build them up and minimize their need to seek power inappropriately.

Make cleaning up manageable and fun. "Put away everything with wheels", "Put away everything red"

Make it non negotiable. If it's a command, don't add "please" or a tone that implies a question mark at the end. Don't make it optional by adding incentives "If you clean up, you can watch Little Bear". Incentives make it optional because the child feels they can forgo the prize.

*I* am perfectly comfortable guiding my child's hand to assist them. During the training stage, where I am teaching my children that my words mean business, I will use my body to make sure their body moves towards compliance. Not everyone is comfortable with this level of coercion. That's fine, but it can limit your options.

The getting dressed options here are: do it yourself when it's supposed to be done, I'll do it for you or I'll take the clothes to wherever we are going. That said, some gives only need a bit of naked or jammie time and then are willing to get or be dressed. Hygiene and getting dressed is another area where routine helps.

The 5 Steps are great tools, but they aren't for every situation. GBD has countless solutions.



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Title: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: KayandLydisMom on April 03, 2006, 10:09:33 AM
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Ok, so using the 5 steps have gotten a little easier. Oldest dd (5) has actually started cleaning, etc herself instead of having to have me help her everytime. Then yesterday, we went to grandmas and grandpas. Her and her sister get a lot of stuff out of the toy box. It was time to go. I knew it was a lot, so I went a head and started helping, and my youngest(1) started putting things away, and my oldest would not pick up the first thing. How should I have handled this? At home I would have put some things away , and she wouldnt have been able to play with them.

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: MarynMunchkins on April 03, 2006, 10:17:51 AM
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Could you have turned it into a game or a race? Races usually work between my kids - they all want to win.

If she absolutely refused no matter what, I would have simply picked them up for her, and limited how much she could get out at a time the next time we visited Grandma.

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: KayandLydisMom on April 03, 2006, 01:45:34 PM
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Yeah, I tried to see who could help me pick it up the fastest. She wasn't budging, because she didnt want to leave, but I felt like she was being a bad example for my other dd, who was trying to help clean up. :/ It was one of those times we were talking and both kids were dragging out stuff and before you knew it, toys were everywhere!

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: bliss on April 06, 2006, 09:45:38 AM
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Quote from: MarynMunchkins on April 03, 2006, 10:17:51 AM

If she absolutely refused no matter what, I would have simply picked them up for her,
Ok, I need some help with this.  I am having a hard time because I see this as teaching a very negative lesson?  "If mom asks me to do something, all I have to do is just flat out refuse, and then she'll do it for me!"  I still am having a really hard time with where obedience/compliance fits in to all of this, where does authority come from if there is not an implied imperative that when mommy asks me to do something, I need to do it?  I see putting the things away for her as very permissive.  This is something I deal with every day - dd rarely puts ANYTHING away - if I just put everything away for her (after telling her to) I see that as learning that even if I don't obey, it doesn't really matter, because mom will do it anyway?  I don't demand jump up first time fake smile obedience, but obedience is still important to me.  Is that punitive? 
(sorry to hijack your thread KayandLydisMom!  )

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: MarynMunchkins on April 06, 2006, 09:50:18 AM
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At home, if they refuse to pick up, I pick up the toys and put them in an unaccessible spot.  When I see my kids cleaning up on their own without issue, they earn the other toys back.  I'm not the maid - if I have to clean them, I'll put them where they won't cause a problem again.

At someone else's home, I'm more concerned with getting the toys picked up than discipline.

I expect my children to clean up.  They clean up their rooms every night before bed.  EVERY toy gets picked up and put away.  But it took years of cleaning with them and making sure they had an organized spot for everything before it happened without much complaining.  And there were several times when the top shelf of my closet was filled with toys.    Obedience is important to me as well.   I'm just willing to take the long road to get it.

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: bliss on April 06, 2006, 09:56:29 AM
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okay, I hate to be so thick-headed, (I have a tendancy to think around and around things in circles till I  ) but then isn't taking the toys that didn't get cleaned up a punishment? (punitive?)  I know I need more help than just this one post, because this is what always happens when I get into nitty-gritty specific solution type things - I can think of two or three solutions, one of which seems too punitive, one of which seems to permissive.  I think my "filters" are just off. 
edited as I think more to say: I think I'm just really inclined to be very "all or nothing" - like I can see myself going all the way over to super-punitive spank-em-all-day type parenting, or the crazy mothering dot com "we have no rules, they can do whatever they want" stuff - either everything is naughty/wrong and needs corrected or nothing is.  I get into the most trouble when I try to figure out which direction to come at things from.  Like I said, I think it's totally an issue of my filters. 

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: KayandLydisMom on April 06, 2006, 11:25:14 AM
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bliss- I know what you mean, I feel like she was testing me to see what I was gonna do.(couldnt take toys away and put them up at Grandmas)The only thing running through my mind was not to spank, because I did feel like the roles were reversed and she had the authority in that situation.( I had to  just be the role model for my other dd and do the right thing while my oldest one sat and watched.) Then we talked about it.
We went by Grandmas again last night. Before we got there I reminded them how I wanted them to behave, and this time we had no clean up issues... both of them picked up there toys.

Quote:
edited as I think more to say: I think I'm just really inclined to be very "all or nothing" - like I can see myself going all the way over to super-punitive spank-em-all-day type parenting, or the crazy mothering dot com "we have no rules, they can do whatever they want" stuff - either everything is naughty/wrong and needs corrected or nothing is. I get into the most trouble when I try to figure out which direction to come at things from. Like I said, I think it's totally an issue of my filters.

I agree I am the same way, that's why I keep bugging everybody for advice. I really want to get out of that way of thinking. I want my kids to behave and have rules, but I dont want to have to yell , spank,and be punitive!

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: OpalsMom on April 06, 2006, 11:33:38 AM
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Unpleasant != punitive. When you run and fall down and skin your knee, that's not the sidewalk punishing you. It's just how life is.

So sometimes actions have consequences kids don't like. If the goal of an action is to make the child feel bad, it's punitive. If an action makes a child feel bad in the process of arriving at a needed goal, that's unfortunate, but it's not necessarily punitive.

I think of upsetting my child the way I think about pain when I'm exercising. It's not something I seek out. It is something I pay attention to, because it can be a sign that something is going wrong. But I also know that it can't be entirely avoided, it just needs to be managed attentively and lovingly.

Taking away the toys that didn't get cleaned up is a negative consequence. In behaviorist terms, it might or might not be a punishment (it would be a punishment if it happened after the not-cleaning-up and a negative reinforcer if it happened during the not-cleaning-up). It's also a preventive measure (if they're not there, they can't be left out again). Taking away the toys that didn't get cleaned up, and then doing additional unpleasant stuff until the kid looked suitably unhappy would be punitive. I've had to deal several times with DH saying "She did X, and the consequence was Y, but she's not upset. What do I do?" To which the answer is "Nothing. She did X. The consequence is Y. The fact that it normally makes her unhappy is irrelevant."

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: aprilmae on April 06, 2006, 11:57:56 AM
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What about simply giving choices, limiting the choices to what he can age appropriately process so I am not becoming the maid/short order cook? For instance... there's fisher price little people (a million and one little pieces) and legos all over his room right now. I think at 2.5 it's unreasonable for him to be able to pick them all up on his own, but I definitely think he should help, at a minimum. I would be inclined to give him the choice of helping me pick them up, or the choice of ME picking them up by myself with the toys going away until the next time he helps pick up. Is that punitive? I see it as giving him choices and a lesson in consequences of life. The fact that he's happy or unhappy about HIS choice is really irrelavent to me because HE made the choice... I also don't see it is as a punishment, because he has the choice to help, and he's choosing not to, which comes with the consequence of losing the toys. It has the added bonus of reinforcing the behaviour I want too...

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 06, 2006, 12:06:38 PM
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Quote:
She wasn't budging, because she didnt want to leave
Here is where I would focus.    Sometimes just taking a moment to reflect and validate the sadness and disappointment about leaving will ublock them.  I tell them (if I know) when we will come again & talk about being good guests & move us back to cleaning 

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: MarynMunchkins on April 06, 2006, 12:08:09 PM
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Oh, I help clean up if they ask and are *helping*.  That's not an issue.    It *is* an issue if they refuse to touch the toys and expect to do it for them.  That's when I would clean it up and put it away.

I do discuss it with them ahead of time, and let them make their choice.  And like aprilmae said - it's about giving them a choice.  The conseqeunces to not cleaning up at all is losing the toys.  In our family, everyone works together to have a clean house. 

I do think that threatening "I'm going to take your toys if you don't clean up." is punitive.  My approach sounds like "You can clean up or I can clean up for you.  If I clean up, the toys will go into my closet on the shelf until you can clean up without complaining.  What do you want to do?"

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: aprilmae on April 06, 2006, 12:19:26 PM
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Quote:
I do think that threatening "I'm going to take your toys if you don't clean up." is punitive. My approach sounds like "You can clean up or I can clean up for you. If I clean up, the toys will go into my closet on the shelf until you can clean up without complaining. What do you want to do?"
Exactly! That's what mine sounds like too... I never threaten... I present it as a choice.

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: bliss on April 06, 2006, 01:26:54 PM
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Quote:
I do think that threatening "I'm going to take your toys if you don't clean up." is punitive. My approach sounds like "You can clean up or I can clean up for you. If I clean up, the toys will go into my closet on the shelf until you can clean up without complaining. What do you want to do?"
And these are the nuances that always make me feel thick-headed and like I'm just not getting it, or will be able to get it.  I honestly do not see the difference.  (besides phrasing/semantics) Not picking up = toys are gone - I don't see how saying it one way or  another, or couching it in a choice, changes things?  I truly am having the most  (in stupidity and frustration, not anger so much) time with this because I am Just. Not. Seeing. how this operates.  I find myself locked in and totally unable to deal with everyday situations because I have no idea if I'm being too punitive or too permissive and usually end up being a damaging and unattractive blend of the two.  I feel so lost.  Again, I am sorry and don't mean to hijack so bad, I just am trying so hard to have some understanding. . .

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: raisa on April 06, 2006, 02:45:30 PM
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Maybe it would help if you let go of concepts and definitions, and just focused on your specific goals in specific situations?   

The goal is to get toys picked up.  Taking them away means fewer toys, so more chances of success.

The goal is to teach the skill of picking up toys.  It's easier to learn something new (picking up) in smaller doses (fewer toys).  It's harder to do a new skill (picking up) in a different context (at Grandma's) and harder still when you're upset (leaving Grandma's). 

The goal is to teach cooperation and compliance.  They need to learn that what you say happens WILL happen.  So, be careful what you say!  If your child is younger, you can say "this needs to be picked up," and physically move her hand to pick things up.  If your child is older, you can say "this needs to be cleaned up," and stay in the room together until it's picked up.  You can also explain that you've got better things to do than picking up, so you're going to take the toys away to make work easier for yourself.  This isn't done to manipulate them into cleaning up.  It's done out of fairness to all of you.  Otherwise you're putting everyone in a situation that no one can handle.

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: MarynMunchkins on April 06, 2006, 07:37:40 PM
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The issue is the intent behind what you do.  WHY are you taking the toys away?  Because she's supposed to pick them up, and you're angry she's not?  Or because she's obviously overwhelmed with the toys and needs to have a better chance of cleaning up?  Less toys = less mess = easier to clean.

Think of it this way:  Does it make a difference if dh offers you a back rub because he knows you're tired and have had a long day vs. he thinks it will put you in the mood and get him some? :P  After all, you still get a back rub out of the deal.

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 06, 2006, 08:07:30 PM
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Actually, Bliss, I think you're asking great questions

The way I approach "Toy Jail" is two fold:  If a toy is really being a problem it just goes away.  No fanfare, it just isn't going to be out anymore. That's what we did with the video games because Aidan was having a *very* hard time handling limits on them and he would play ALL DAY or be violent about demanding it--so it went away.  Problem solved   As for when I want the room/area cleaned up and they don't want to do it--if I do it then it all goes in a big bag and if they want anything in the bag then they have to put it all away first.  That way the area is cleaned and they still are responsible for cleaning it up.  IF they don't clean it up in a week or two then the bag goes to the garage and I figure there was nothing that special in it  

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: ainsleesmommy on April 07, 2006, 06:42:44 AM
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May I interject here? I have a hard time with this, too. Lately my almost 4 yr old doesn't want to help clean up her toys. Or books. Or anything. It's become a real power struggle, compounded by my annoyance because I go ahead and do it becuase I want the house cleaned up more than I want a responsibile daughter, yk?
I thought maybe "toy Jail" was too harsh at her age? at what age is that a viable thing?

to say, well, I will go in and clean after a certain amount of time. If you aren't helping, then whatever I clean goes in a big bag and when you are willing to put them away you may have them.
I did that last night with the books fromt he library. She was emptying the bag all right but on to the couch so I said unless she would put them on the library shelf on our bookcase she couldn't have the books. But after 3 hours I wanted my couch back so I cleaned them up myself and well, yeah, today she has the books.
This line is a difficult one to walk IMO.

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Title: Re: Ya'll are gonna get tired of me......
Post by: MarynMunchkins on April 07, 2006, 11:12:40 AM
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Even Colin gets toy jail.   But I give his stuff back the next day.  By 4, they have to earn toys back by cleaning up.

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Title: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: heartofjoy on June 15, 2005, 07:42:35 PM
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I have really backed down on asking my dd for help around the house (like putting away toys or clothes or setting the table) because she always groans and pouts and refuses to do what I ask. I don't know how to discipline here. I keep hearing "You must obey cheerfully" in my mind! 

I don't know how to make her set the table. The 5 steps don't work. She's 5. If I offer help, she wants me to do it all for her. I can't think of any creative ways to help her cooperate. Paying her works, but I want her to learn that families help each other. I don't want to have to pay her for simple chores like setting the table or picking up some clothes. (I only paid her once, and it was for cleaning up a mess that mostly belonged to the 2 yo. She cleaned up so fast and so cheerfully!)

My dd has been doing these chores for a while. She knows HOW to do them. She's been successful before, so it's not that she really can't do them. Just FYI, I ask her to feed the animals, take out the trash, put her dirty clothes away, set the table at lunch, and pick up her toys. She enjoys most of these chores except for the picking up and setting the table. And anything involving going upstairs because "her legs hurt"!

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: ellies mom on June 15, 2005, 11:38:11 PM
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I'm not there yet since DD is only 19 mo, but maybe this is situation where you need to set her up to succeed. My thought is that if you start by getting her to do the chores she likes then she is more likely to "succeed" at doing them. As she gets into the habit of doing chores and feeling like she is really helping out, then you can work in the chores she doesn't like as much. Maybe you'll need to find a way to shake them up and make them more interesting. That "playful parenting" stuff comes to mind. Good luck. I hope a more experienced Mama has some good advice.

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: godsgracegiven on June 16, 2005, 12:55:47 AM
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Making a game out of it might help. Have her count how many plates she'll need or the items she has to pick up. My 5yo can loose interest in his chores quickly, but enjoys counting, so we have started do this. He is showing interst in addition too!! So he learning two things at once, might work.

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: lenswyf on June 16, 2005, 03:58:57 AM
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For us, I think it's a combination of things that have helped. 

1.  I basically maintain that he doesn't have to like what I've asked him to do -- he just has to do it.  We have talked about jobs around the house and with children that I don't really like, yet they are jobs that serve the family and make their lives happier.  Sometimes, if he's grumping about what he'd rather be doing, I'll start talking about what I'd rather be doing and we'll debate about who's "wish" is more fun -- it sometimes helps take his mind off how much he dislikes the task he's doing while this conversation occurs.
2.  We have talked about how much play time he is wasting by complaining, and if he'd just do it, it would be over in a heartbeat.  I've even set a timer to see exactly how much time he wasted.
3.  Certain prime pleasures (like time on the computer) cannot be had until certain abhorrent tasks (like cleaning up toys) are completed.  That's just the way it is, and it's his choice how long the toys take.

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: fatfishes on June 16, 2005, 04:54:02 AM
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I totally agree with lenswyf.
I would aslo add I give a choice in chores say you can lay the table or clear the draining board.I try to vary the chores alot so they dont do the same thing every day as this stops alot of the boredom but they are still helping.

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: heartofjoy on June 16, 2005, 06:57:32 AM
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Okay. So what do you do if you try all that and they are still on the floor whining/crying/complaining?

She doesn't want to make a game of it. This irritates her. She can't break out of her negative mood.

If I talk to her about how much time she's wasting, she'll just say, "I don't care. I don't want to clean." Logic is beyond her.

If this escalates into a full blown fit, then she will tell me that she will stop throwing the fit whenever I don't make her clean.  Like that's going to happen.

I can't reason with her. She is too caught up in her emotions. Punishment is the only thing I can think of that will get her to do what I've asked. It's either that or give in to her.

I think setting her up to succeed is a great idea. Sometimes I don't come across so cheerfully to her either. But once I've already asked and she's starting to balk, even if I realize I may not have set her up to succeed, I can't just take it back. I feel like I'd be teaching her that complaining about something is a way to get out of it.

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on June 16, 2005, 08:51:21 AM
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I would do a unit study on the character issues involved and how God talks about them in Scripture.

I don't "ask" for them to do chores--I tell them to do certain things and I try to do it at a regular time.  For example, when I get up and head to the kitchen to do dishes the children are instructed to get their toys out of the rest of the house and into their rooms.  I have also set up our day so that privelages come after responsibilities--Ds's room must be clean before his video game comes on. 

With a 5yo and setting the table I'd probably hand them the stack of plates and send them to the table, then hand them the forks, etc.  Help would be getting them started.  And with a 5yo I'm not opposed to taking their hands in mine and moving them around

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: heartofjoy on June 16, 2005, 09:47:46 AM
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I worded that badly. No, I don't ask. I tell. I do hand her the plates/spoons/napkins. She just wilts to the floor whining. If I try to force her by taking her hand, I end up with a tantrum. 

We badly need that unit study! I think it will help alot. We slacked off reading aloud this last month because of a sore throat I had. Throat's better, but I haven't gotten back in the reading routine.  We usually read the story Bible, and virtue and character books. And we haven't been memorizing any scriptures lately either.....I will try to do better with this.

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: MarynMunchkins on June 16, 2005, 10:01:55 AM
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When my kids refuse to do stuff like that, I will do it.  But that means I have less time to do fun things - so we might have to skip a bedtime story or not have time to play a game.    I also found that mine are more willing to clean up the dishes after dinner if after comes dessert.

With things like toys, I do the same thing.  If they refuse to clean up, I do it.  And the toys go onto a high shelf in my closet.  I'm not the maid, and I'm not going to leave stuff out for them to make a mess with.   It rarely takes more than a reminder of the closet shelf before they decide cleaning is a better option.

Make sure you let them know about this ahead of time, though.  Don't just swoop in and start putting away toys. :P

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on June 16, 2005, 10:02:16 AM
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When my kids are that age I try to balance my response--I do believe that melting down means they are overwhelmed   I find that by 7 they are helping so much more without the tears It does help when older siblings are helping and they do things together or even if they can be around other kids who do chores.  I was watching the show about 14 Children and Pregnant Again on the Hubbards last night and really liked how they had the house divided up into areas of responsibility and each child had "Jurisdiction" over their area.  It seemed so empowering

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: AmyDoll on June 17, 2005, 12:29:36 PM
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how about a timer, one with a bell? do u think that might help?
"if you put your toys away for 5 minutes then mommy will read you a book?"
i remember being really overwhelmed when my mom asked me to do something and knowing that it would be over soon was a big help.

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: Radosny Matka on June 18, 2005, 02:01:47 PM
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One thing that has helped with my 4 year old is that if I ask him to do something and he outright refuses, I just walk away.  Then when he needs something from me I will say to him, "We are family, and family does things for eachother.  Sometimes I need your help, and sometimes you need my help.  Once you pick up your toys, I will get you your juice." 

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Title: Re: What if they refuse to do what you ask? As in chores?
Post by: TulipMama on June 19, 2005, 12:42:45 AM
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Quote:
If this escalates into a full blown fit, then she will tell me that she will stop throwing the fit whenever I don't make her clean.  roll eyes Like that's going to happen.

I can't reason with her. She is too caught up in her emotions. Punishment is the only thing I can think of that will get her to do what I've asked. It's either that or give in to her.
What you are saying here, sounds to me a lot like what Crystal said about signs of being overwhelmed.  One of my sons is especially easily overwhelmed by tasks--even if they are ones I've seen him do before, so I know he's capable of it.  Some things that have helped us are:

1. Hug and pray.  Sometimes my kids just need extra connection at that time, and after being loved on a bit, they happily go about their tasks.

2.  Showing the job step-by-step in a helping way.  For example, I've been teaching my 7 y/o how I expect him to clean the kids' bathroom.  Each day I've been doing it, explaining what I'm doing, and asking him to do small parts of the job.  He's almost got the whole job down now, but he did the melting-overwhelmed-refusal thing when he was first informed it was his new job.

3. Having a written list with boxes to check off for the various jobs for the kids, along with a routine time of doing them.

4.  Reminders that "We work together as a family.  Sometimes we don't like the jobs that need to be done, but because we want to have a pleasant home, we all pitch in."

5.  Explaining what would happen if we didn't do our jobs.  When one of my sons balked at taking out the trash, I told a silly story about what would happen if we never took out the trash, ala Shel Silverstein.

6.  Smile and remind them, "Try again!"

7.  Reminders that even though we don't always like our jobs, they do go more quickly if we all pitch in and choose to do them happily.

8.  I know a little tune that goes along with Colossians 3:23 .  It helps to sing it while working.  Very much Mary-Poppins-Meets-Apostle-Paul.

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Title: refusal
Post by: gentlestrengths on May 10, 2006, 07:24:04 PM
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What would you do in this sort of situation.
We're cleaning the kids' room.  My five yo stops helping and is just lying on the ground.  I ask her to help, go through the five steps, and she just says she doesn't care, and she doesn't want to clean.  Am I supposed to "help" her by doing it all myself?  This doesn't happen very often - but today it took a while to get her to continue to help and I just thought to myself "ahh! what do I do if she just keeps lying there!"  Usually I would just tell her okay, she doesn't get to do anything else until her bedroom is cleaned, but I am not sure how I would enforce that either really.

Also, anyone have any idea why I wouldn't be able to post or reply in the Theology forum?  Do I have to have a certain number of entries under my belt or somethign..? j/c. TIA



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Title: Re: refusal
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 10, 2006, 08:50:28 PM
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I have found that when my little ones "refuse" to do something it's helpful to view it as an obstacle that is being expressed in an immature way and just needs me to get around.  The most common reasons for the obstacle are that my child is needing to get me to stop and talk to them--usually about something totally unrelated.  They are *stuck* on something and can't move beyond it until I can help them get unstuck.  They may also feel overwhelmed by the task and if I break it down into smaller parts they start cooperating again and then take over when they feel ready.  Also, I find that my children can sometimes sense when I've slipped into "manager" mode and they will help me get back into relaxing and being playful.  If I'm not being respectful they are more likely to resist.  It's a good reminder that if I want respect it starts with how I teach others to treat me and modelling is a great teacher


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Title: Re: refusal
Post by: gentlestrengths on May 11, 2006, 12:55:52 AM
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That is interesting and insightful information, truly.  Because she was talking and talking and talking to me, and I was cleaning the room, and my 18mo was cleaning, and my 3yo was cleaning, and she was standing there talking and talking and talking to me. Her task was the play kitchen and all the stuff the goes with - it wasn't a big mess....something she mostly enjoys cleaning and normally it would take her two minutes or less.  But it had honestly been 15 minutes and it wasn't done.  So I finally said "Jenna, you need to stop talking to me and finish your kitchen, and then we can talk, because you are too distracted while you talk".  She DID get upset by this.  I guess I didn't see that it was more important for her to talk because I wanted the room to be done.  Looking back now, after reading your thoughts, I feel bad because I think she just did need to be listened to, and there was no reason for us to be in a hurry, except that I just wanted to get other housework done, and that really is a horrible excuse considering the housework can certainly wait and my sweet daughter is only 5 once.

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Title: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: Love_Monkey on August 14, 2005, 10:37:03 PM
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Dh is struggling with this even more than I am. I see him trying but it is so hard sometimes.

My four-year old ds does not enjoy helping himself for the most part. I think the difficult part with "helping" him is that he is 98% of the time happy to sit back and watch us do it.

Here's an example:

Me: Marc, it's time to clean your room. We have a friend coming to play and your room needs to be clean when they arrive. Do you want to clean your cars or your books?
Marc: NOOOO! NO CLEANING ROOM!!!!
Me: Marc, this room is too messy to enjoy. We need to clean it. Do you want to clean the cars or the books?
Marc: Nothing. I don't want to.
Me: Okay, I'm going to help you.

At this point I'll try many ways to make it playful. I'll race him. I'll ask him to find all the blue cars. I'll sing loudly. Usually though he will dig his feet in a flat out refuse to do anything. At this point I get angry.

So, after I've given all the choices, offered to help, been playful and still I have a child who is unwilling to comply - what is my next step?

Here's another example:

He likes to jump on our bed and frequently will hurt his sister or our lamp when he does it so we've recently made a new rule that he is no longer allowed to do it. He can jump on his bed, but not ours. We explained all this to him. So he'll run in (on a daily basis) and jump on the bed.

Me: Marc, the rule is no jumping on mommy and daddy's bed. If you want to jump go to your room.
Marc: (Ignores me and continues jumping)
Me: Marc, you may not jump on my bed. Do you need help getting off the bed?"
Marc: (sensing great fun starts giggling)
Me: I see you're having trouble so I'm going to help you off the bed.

Now I have to catch him. It's a king-sized bed and he's fast. It's actually not that easy and he finds this HIGHLY amusing - which is why I think he does it every day. This is when I start to get angry again. When I manage to get him off the bed he'll usually just jump right back on. It usually ends up with me getting pretty mad at him. (As an aside, this rule is more important to dh. Frankly, I wish he didn't care because it's not a battle I'd normally choose but I need to respect dh.)

I don't know how to convey that I'm not joking without resorting to my "angry voice".

BTW, the bear hug is TORTURE for him so we skip that step.

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: milkmommy on August 14, 2005, 11:07:33 PM
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Quote:
I don't know how to convey that I'm not joking without resorting to my "angry voice".
Well what id your angry voice? Is it yelling blank threats showing just how out of controll you can get?? (we've all been there ) or is it a slightly raised but in fulll controlled clearly saying this behavior is inappropiate and it needs to stop now? If its the second and you do want to "strictly" enforce the rule I'd use it.
addressing your example)
As for the other at four I think hes ready for some "natural" conquence.. I'd consider just closing the door and leting him know if hes not going to help clean hes choosing not to be able to play in his room with his friends. He might not like the idea of being seperated from his toys. I refuse to just clean for my DD, I'll help I'll help a lot at times a litttle at others but I will simpily not do it all my self. Id also consider making his enviroment easier for him to handle. If hes having trouble cleaning big messes maybe consider limiting his availiblity to them. toys in containers with lids that you help controll might help him organize his play better.

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: Love_Monkey on August 14, 2005, 11:20:31 PM
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We've recently moved and I've gotten rid of a lot of toys and have organized the rest VERY VERY well. I'm so happy with how child-friendly and easy it is for him to pick up now. Everything has a place and it's an extremely simple environment for him to help clean.

I actually like your suggestion about not allowing him access to his room if he will not work on getting it clean. I could put the child-proof knob on the outside and close his door. I could try that and see if it works anyway.

More ideas are good too because I think I'll need several tools for this one!

As for the second example, I'm actually getting much better at my controlled, "I am getting angry and this needs to stop now!" statements rather than my flying off the handle, "Get your butt of the bed now!!" rants. I just wish it didn't have to resort to me getting angry at all and that he would simply comply.

That would be too easy though.

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: milkmommy on August 14, 2005, 11:30:03 PM
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Quote:
I just wish it didn't have to resort to me getting angry at all and that he would simply comply.
ITTU Its nice to think us saying Honey please don't will always work and its nice when it does. However I also feel that that really only works when our child already has a grasp of it being "right or wrong" Like I can say sweetie please don't touch the stove (even when not on) because she already understands to at least some degree what natural conquence thouching a stove could cause. However if its something new that were working on then she relies on me to engage whats appropiate and whats not. Threating isn't going to help any but letting my tone know whats appropiate I think does help her process whats appropiate and whats not.

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: Mother of Sons on August 14, 2005, 11:48:07 PM
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With the jumping on the bed, I don't think you need to use all the steps. Just say "You may not jump on mommy's bed" and while you are saying that, take him off the bed.

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: palil on August 15, 2005, 05:07:51 AM
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Sometimes it helps my son to just be matter-of-factly informed that his bike/toys, etc. are his responsibility. I don't say it with "raised-eyebrow.. three-snaps-in-a-Z-formation" tone of voice. I just say very pleasantly when he refuses to do something or says "No, YOU do it!"

"C, your trains are *your* responsibility" or "You took them out, and you need to put them up.." He had to learn what this meant, of course, and that involved some walking him through how to address "his" responsibility--like physically taking him to his bike, putting his hands on the handlebars, and guiding him back to the garage... letting him do most of the actions, but standing right there beside him keeping him on task. (With toys, it might be handing him the basket and persistently handing him the items and directing him to put them in the basket) It also involved refusing to do it myself sometimes.

"Your bike is in the road. You need to go and get it so no one will take it."
"NO, You do it."
"Your bike is your responsibility. You need to get it before we go in for our snack. At this point I would physically guide him to the bike at first.. After a while I didn't have to do that... just waited for him to do it b/c he knew at that point that even if I walked him over there, he was going to do the work. There have also been times when I just left it out and he couldn't find it the next time he wanted to ride, or had to walk down to the bottom of the hill and pull it back up.

I have also--a time or two, and after giving him more than suficient chance/help cleaning up--simply informed him that in 5 min. Mommy will start picking up toys and whatever I picked up would be put away for awhile. This was with toys and such spread out in the dining room/living area. NOTE: I would NOT recommend this as a starting point, but only after you've run the gamut of teaching/helping/playing and setting kids up for success (organization, etc.) which it sounds like you have. TBH, even when I used this, part of the problem was that he STILL had too many toys and I was allowing him to have multiple things out at at time, which he just doesn't handle very well.... so it turns out there was still something else I could have done to help him succeed before using a consequence. Once I streamlined even more, and started really staying on top of teaching him that we "put one thing away before you start another", I have not had ONE single problem getting him to pick up!

Which leads me to another idea, and this is the one that probably works the best and most consistently for us (aside from one particular "clean up" song which he loves ) Make cleaning up a necessary transition or precursor to another activity. "We'll eat lunch (or vacuum, or go outside, or play the computer game) after you clean up your toys. I will pick up the blocks; you need to put those cars in that basket [handing him basket]" Then start cleaning up... If he refuses, I would leave the blocks, and--as calmly and pleasantly as possibly, simply pick up a car, place it in his hand, and hold the basket in front of him as a prompt. "Here! Pick up your cars so we can go ________." If he still refuses, I might simply put the day (or his other activities, at least) on hold to some degree until he's ready to accept your help and make the transition.

Again, some of this really leans toward consequating, and even though I'm offering them , I still prefer proactive/playful methods and figuring out what makes things "click" for your child to procure their cooperation. But, if you've tried all that and are still hitting a wall, I consider these to be non-punitive alternatives.

With the bed jumping.. is there a place/bed he IS allowed to jump? So you could redirect him there.. even run in with him and participate for a minute or two? I stopped chasing mine across the bed if at all possible and just decided I had something to do in another room.. walked out, turned the light off, closed the door... When he stopped getting attention and I wouldn't engage in a game of chase and wrestle, it ceased to be an issue.

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on August 15, 2005, 07:12:33 PM
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I'm thinking of two things off the top of my head First, it sounds like he may have difficulty transitioning. He might feel like being told what to do is an imposition on what he's doing right now and it can be hard to break out of what he's doing. Have you tried giving him even a 2 minute warning--something to help him change his focus? Second, when it's something you want done now it's time to say it and make it happen "You need to stop jumping on the bed." Then pick him up and move him

I think your frustration is because you're not helping quick enough. It's easier to help before you're so frustrated that you want to vent.

So with the room cleaning, I would give a warning and then go into the room and just start cleaning and giving him stuff to do. "Here, put this in that box." I don't expect my 4yo's to clean a room without help. I do, however, expect them to work with me while I teach them how to do it

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: Love_Monkey on August 15, 2005, 10:10:20 PM
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I've been reading "Adventures of Gentle Discipline" by Hilary Flowers (excellent btw!) and tonight dh and I explored our rules together. What we realized is that the things we're struggling with are not "Always Rules" but things we'd like to work on but don't enforce at all times. Things such as room cleaning are on our "Sometimes" list or our "Preference" list. Actually working on this list will really help us because if something is a preference then I can let it go when it's not working out that day but if something is a rule then like some of you alluded to - the Five Steps are not appropriate. I just need to make it happen.

For instance, with room cleaning we haven't decided to make this a rule yet. We will soon I'm sure but we're not going to put that on the Always A Rule list yet (that list is VERY short and we're going to go over it with Marc tomorrow). So with that I will work on motivating him to help and being playful but if I know he's had a long day and it will be a struggle I'll just do it myself without worrying that I'm being inconsistent and letting him "get away" with something. Also, totally letting go of the struggle will undoubtedly mean he will be more willing to comply.

Here's a question though about this: If it's not a rule that he cleans his bedroom should I not state it in terms of the Five Steps? IOW, should I not say to him "Marc, it is time to clean your room" if ultimately I'll be okay doing it myself? If it is truly optional but I really do want him to do it what is the best way to state it? I'm thinking, "Marc, this room is messy! How about we clean it together?" If he says "No" I can make it playful and if he still refuses I can then just go ahead and do it while saying, "Okay, next time you can help." I fear doing this because I think that he'll be happy to refuse everytime but maybe like I said, when I let go of the struggle he really will be more willing. It's my hope of course but my punitive background is haunting me here.

Then as a follow-up question (which is really the important one), when (not if ) I screw up and state a "request" as an "order" and I want to back out of it and make it okay for him to not comply - how do I tell him that I've changed my mind? Let's say it goes like this:

Me: Marc, time to clean your room!
Marc: Why?
Me: Because it's a big mess.
Marc: I don't want to!
Me: C'mon buddy! I'll race ya!
Marc: (Whining) No Mommy it's too hard! You do it!

At this point if I know I don't have a lot of patience and I just want it DONE and he's in a whiney mood anyway I really don't want to pick this battle. Should I consequate like Palil suggested or is there a way I can back-up and have a do-over because it's really not that important to me? I feel like saying, "You know what Marc, I've changed my mind, you don't have to help," is dangerously close to being permissive. If someone has another way I can state that it's not that important to me or explain why this isn't permissive I'd like to hear it.

We clarified our bedroom policy to say that the kids are not allowed in our room when we are not in there. In that case if he is in there without me I'll just remove him and state the rule. For Always Rules we will enforce immediately.

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: milkmommy on August 15, 2005, 10:54:06 PM
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Quote:
Marc: (Whining) No Mommy it's too hard! You do it!
IMHO this just isn't an acceptable request.. (he can try I just wouldn't give in ) One thing I would work on is transitions and giving him choices where both of you can "win".
Marc your room needs to be clean we can clean it now or after dinner let him decide then have him follow through. Another approach that came up a waile back on these boards and I'll always remember.. The cake or Death approach..
Cake or death?
Uhh, cake please.
Very well! Give him cake!
Oh, thanks very much. It’s very nice.
You! Cake or death?
Uh, cake for me, too, please.
Very well! Give him cake, too! We’re gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?
Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry…
You said death first, ah ha, ah ha, death first!
Well, I meant cake!
Oh, all right. You’re lucky I’m Church of England!
The idea is sometimes choices don't have to be exactly what DC is looking for. Sometimes reality is reality.. So
Marc its time to clean your room I'll help we can do it now or we can do it tonight instead of watching a video?

Quote:
If he says "No" I can make it playful and if he still refuses I can then just go ahead and do it while saying, "Okay, next time you can help."
Personally no I wouldn't IF hes the type that does ussually help then okay we all have our moments but it sounds like he'll just be content letting you do it. What I would do is set aside a few days when your willing to keep patience and really work on getting him to help. IF he flat out refuses I'd leave the room messy. or if I did clean honestly I'd consider letting him only have one toy at a time requiring it to be put away to get another, explaining that hes having trouble managing a big room and frankly if YOUR going to have to clean you don't want a big mess to clean up.
But then again I'm a big meannie

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Title: Re: How do I make "help" just that - help without a punitive feeling attached?
Post by: Love_Monkey on August 15, 2005, 11:20:42 PM
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You're funny Deanna!

I like your ideas. You've hit the nail on the head with him being totally content to just let me do it.

TBH, he'd be fine if I took all his toys away. In a fit of frustration once I did just that and he couldn't have cared less. It was then that I decided to get rid of a LOT of them permanently. His room isn't hard to keep up with anymore because like I said before it is scaled down and organized so it shouldn't be hard for him. It's like an old habit though for him to initially refuse and then dig his heals in.

I like the Cake or Death analogy. For us it would work great the "Help now or later instead of a video." I'll use that one for sure!
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Title: Need help getting past the threats....
Post by: mom2chrisnluke on July 07, 2005, 10:04:36 AM
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Okay, as I am learning more and more here, I have been able to change alot of my behaviors towards my kids [ages 5 and 2] like yelling and negative intent kind of thoughts. But one thing I seem to have a problem overcoming is the threating. Like " If you don't clean this room you won't get to go swimming" or "If you can't stop yelling at your brother than you will have to go to your room" The problem in the way I deliver the message and the amount I use this type of threats. I just don't have the script to do it differently. I use it to push my kids to do what I want. What can I do differently? I hate feeling threatened and I know they do too. My DH is even worse than I am but not too receptive to me suggesting other things so I try to lead by example. He is more of control by strong arming them with threats. We do not and never have been spankers but my DH does use time out alot and I use it every once in awile but I try to make it more like a comfort corner. I tryed to get DH to understand the comfort corner but after he ready the sticky on it he said it is just time out with another name. He said call it what you want it is still time out and punishment? I didn't even try to hash that one out he is a very good arguer, he would make millions as a lawyer. :P So anyway, I want to work on less threats, Any ideas on other ways to get kids motivated to do what you want with out threating? TIA!!

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Title: Re: Need help getting past the threats....
Post by: MarynMunchkins on July 07, 2005, 10:27:57 AM
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Well, personally, I don't see those things as threats. Maybe rephrasing them so your kids can understand the logic would help though.

"We won't have time to go swimming if you don't clean your room now." or "Yelling isn't ok. You either need to stop or go to your room. You're hurting our ears."

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Title: Re: Need help getting past the threats....
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 07, 2005, 02:21:01 PM
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It might help to think of it this way . . . if you are threatening then your child is in control.



digest that yet?

It's true--threats are manipulations and we only need to manipulate when we aren't the ones in authority and in charge. But all your child has to do is decide what you're threatening them with isn't worth it, or is worth it, and they don't need to do what you're wanting them to do.

Now, it's one thing to state the facts, "As soon as you clean your room it will be time for X" but it's another thing to try and hold X over his head to get him to clean his room. It needs to be that you have the rule or instruction of cleaning the room and it is done--resistance is futile

If you haven't established this when they were young and now they are older and you're caught in this dynamic, I really believe it's time to bring them in to be part of the solution Have a family meeting--explain to them what you see has happened and how you want things to change. Set some routines/schedules where the things that need to be done are set into a plan for the day and then do them. And have your children participate in setting up some logical consequences for if they don't do what's expected of them. If they set the consequence themselves they will be less resistant to it. Remember, you are a TEAM! You and dh are the coaches and Logical Consequences work as solutions when they are related, relevant, respectful and helpful for preventing the problem in the future!

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Title: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: hidngplace on September 12, 2005, 11:08:50 AM
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I saw a similiar thread and not sure this is the same or not.

"All behavior has a real reason behind it. When we learn the reason we can capture the heart." - ArmsOfLove
I read this as I was getting ready to post.
AND
"Because people who feel good act good and people who feel bad act bad it's important to help someone feel good before you address how they're acting." - ArmsOfLove.

My 10 year old and cleaning up after herself and work in general is a constant battle.. I am so lost. This has become a pull my hair out, tears on both ends battle. She can destroy her room in two days. I mean you can't walk in it. She is highly distracted. Which I understand the upside is she is highly imaginative and it is a gift. But I ask her to do or get something and she is distracted by a zillion other things. She won't do work without a fight. Any work.

I have her help in a family project. Her logic " I hate work therefore I shouldn't have to do it"

If I have her work along side of me, so I can guide each step and make sure she is busy. She bawls, gets angry and it is always ends up ," I have a horrible headache, or my legs are killing me." and she will just complain and complain in tears. and I KNOW she is lying. I have tried the "Well, I am sorry you aren't feeling well. I think you need to go to bed for the day so you can rest." Doesn't help. I have tried the consequences of in life if you don't work, you don't get reward or paid. Her sisters get the extra for the work (which I laid out in advance) and she doesn't. She gets upset and pouts, but doesn't do anything long term. I have tried restriction until it is cleaned, I have tried the punitive - probably all of them . I have tried the talk it out, explain everyone contributes in a family to share the load, her sisters have gone to her explaining their frustration that they do all the work and she doesn't. Her sisters have on occasion of their own accord, cleaned her entire room as an act of love, she doesn't care. She immediately goes back to the way it was.

She will wait until I am not looking and flee the room and go play. Usually outside, so I have to hunt for her.

We read together, we play together, she does pretty good in school work. spend time together. I just don't know anymore. I am very frustrated. She at this moment has pile of things in the middle of her bedroom, that we have been trying to get her to clean up for 3 days.

any suggestions?

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: Katydid on September 12, 2005, 11:17:09 AM
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Has she been taught *how* to clean up? I know that growing up I didn't really know how to clean up because my mom always did all the cleaning after I was in bed. But I was still expected to. Maybe you could take a few minutes and help her get started or tell her what to do first, ect. Maybe she is just overwhelmed and needs a little motivation to get started! I hope things improve soon!

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: Cheyenne on September 12, 2005, 12:25:38 PM
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I don't have much advice, because I am dealing with the same thing with my almost 8 yr old son. Your daughter sounds very much like my son even in creativity and responses. to you and I hope people will have some good advice. My son does know how to clean, but he gets overwhelmed very easy too. I was very much like my son when I was younger. I remember what it was like. It was hard breaking down a huge task into small manageable bites. My brain would feel overwhelmed and I would want to escape. Of course cleaning isn't much fun, so add to that how overwhelming it was, and it would cause me to avoid it at all costs. Also, if she is perfectionistic, she may feel unable to do it well enough so rather than not do it right, she doesn't do it at all. Maybe if you can use her creativity to come up with creative solutions to the problem, maybe that will help. I need to try some of those things myself. hope this helps.

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: hidngplace on September 12, 2005, 03:37:31 PM
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I understand the breaking into easy parts. I will say " I want you to pick up the trash and throw away." or I want you to put away the dirty clothes. I try to break into pieces. Problem is if she is working with me doing anything, I can point out one thing. Last night, it was take the dishes out of the cabinet and set on the floor. It never happened. That was a small, direct instruction. I sent her to bed for the night. I know that wasn't the best answer to it, but I was very frustrated after a long 3 days with her and figured it was the safest before I said something that would hurt.

She does do better if I say go pick up 3 things. and continue with random numbers until she finishes. This is the most effective thing we do, but it doesn't always work. Hmmm, guess I could combine math with clean up go pick up 3x4 things

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: ArmsOfLove on September 12, 2005, 05:37:36 PM
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Well, I'm gonna come at this kind of backwards and I'm not suggesting that *this* is what is going on with your dd, but this is what was going on with me . . . I have fibromyalgia and Aspergers so my body responds to things very differently than the average person. In OT I have had to learn how to do dishes, mop, everything "correctly" because my body gets hurt if I don't hold it correctly with purpose and intention. This means that standing at the sink doing dishes used to truly hurt my body, and sweeping or vacuuming or mopping--hurt, hurt, hurt. So I guess I wouldn't assume she was lying.

that said . . . she actually sounds like a pretty typical 10yo to me Ames and Ilg have a "Your 10 Year Old" that might bring some comfort

And she's got some logic developing so I'd find some great logical consequences that fit Nelson's criteria for "solutions" including having it be: 1) related; 2) respectful; 3) relevant and 4) helpful for preventing the behavior in the future. Ideally they play a role in choosing a consequence. For instance, a child too tired to do housework may need to take a rest rather than go out and play; refusal to help around the house means missing the next outing, etc.

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: ArmsOfLove on September 12, 2005, 05:38:23 PM
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Also, I'd make clean up be a part of the routine and structure of the day--for her room and the rest of the house--and if she is having a hard time with her room then maybe it's time to help her declutter

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: jujubnme on September 12, 2005, 08:00:22 PM
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Yeah, I was that kid... and sometimes still am. One thing that works pretty well with me is to set a time limit, like 10-15 minutes. Focus fully on cleaning for that amount of time, and then I can move on to something else. It also helps me tremendously to have someone working with me (or alongside me) to help me keep on task. (FWIW, although never officially dx, I am quite sure that I am ADD-Inattentive.... It describes my childhood and adult life to a tee.)

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: mama2mad on September 12, 2005, 08:41:52 PM
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I'm your 10yo, even still sometimes and also have ADD.
The thing that gets me best is to get the kids on the computer so im not tempted with that.
give them 20-30min and just focus myself on getting things done, and i *try* to have that done atleast 2x a day and then one time where we all work together

so i guess my thought is mostly to make sure other distractions aren't (as) available, thoguh i know that can be very difficult :/

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: Eowyn on September 12, 2005, 09:05:50 PM
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I'm also your 10 year old. 13 years later and diagnosed with ADD, I can and do keep a relatively clean house. My issue at ten was that it was just easier to get ahold of anything I needed in my room if it was on the floor where I could see it, or at least know which 4 shirts it was buried under. <g> Good luck.

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: hidngplace on September 13, 2005, 10:29:46 AM
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You know, I have thought for awhile that I am ADD, but I have always treated it as a self-discipline issue.

I know Rachel needs to do things a little everyday. I have been working on spending more quality time with her as well. I keep thinking about the above quote o"people who feel good act good ". She will have times when she does much better. I think it is when her love language is being spoken and she feels loved. So I need to focus on that.

I guess I am answering my own questions.

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: mamabeanbean on September 14, 2005, 06:21:05 PM
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My bub is still tiny, but I've worked with pre-teens a fair amount in situations where they needed to clean up after themselves but didn't want to. The most effective thing I came up with was to say, "Allright, let's see how much (whatever) we can (whatever) in thirty seconds...GO!" I think it helped them to have forseeable endpoint. I know I hate it when I feel like I'll be working forever.

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: raisa on September 14, 2005, 09:02:09 PM
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I am also your 10 yo dd . . . I am the third in a family of four daughters too! This is what caught my eye about your post. Housecleaning was a huge battle in my family as far as competition, reward, guilt, and punishment between us sisters and with our mother. I still fight these pressures on myself and have trouble with DH about housework because these same feelings come up. I don't know the answer but maybe it would help to look at it from this angle. Sometimes as a middle child I felt like it wasn't worth pursuing the reward because I'd get lost in the "crowd" and it was easier to play the role of the "sick" or whiny one, take the punishment, go off alone while everyone else did something fun, and become more isolated and feel sorry for myself. Not to say that she is "lying" because there could be real pain involved. But in other ways this cycle is familiar to me.

Maybe there are other ways to rethink the "battle" . . . why does her room have to be clean? Can you delegate an area to her and let her keep it the way she wants it? Perhaps remove extra toys/clothes so the mess is manageable until she cleans up what she has? Have more routine like taking dirty clothes to the laundry every morning before breakfast, get rid of garbage before bedtime because we don't sleep in rooms with garbage, put dolls to bed, put away games before taking out another game. Even work on one of these skills each week to break it down into manageable chunks.

One thing I would consider is to stop talking to each sister about what the other ones are doing -- just keep their responsibilities individual for awhile so there is less comparison and peer pressure. And I know you're doing this but to respectfully reflect her feelings -- I understand you don't like to do housework. It is okay to hate it. We would rather do fun things. We do it anyway. Then, think of all the fun things we can do once the room is clean. We can have a picnic on your bedroom floor and it will be your own special party for you to invite your sisters.

And just a guess -- could your own big feelings be overwhelming these situations? My mother would have serious meltdowns about housework, and I felt responsible for her huge anger, it was too much pressure for me, so I'd just give up (sometimes I WOULD try but I was always scared it wouldn't be enough to "make" her "happy"). Being told that "in life you have to work to get paid" was totally overwhelming for me at that age, because I was nowhere near capable of earning my own living and money was too abstract for me. So, maybe rethinking reward/praise/punishment/anger could help unravel this from the big emotional issues for your family.

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Title: Re: I hate work! A lazy child or ????
Post by: hidngplace on September 15, 2005, 08:33:24 AM
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Quote:
Then, think of all the fun things we can do once the room is clean. We can have a picnic on your bedroom floor and it will be your own special party for you to invite your sisters.
I like this idea, I think I might try it. You have given me a lot of food for thought. I think she might be a bit overwhelmed and feeling too much pressure. I am going to rethink this. Thanks

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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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Title: How do you handle this?
Post by: klpmommy on April 17, 2007, 07:35:25 AM
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We are going to go swimming today. The kids have to clean up a certain mess that they made earlier today before we can go. We have talked about it & both kids understand. I am helping by providing direction when they get stuck ("You can put all the train track in its spot" or "The couch cushions need to go on the couch").

E [age 3.5] is cleaning. P [4.5] is not. He loves to swim, but he is not cleaning. So what do I do if he doesn't do something & the other one does when there is a "when/then" statement attached? DH cannot stay home with P, he is not available.

ETA: If I try to help P by using his hands & mine it ends up with me dragging him around b/c he goes limp on me. That simply does not work for him.

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Title: Re: How do you handle this?
Post by: Joanne on April 17, 2007, 08:33:19 AM
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At his age, I'd do one of the following:

1) Tell "E" he can be done cleaning, and thank him for his help. Tell "P" he must finish before swimming.

2) Consider going swimming at a reasonable time and if P has not assisted or finished, he loses some or all of swim time.

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Title: Re: How do you handle this?
Post by: klpmommy on April 17, 2007, 08:43:18 AM
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OK, that was what I was planning, but it felt like it might be punitive. Thank you.

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Title: Re: How do you handle this?
Post by: Joanne on April 17, 2007, 09:04:56 AM
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At his age (approaching school age), I begin using related, respectful and reasonable imposed consequences.

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Title: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: teamommy on February 24, 2007, 11:53:55 AM
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I have a very persistent, "strong willed" almost-5-year-old. It is way too easy to get in a power struggle with him, and now our current one is cleaning up, specifically, cleaning up after himself when he makes a mess all on his own. He is quite independent, makes his own snacks and will put things away on his own about half the time, will do it promptly with a reminder the other half. We have had trouble picking up toys in the past; we have mostly solved this with playful parenting and having regularly scheduled pick up times where we all work together. He does help with chores when asked.

Our problems are in his creative projects. Cutting paper all over the house, crayons, glue. We have specific areas to do these things, and he has gotten better about doing things only in those spots. But when I insist he cleans up, he flat out refuses. "I am too tired". "I don't feel like it." And, the one that gets me "I don't have to do what you say". Well, I feel like he's got me there. Because, it is easy to help and stop him FROM doing something. It is harder to MAKE him do something as complex as repeatedly picking up pieces of paper off the table. It doesn't help when I get angry and become punitive by taking things away, like putting up the scissors for x number of days. Plus, I don't really want to restrict these activities because I feel like he needs them right now for developing fine motor control. If I am firm and calm, stating the expectation and just leaving the mess until it is picked up (and not letting him start something else until it is done), he digs in and just leaves it. It starts to bug ME that the mess is there and then I get mad. And isn't it permissive to just leave it until he feels he is ready to do it? I just don't want to set that parenting precedent. Or maybe I already have by giving in too many times, and I've gotten myself stuck.

Yeah, so writing it out, I think I've been permissive in this area. But, how to make a reluctant kid do something like this that they absolutely don't want to do?

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: mamahammer on February 24, 2007, 12:04:20 PM
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I would probably make his moving on to another activity contingent upon his cleaning up the work area.

"When the table is clean, then you can find something else to do." He might choose to sit there all day, but And I doubt that would be the case - at least, not more than once You're not keeping him from another activity or punishing him for making a mess - you're just setting the guidelines for the activity.

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Title: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: punkie on February 24, 2007, 12:12:08 PM
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We often make activities contingent upon cleanup. We focus on what is coming next, not on "you can't because you didn't clean up", just move of a "let's clean up so we can go do that!"

We also use the timer a lot. My just-turned-5yo son will say he is too tired to clean up and then I tell him that we'll set the timer for 5 minutes and then he can rest. It helps him to know that there is a set end. I think that cleaning up can seem overwhelming for him if he can't judge how long it will take or when it will be done. We also sometimes clean up to one of their favorite songs. Amazingly, when we say to clean up one area in 5 minutes, we usually end up getting the whole house clean in that amount of time.

If a certain activity keeps coming up as a struggle to clean up, then I have said in the past that we either need to limit that activity or find a way for it to be less messy. Sometimes that means playdoh outside or scissors over a box, etc.

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: mamahammer on February 24, 2007, 12:13:43 PM
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That reminds me, in Thomas' MDO class, they have the scissors and paper in a little plastic swimming pool - so the mess is contained and there's little to no clean-up

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Title: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: punkie on February 24, 2007, 12:15:36 PM
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Yeah, things like that (paper scraps, confetti, play doh crumbs...) are a pain to clean up, even if you're an adult!

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: klpmommy on February 24, 2007, 08:14:33 PM
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I know my kids get overwhelmed by everything there is to clean up, so if I tell them just to work on *one thing* it helps a lot. They might go all around the house looking for dinosaurs to clean up, then going around to look for cars, then blocks, etc. but that is easier for them than cleaning up all the toys in the living room. So when they tell me "too much" I try to tell them to think about only one thing at a time. It helps. (But then again I am a messy so my idea of "clean" and someone else's might be totally different. )

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: siberian on February 25, 2007, 11:56:25 AM
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I don't know if this would fall under the realm of punitive, but maybe help him "earn" his art supplies back? If he refuses to pick them up, then you quietly put the supplies away for him, the next day only let him have (for example) paper and crayons and let him know that if he cleans up the when he is supposed to, he will earn back his glue. Then the next day if he cleans up his paper, crayons and glue when he is supposed to, he will earn back his scissors. Particularly if he has a more passive personality, this can help him appreciate the art supplies and understand that he needs to be responsible for them so they will be available for his use the next time.

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: TwinMommy03 on February 25, 2007, 12:25:17 PM
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Sorry, no real advice here, but my ds is the exact same way and I need the advice too.

The only thing that works for us is playful parenting/having a race. But, that's starting to wear off.

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: ainsleesmommy on February 25, 2007, 01:08:20 PM
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my 4 yo tries to assert herself in this are a, too. One day she was working on valentine day cards, and got bored w/it. we didn't have any plans that day so we could have read,colored, did board games, card games, etc. I told her to put away the cards, and she didn't want to.
For the rest of the day, she'd ask to do something or to do something together and I'd say "oh sure as soon as you pick those cards up."
It wasn't a big mess, and all she had to do was toss both finished and unfinished cards into a bag we had for that purpose. i even stood there and held the bag, saying we'd do it together.
She did it at 4:30 while I was fixing dinner! I felt like it was a wasted day, but hopefully she takes me seriously now.
It's a struggle, because often times she takes it to a level I am uncomfortable with or feel like I am getting too rigid about (like that day, I am so proud I stuck to what I had said)
kinda OT, but I think it's a sturggle of this age. And I am lax about things, I just want no more than one or two big projects on our kitchen table at a time, cause we have to eat, too.

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: klpmommy on February 25, 2007, 01:36:38 PM
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Quote:
don't know if this would fall under the realm of punitive, but maybe help him "earn" his art supplies back? If he refuses to pick them up, then you quietly put the supplies away for him, the next day only let him have (for example) paper and crayons and let him know that if he cleans up the when he is supposed to, he will earn back his glue. Then the next day if he cleans up his paper, crayons and glue when he is supposed to, he will earn back his scissors. Particularly if he has a more passive personality, this can help him appreciate the art supplies and understand that he needs to be responsible for them so they will be available for his use the next time.
I do something similar sometimes. It doesn't have to be punitive, depending on how the mom explains it. For example, sometimes when it is time to clean up my kids will play while they clean & that is fine. Other times they will play & avoid cleaning & when that happens I will remind them that those are their toys & they need to take care of them. If I have to clean them up I will put them in the garage for a few days. I keep my voice calm & remind them gently, then I pick stuff up while they are there so that they can see that I meant what I said. I don't do it very often b/c I feel like I end up punishing myself more than them since they have less to play with, but sometimes it is a good reminder for them. But a lot of times I see the "I don't care" attitude from them at that point b/c it isn't effecting them RIGHT NOW.

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: mlrowley on February 26, 2007, 08:37:25 AM
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We are having this is\sue here too. I think the earn back the art supplies might go over well here. We haven't been strong on taking care of things. Hmmm.

No advice, just and sympathy.

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Title: Re: Getting 4 yo to clean up--help!!!
Post by: Mamatoto on February 26, 2007, 08:47:03 AM
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We do songs quite a bit for cleaning up. Impromptu made up songs about cleaning up and what we will do as soon as everything is clean.

I also will start cleaning up myself and just direct like, "Autumn, the scissors need to go to their home..." If I get the "I'm too tired thing," I will motivate with, "As soon as you are done, we can do...." I have to be very specific and not just say, "clean up here," but direct her step by step and do it with her.
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Title: Is this an appropriate consequence or is it punitive?
Post by: klpmommy on October 04, 2006, 04:02:37 PM
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Every evening before bed we clean up all the toys. The toys all have boxes that are labeled for them to go in (dinosaurs, underwater animals, cars & planes, etc). The kids know which box is which & actually seem to enjoy playing as they put up the toys. Sometimes they enjoy playing too much & spend more time playing as they put the toys up than actually cleaning. I remind them & help them clean (usually I will work on one type of toy while they work on others or I will gather toys from other rooms & bring them into the living room). The past few nights cleaning has taken forever b/c of their play. I am glad that they are enjoying cleaning but they have to get to bed! So I have started setting the kitchen timer & telling them that if they can't get all the toys off the floor before the timer goes off they won't be able to pick a bedtime book like usual, I will pick the one book instead. (Usually they each pick one or two books depending on how much time we have once we get upstairs so we read a minimum of two books). I give them plenty of time with the timer & remind & coax them through getting all the toys up. So far they have always made it before the timer, but now I am wondering if I am setting up a logical consequence or if I am making this into something punitive. I don't want to take their joy in cleaning/playing & I love books at bedtime, but if they had their way they would clean for hours on end rather than going to bed.


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Title: Re: Is this an appropriate consequence or is it punitive?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on October 04, 2006, 04:20:30 PM
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I think it's very reasonable You are addressing the "time" issue by showing them time spent one place has to be taken from somewhere else, you are including at least one book to read, and you are using the timer to movitate them visually and with rhythm


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Title: Re: Is this an appropriate consequence or is it punitive?
Post by: Blue Savannah on October 04, 2006, 04:51:16 PM
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Maybe you could use the desire to play to your advantage. Divide the toys in half and whichever child finishes first gets to have his story read first. When my dd was younger, she loved to have me come and "inspect" her room. I would act mean and stomp around because she'd done such a good job cleaning up her things. That was one way I could always get her to clean her room in a hurry. But, I found it strange that Mrs. Pigglewiggle was one of the most helpful books I read on parenting.

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Title: Was this too punitive?
Post by: hey mommy on August 23, 2006, 04:40:21 PM
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While I spent all day (literally, ALL day!) cleaning/organizing DS' room, he decided that the living room needed a make-over too.... And he took Toys R Us as his inspiration.. Toys all over the floor. He had dumped out the toy box(a big rubbermaid box), so I tried to get him to help me clean it up. He refused and no matter what I did, he wouldn't help. So I got desperate and said if he didn't help pick them up, the toy box was going in the garage. He didn't seem to care much except to say that the garage was too dangerous for the toys(ROFL). Well, he didn't care and didn't help, so they are now in the garage.

Was that okay? There are still puzzles and 2 games that need cleaned up too.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: milkmommy on August 23, 2006, 04:57:13 PM
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Truthfully "yes' not that I think having the rule help or it goes way is unfair but leaving him on his own for such a long period of time probably wasn't the best idea. I think he was likley overwhelmed and truthfuly if you'd been their you'd probably not have allowed such a big mess in the first place. The mess was likely over whelming.
Also saying if you don't then I'll take them away is done in a punitive tone. What were you hoping that he would do? I think these are they type of days we need to say "Do over" explain that mommy should have spent more time but got caught up in what she was doing in the other room and once the toys are cleared we can.. (insert something fun).

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: hey mommy on August 23, 2006, 05:33:11 PM
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Thanks.. I agree that leaving him alone all day wasn't the best idea(though he'd make the same/similar mess even if I hadn't!).. This whole stinking house is overwhelming to me, which is adding to my frustration.. And then for every 1 toy I put away, he got out 5.

I haven't figured out how to get stuff like organizing/big cleaning done w/him around. He's not much of a helper. In fact if I ask him to help, he'll say 'no thanks' and go play. And honestly I wasn't IN his room all day. I was walking around the house quite often too. I stopped to play w/him a few times.

Oh well. That's what I get for trying to do something nice around here(cleaning/organizing his room).. I should have known better..

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: canadiyank on August 23, 2006, 05:39:35 PM
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What happens if you 5-step him for cleaning up toys? My dd (4.75) helps clean, but I've done a lot of taking her hands over the years and helping her. I've never taken toys away, but I don't think you were out of line. It does sound like an exhausting day, compounded by MORE mess, with someone who doesn't really understand that it was helpful to organize his room. Do you think he felt overwhelmed by you organizing in his room, like maybe he wanted to be involved more? Lately I've been talking about how we ALL pitch in to help clean etc, b/c we're a family, and that's been working pretty well. I'm sorry you felt so overwhelmed and unappreciated.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: milkmommy on August 23, 2006, 05:44:02 PM
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Quote
. In fact if I ask him to help, he'll say 'no thanks' and go play.
Honestly I would make it (with in reason) no negiotable, I expect my DD to help out with house hold stuff because its whats needed to make everything run smoothly. Now i wont like require her to stay alphabitize time magazines or stay with me while I decide just how to organize the family album because those are "my issues" but we clean dishes keep rooms tidy cook meals vaccum and dust because its needs to be done to make the house run smoothly. What I might have done in regards to the room..
1) If possible wait till DH or someone else could watch him (I have DH take Cecilia to the parks once a month so I can "deep clean"
2) divide the task Tell him we need to organize your room and why and that were going to work together for 10 mintues then we will go play for 20 or whatever. Make "no thanks" not an option
3) let the room go (something I'd be uncomfortable with) but sometimes we do have to step back and ask our selfs is it realy worth it..

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on August 23, 2006, 05:58:39 PM
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Well, we're talking a 4yo My 4yo has a very hard time cleaning but I do think that engaging him is helpful vs telling him to do it, but 5 Steps language goes a lot farther than requesting

At the same time . . . while I think the encounter was probably heated and frustrating for you I think the ultimately outcome is reasonable--toys that are too much for him to be responsible for have been removed and are not available for him to throw around anymore

I think in your frustration you did a fine thing

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: hey mommy on August 23, 2006, 05:59:37 PM
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Normally he's pretty good about helping me clean up. It's part of our routine at night, and maybe the fact that I started earlier didn't help. Well, I need to move clean up time to earlier in the day b/c DH is complaining that it's not done when he gets home at night. He gets home at 7:30. So I have 10-12 hours of just me and ds, cleaning, playing, whatever it is we do. You'd think that would be enough time, but for some pathetic reason(ME), it isn't.

DH take DS to the park?? That would never happen! I was shocked that Sunday they walked 3 blocks to Carls Jr. and then to Baskin Robbins. I can't even get the man to drive DS to see dh's parents.

And yes, I'm feeling overwhelmed and unapreciated.. And lonely...

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: milkmommy on August 23, 2006, 06:32:50 PM
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Ugg its hard when you have like no support from DH!

Quote:
Normally he's pretty good about helping me clean up. It's part of our routine at night, and maybe the fact that I started earlier didn't help.
This is my DD. SHes a super helper but she's very rountinue driven and though we dont go by a clock shes got a good sense of time and knows "what comes next" so If I try to get her to do something kinda outta the blue I often get the no.
And to be clear when I said make it non negotiable I didn't mean sit on him and treaten him but rather say This needs to be done I need you to help would you rather help by putting your books away or putting these shirts on hangers. I'd get him involved make it playful but not make "no thank you" an appropiate choice. If that makes sense..
FWIW we make general clean up as the finial thing before starting our bedtime rountinue its pointless doing it sooner as it jut get messed up again. We do house hold chores in the early afternoon..

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: brown eyed girl on August 23, 2006, 06:59:56 PM
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Quote:
And then for every 1 toy I put away, he got out 5.
I haven't figured out how to get stuff like organizing/big cleaning done w/him around.

Sounds to me like you have too much stuff and need a Clean Sweep. Now that it is all out in the garage, do NOT bring it all back into your house EVER. Put out 2 sheets on the floor... Mark one "Garage Sale" and one "Keep." Then put out a bin or sack that says "Broken/trash." Then YOU go through the toys, an initial sort-- he gets no input, you decide the first round through what can possibly stay. Then you clear away the "Garage Sale" and "Broken" piles... and leave just the "Keep" pile, but put it back into the first original box.

Now, invite the 4yo in, and let him help you sort through the box of pared-down toys, and let him choose which ones to keep and which ones to "garage sale." Keep your garage sale short, 8 to 11 a.m., because that's when all the business happens anyway. Let him help-- give him an apron to wear to make change, let him wear a special hat with a badge that says "Cashier" that you make with construction paper. Then after your garage sale, help him put the earnings in a bank (home-make one out of a shoebox) and take a dollar or two and go to get a special treat like ice cream cones.

Cut out pictures of something he'd really like to get with money he earns himself-- paste the pictures on the outside of his savings bank box. Cut a slit to insert coins. Now, get a few rolls of pennies or nickels... and keep them in a safe spot. When it's time to clean up, remind him that "a penny saved is a penny earned"... and jingle his bank box... remind him that taking good care of our things is like saving a penny because we aren't breaking or wearing out our stuff when we take good care of it... so "Let's tidy up and take care of our things, because a penny saved is a penny earned!" As he picks up toys and puts them away carefully, say "Look here's a penny you just earned by saving! Let's put it in your bank!" and let him put a penny *right then* into his bank. Jingle the bank, remember it's plastered with pictures of something he wants to save money to purchase....

Let him count out the money if he asks... show him pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters... let him trade them up as he earns enough pennies... Count pennies until you get to 100...

Within a month you'll have:
1) instilled in him a habit of picking up (but you will have to maintain it or it will go away)
2) taught basic kindergarten math

ETA... last week we had a spur of the moment garage sale with a neighbor who is moving to Manhattan. She put out signs on Tuesday, opened her garage door Weds morning at 7:30 to start dragging stuff out and immediately had people stopping. She had made $100 by 8 a.m. She had lots of toys from her girls who are now 13 an 16... she sold an entire box of Polly Pockets for $10 or something... Weds was a fine day for a garage sale, so it's not like you even have to wait for the weekend to do this.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: MarynMunchkins on August 24, 2006, 06:00:02 AM
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I think a 4 yo is old enough to understand "clean up or they get put up". I think it was fine, and have done it in the past.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: TrinMama on August 25, 2006, 11:59:55 AM
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i'd have done the same thing. we often do put toys away when dd doesn't take care of them.

i like the "clean sweep" idea...i've already started getting rid of things here...i just think, how many toys do my girls really need? that's just me...i hate clutter and since we are the only ones on either side with kids so far, there are always more toys coming in (no matter how many times we ask our parents to stop...another topic). you might just find that if you have ds help with the clean sweep idea, you might have a few fits of "but i want to keep it" when you really think something should go. but it could work!

hope you feel less frustrated soon.
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Title: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 23, 2005, 08:42:43 PM
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Today was another rough one. We had a friend and her four children over to help organize the basement and visit. The kids played very well together upstairs in the playroom and down in the basement with us. At one point when there was an incident, we immediately stopped for lunch. The cleaning took several hours, and the kids did surprisingly well.

Then...it came time to clean up the playroom and friends to leave, and older spirited dd decided she should be exempt. All friend's children were helping (friend's without complaint because friend is punitive and they don't dare) but my younger was dawdling and older was refusing, saying, "I don't want to. I won't." I kept in mind that they were tired, overstimulated, and not wanting the playtime to end. I kept my cool, repeated the request, then gave specific jobs to do, handed them items, and reflected feelings a few times (which I don't think could be herad over the complaining or barking commands of my friend to her children). My efforts did not help older dd so I told her that she needed to help or take a break in the rocking chair. I said this while touching her arm and bending down to talk to her. She yelled at me and jerked away, so I said "I am helping you to take a break" while gently pulling her to her feet. She immediately began yelling, "I'LL CLEAN, I"LL CLEAN" in a mean tone. I said, "you need a break to find a better attitude" while walking her from the playroom. She resisted me by tugging and dragging as well as screaming all the way down the stairs. I then lost my calm and fell into, "Do you need a spanking to help you get control of yourself?" Of course she said no, and I managed to restrain myself. Then I took her to the chair, told her to sit and calm herself down then left to finish the cleaning with our friends and say goodbye, while dd SCREAMED in the chair. While saying goodbye, I had to rush back into the room to quiet her since dh was sleeping, and ended up harshly covering her mouth and getting very stern with my words. After friends left, I put her in my lap and discussed the problem by reflecting feelings, apologizing for squeezing her face, and telling her what the proper response should have been. Then I requested that dd take a basket of toys up to the playroom to put away (as a consequence). She whined and cried, and threw a fit, but I reflected feelings and left her to herself and said she could come downsatirs when she was finished. She carried on but did the job. However, she was whining terribly afterwards about anything and everthing so I finally had to say that her behavior indicated that she needed a rest and followed the above mentioned steps to get her into her bedroom and in bed. The scene just about repeated itself exactly. I ended up taking the timer in to help her get to sleep and after SCREAMING for about 20 minutes, she did nap ( which she has not done in a long time).

These scenarios are a fairly common occurance recently. Over the last month (hmmm, since we moved) she has become very oppositional to requests, saying "NO", "I don't want to" or "I won't" often. My response is similar to what I describe above, but I reach a point when the resistance (like at the end of the above scenario) escalates and I do not know what to do to help her. She is too big to carry... ANd i am not sure about using the bear hug on a child of her age. It seems to become a wrestling match the few times I have attempted it. Is that normal? Sometimes in the heat of the moment, I still think a spank is needed to deal with outright resistance like I described. Like I read in another post - in the way that a wakeup slap in the face is given to someone who is irrational. It is what we were doing in the final stages before GBD. To "help". That's how we were looking at it, and talked to the kids about it. My friend would have spanked at the very beginning, not as a last resort (cringe). It irks me that her kids were doing exactly as requested, and mine were not. What gives?

I know many of you will have strong opinions about this. Please offer me better perspective to get past this and suggestions on what to do INSTEAD of suggesting/giving a spanking as the last resort. How could I have handled this situation better? And how can I better handle my dds negative reactions to every request?


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 23, 2005, 09:23:41 PM
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Is this your 5 yo or your 4 yo?

I wonder if your dd thought that if the clean up didn't take place that the friends wouldn't leave?

I would encourage you to, as much as possible, prepare her for how things will be and the response you expect *in advance*, reminder her if necessary, and what the consequence will be based on principles that you can put into place. Some of ours are "leaving successfully is part of coming again the next time", "family gets your best or no one gets the rest", etc.

If my dd was doing what yours was then I'd let her know that she had a choice--help clean up while everyone is there to help *or* I'd have our friends leave and she could clean up the room without their help. And I'd let her make her choice and experience the consequence of it. I'd still help with clean up when she was ready, but she'd be doing more work because everyone else was gone.


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: Joanne on May 23, 2005, 10:03:29 PM
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I agree with Crystal. Here (in my daycare, because cleaning up with my own kids is finally rarely an issue) the rule is that you help or you do it yourself.

A break, a cuddle corner, whatever is not an option at that time since that removes the child from the cleaning up.


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 23, 2005, 11:15:50 PM
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The big issue this time was with my 5yo, not my 3yo. I do think a big part of the problem was fatigue and overstimuation, but I could have prepeared her better by taking her aside and explaining at eye level what needed to happen. I think I can use this experience to clarify the clean up rules. We don't have friends over too often, so it has not been an issue. I would not have considered the consequence of cleaning up alone. The girls generally help clean up without much fuss, but when there has been complaining or refusal, I have been using a break in the rocking chair with the explanation that they need to reassess and decide to be helpful - because if they are refusing to be helpful, they are not feeling right and need to separate themselves from the situation momentarily. Usually I will take a break with them to discuss the problem, and they choose to be helpful fairly quickly, but sometimes it turns into a drawn-out episode (especially with 3yo). And in this case, everyone else had to pick up dds slack. Is a break not the best way to handle this kind of situation? In some situations, an immediate consequence may be better?

Thanks so much.


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 23, 2005, 11:20:00 PM
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Quote
"family gets your best or no one gets the rest",

Just wondering what this means...?


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: MarynMunchkins on May 24, 2005, 07:14:10 AM
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I think that means that your family is the most deserving of kind, respectful behavior.

We moved about a month ago, and the transition has been a lot of work. I make sure that I clearly state my expectations and help if necessary. I have no problem working along with my kids if they are cleaning beside me. If they refuse to clean, than I stop and leave the mess for them to clean on their own. Unless they are hurting someone else (hitting, kicking, etc.) I don't remove them to the CC, but leave them with the mess and walk away. If they come back later and ask for help, I give them something to do first and make sure they are willing to work, and than pitch in. When they don't come and ask for help a second time, they usually fall asleep.

Spending a lot of reconnecting time has helped since the move. I try to remember that we are in a strange place for them, and they are still trying to adjust to us. Especially since we moved from an apartment to a nice big house , there is a lot more to get used to. Making sure I play Barbies or Star Wars makes a remarkable difference in how much they are willing to do the things I ask them to do later.

Doug is just a couple months younger than your oldest, and he's a big kid. (And I'm not...:P) I still use the bear hug for him. I hold him until he calms down, and that has even occasionally meant sitting on him. I let go as soon as he is able to calm down and look at my eyes. IMHO, a spanking would be a lot easier on me and it would probably get his attention faster. But...the bear hug is there to help him get control of his own feelings and actions, and it is designed not to hurt. A spanking is designed to hurt enough that the child does what the adult wants them to do. So I take the longer, more difficult (for me) route because it is more effective at teaching what I want my kids to ultimately learn - to be able to express their emotions in a healthy way while in control.


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: APMamaX4 on May 24, 2005, 08:17:01 AM
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Quote from: Joanne on May 23, 2005, 10:03:29 PM
I agree with Crystal. Here (in my daycare, because cleaning up with my own kids is finally rarely an issue) the rule is that you help or you do it yourself.

A break, a cuddle corner, whatever is not an option at that time since that removes the child from the cleaning up.


OK could you elaborate a little bit here? There have been many times where I've thought that giving a break would be "exactly what s/he wants" b/c it'd be alleviating him/her from the responsibility of ____ (fill in the blank). And in this case, giving him/her a break means s/he doesn't have to participate in the cleaning. I have done the "you either clean up the playroom with help, or do it by yourself" thing, but always thought it might be a little punitive (and yet, still did it LOL) I'm glad to see that it is simply a consequence. Is there any "rule of thumb" to determine whether or not something would be punitive? For me, I usually ask if the consequence is logical (i.e. pertaining to what they just did) or not. If not then that usually = punitive. On the other hand... I know we shouldn't be assigning arbitrary consequences, but what do you do when they just don't LISTEN for some reason? Like during quiet time... I tell the older 3 to stay in bed (and they have a small tv on and I usually put in on pbs or something, so it's not like they are sitting there staring at the walls) However, they *dont*--they get up and parade around the room, rough and tumble, etc. LOUDLY squealing and stuff, and sometimes fighting (not LITERALLY fighting... but doing something to annoy one another) SO SO aggravating!


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: MarynMunchkins on May 24, 2005, 09:09:34 AM
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FWIW, I've never had any luck with quiet time unless each kid is in their own room. It's hard to settle and be quiet when there's people to play with.


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: CJ on May 24, 2005, 10:27:19 AM
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Original poster--that sounds like a scene I could totally picture in my house! My oldest is 5 and seems to oppose EVERYTHING these days. I find that I don't even want to be around him much. And my anger usually bubbles over onto him, regretably. It's especially bad if there is another mom/kids around, probably because I'm embarassed. He usually doesn't give us a hard time about cleaning up (DD3 takes on that role ) but the battle you described is all too familiar.

One thing I thought of (it's easier from outside the picture ) was to give her the option: "Help us or sit out and we will leave part of it to do by yourself." That way the consequence is not too overwhelming (I know that later if I was helping her pick up everything, there would be no guarantee that she'd be ready to help then and I know that I might get angry again.) and the only consequence is that she does her part alone instead with friends--which is more fun.

I may run this by DH today and perhaps we will try it with DD next time she resists clean up helping in our playroom.

I've also found it helpful to start cooperative clean-up with a group cheer--"two, four, six, eight, we can cooperate! "Last name", "Last name"--Go, TEAM!!!
Takes some energy on my part, but sets the tone of cooperation instead of battleground.



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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 24, 2005, 10:33:40 AM
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taking a break is great if she's overwhelmed and that break will help her regroup and come back and finish helping. What her behavior was doing in the moment was stopping both you and her from helping the friends clean up her toys. That's rude to the friends. Certainly you could leave some of it instead of all, especially if your other child was helping. But the idea that family gets our best or no one gets the rest is about treating our family with our best and kindest behavior or not having the opportunity to give that best behavior to others. So if my child is being rude to me or other family members I have no problem cancelling whatever plans we may have had that day that would have had them around other people. Not only does this teach and reinforce treating family well, but if they can't treat us well they are probably too tired, overwhelmed, sick, etc., to treat others well.

Remember also that we're talking about a 5yo--so we're moving into child and correcting.


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Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 24, 2005, 07:47:56 PM
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Well today I had the opportunity to carry out the new clean up plan. We had unexpected company today, and the girls played all afternoon. The 6yo friend is one that usually has a problem cleaning up, and ends up in a showdown with her mother. When it was time to to end the visit, I went up and announced that they had 5 more minutes to play before clean up. When the timer went off I went to Orion and asked her if she would choose to be helpful today. She said yes, and I said "great, because from now on, if you decide not to help I will tell everyone else to stop and you can finish it by yourself". I helped alongside the kids, giving clear instructions, handing them things and even said to our little visitor that cleaning up is part of coming the next time. She did fairly well, the 3yo did fairly well, but Orion did the most work, without any complaining.

So, today was a better day...thanks!

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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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Title: Problem du jour
Post by: Chris3jam on August 03, 2005, 12:37:49 PM
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Ok, this is a problem that is happening as I speak. Now, I wouldn't have this problem, except that my oldest at home is 9, the next is 7.5, and the youngest is 3.

I told them to clean up the den. They know what to do. . . put the tapes back, the Legos in the bin, the tangrams in the bag, and the books on the bookshelf and the trash in the trash can. I listed it out. Now, if they were younger, I would have 1.) given them a shorter list, and/or 2.) be helping them. We have a time limit, and I need to be doing my part in cleaning the kitchen (as you can tell, since I'm on the computer :P). Well, they've done everything but. They are playing around, wrestling, throwing things, and generally just not doing a thing. Now, this is the time where daddy would get the paddle and paddle them for disobedience. Now, it is my thought that they are old enough (the older ones can certainly help the 3 yo). I've made it fun . . . .they all got to chew bubble gum while cleaning (they don't normally get this treat because it usually ends up in someone's hear, in the carpet, or on the furniture -- it's already ended up in dd's hair), and we had gone to the grocery store earlier, so they got something really nice for lunch. But, it irks me that I have to go help, especially since they are not exactly babies anymore, YK? I cannot make these things go away -- they may be used as toys, but they are also used for school. But, I'm, well, exceedingly annoyed. This is their normal MO, which is why dh can hardly stand to be in the same room with them. He says that I "cater" to them and "let them get away with it" when I help. I'm beginning to believe him. They do not seem to be able to do anything independently any more. He says it's lack of painful consequence, which is why they are not learning to obey. I'm trying to figure out what else to do ---- is it not time for them to be able to do something without me standing over them ever second? When will they "get it"?

I'm considering telling them to spit out their gum. . . that was the condition of getting the gum. They wanted a piece, I said "No. After clean up", they appealed by asking to chew it *while* they were cleaning. I gave in (stupid me! ) Now, they are not upholding their end of the "bargain".


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Title: Re: Problem du jour
Post by: OpalsMom on August 03, 2005, 01:42:23 PM
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Well, yeah, I think I'd make them spit the gum out. And changing the deal probably wasn't a good idea -- that's one of those that's so easy to see in hindsight, but hard to resist in the moment.

What does helping them clean up look like for you? It kind of sounds like you're trying to do an all-or-nothing transition from helping to being out of sight, and it might be better to make a slower transition. Like, instead of standing over them every second, stand over them every 5 seconds


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Title: Re: Problem du jour
Post by: Singingmom on August 03, 2005, 02:32:53 PM
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ITU your expectation that your older 2 should be perfectly capable of tidying a room by themselves. It sounds to me like they're not, though. Oh, I know they really could if they'd just get their acts together, but it seems like they don't have the maturity yet or something.

If I were you, I'd start staying with them while they do a job like that until they seem better able to handle it. I know it's inconvenient and you shouldn't have to, but hopefully you wouldn't have to for very long. You did a good thing by listing the smaller jobs. How about assigning one specific job to each child? When he gets that done, give him a second job. My 6 yo likes to make himself a list and check things off. Maybe yours would go for that.

I'd probably say to them when they act like they did today or if they still don't cooperate after you break it down for them, "Apparently you need a lot of practice completing simple chores. Therefore, I'll expect you to do xxx now to give you that extra practice. If you can do a good job when I ask you to pick up, I'll know you don't need extra chores to practice." (To me that seems like logical consequences. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

Hugs and I'm sorry you're having a rough day. Hang in there and let us know how you're doing.


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Title: Re: Problem du jour
Post by: Gretchen on August 03, 2005, 02:41:07 PM
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You said you listed it out - did you do it verbally or written down? I find for my very forgetful 7 year old, we have a much greater chance of success if everything (and I mean *everything*) is written.

I would suggest working with them one at a time to reinforce exactly what your expectations are. Work together to make the list of tasks and then direct him in doing them (or sit and read a book if no help is needed). Make sure the other kids are out of the room at the time. Once you've got them doing well separately, then do some training sessions for working together.

I would also try doing cleaning sessions before something fun (watching a video or whatever), and better yet if the something fun has a set stop time. That will help them learn to work more quickly if they're motivated to do something afterwards ....

Gretchen


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Title: Re: Problem du jour
Post by: JessicaTX on August 03, 2005, 02:43:18 PM
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Well, for today, I'd put the smallest one in there with a timer for 5 minutes and tell that one to pick up all the books. After the timer goes off, put the next oldest one in there with the timer on, and a specific job, up in order till the room is clean. I have to separate my kids into cleaning different rooms or nothing gets done, they feed off of each other's silly antics. Oh, and I'd add more chores to do, so while youngling #1 is in teh living room tidying, youngling #2 would be cleaning up the dining room, I'd give the other a walmart bag and tell them to find 15 pieces of trash and put them in the bag.


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Title: Re: Problem du jour
Post by: MarynMunchkins on August 03, 2005, 02:46:24 PM
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I'd take the stuff away, and make them do more writing in school. The dreaded worksheets...

You're not the maid. If they can't clean up the stuff, it gets put up. And then I'd limit how much stuff can be out at a time in the first place. One toy per kid at a time.

Hang in there!


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Title: Re: Problem du jour
Post by: raisa on August 03, 2005, 05:07:42 PM
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I can totally relate -- mostly from the child's POV though on this one-- My mom used to get really intense about housecleaning (rightly so, I'm sure, but it freaked us all out) and I remember often being left with a big messy room to clean, and just being overwhelmed, and fighting with my sisters. We may have individually had the skills to do some picking up, but in a group scenario we brought out the worst in each other. A few more ideas --

-Could you let the older ones know you're upset? This would be a natural consequence for them. They don't need to see you out of control, but it's fair to tell them that a messy house if very hard for mommy.

-Was the gum way too much excitement for them? I think taking it away when they can't handle it, is totally fair.

-My mom used to put lots of energy into "making it fun" (like rewarding/motivating with fun music or a nice lunch) but this can become its own drama. Also, it makes it seem like a choice instead of saying "it will be done" and being confident that it will happen.

-Would they rather take turns -- or split up tasks -- one do the trash, one do the toys? Was it hard for them to do it with the 3 yo (maybe they felt more like they were babysitting, or it resulted in a bad power struggle). They might have the skills individually, but self-delegating tasks within a group takes a lot of maturity. I am pretty bad making decisions in groups. I can still imagine me, taking out the trash, seeing my sister playing with the toys instead of putting them away, starting to boss her around, she tries to take out the trash which I was doing, me throwing the trash at her . . . this was totally us. We would have been scared of our mom, but still might have got out of control.

-Maybe ask the 9yo and 7yo, one on one, for ideas of how to get their help? Especially with the mess they made instead of cleaning. They should be old enough to say "hey this needs to get done. What are your ideas of how we can work as a team?"

-Other posters have great ideas about minimizing the toys/ etc. as much as possible to avoid messes, instead of just cleaning them up. You owe it to yourself! Good luck!

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Title: Hooray for playful parenting!!!!!!!
Post by: hey mommy on August 23, 2006, 10:40:04 AM
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Last night I was cleaning stuff up in the kitchen and since we got home late(6:30), I didn't have time to pick up toys, etc. before dh got home. So after we ate dinner, I was cleaning up the mess in the kitchen and told C to go pick up his toys. I had put the marbles in a pile for him so all he had to do was put them in the container. He did that w/no problem. The other stuff got picked up by the 2 of us(I ended up helping him w/some stuff) and then I left him to pick up the 2 small puzzles that were left.

So, dh walks in to help C pick up puzzles. C is resisting b/c he's tired and wants mommy to help, etc. So I go in there and I"m about to get really, really mad and in the past would have spanked his butt and fought w/him for 1/2 or more to pick up two stinking little puzzles. Well, this time I said "I bet you don't know where that A goes!" and started teasing him and playing w/him and playfully threatning to pick up the pieces myself ("You better get it before I do!!!") and that worked like a charm! He started giggling and joined in and then DH joined in too. So the 3 of us sat there playing together, and getting the puzzle picked up at the same time..

HOORAY!!!!! It was soooo much nicer than getting mad.


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Title: Re: Hooray for playful parenting!!!!!!!
Post by: ArmsOfLove on August 23, 2006, 11:53:26 AM
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that is SO awesome

It's totally about our attitude and when someone is having fun other people want to join in

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Title: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Gentle Journey on September 21, 2006, 09:40:52 AM
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Ok, so my children had an extreme amount of toys. My mom saved all ours, people gave toys to us and we got them some. We shipped out toys by the garbage bags full when we moved to an apt. cause we no longer had a basement. Each of the kids got a HUGE storage tote for their toys each, even the baby, lol. Ok, so fast forward. They still have an extreme amount of toys. It's like they just keep multiplying. We;ve just given 3 garbage bags to the blessing shop. 2 of themhave been DD's toys. She was told if she couldn't keep her room clean, we'd take away the toys cause obviously it's too many for her to handle. I'm not fussy, all she has to do is pretty much throw them in her closet. It's an open lid and take up the whole thing. She wont. So I keep telling her if her room isn't clean when she leave for school, I clean it with a garbage bag. And I do. So, am i punishing her for not cleaning her room or is the consequence of not putting your toys away having them taken away cause she obviously doesn't appreciate the fact that she has them. I mean, she asks for everything and usually gets it from my mom and Nana when we go down there or certainly for Christmas. She went on for months about this toy. My Nana got it for her for her birthday last month and withing 2 weeks all the parts were missing and was no longer played with. So am I helping her by taking away all the extra or just being a big meanie? My idea was for her to list all the toys she can think of over the next few days. If she isn't even aware she has it, she doesn't need it.


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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: expatmom on September 21, 2006, 10:24:01 AM
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Looking at your signature, it looks like dd is 4 yrs old? I think that it might be too much to expect of a 4 yr old.

Clutter is stressful. I get stressed when I look at a messy room & find it overwhelming to know where to begin! Imagine how that would feel to a 4 yr old! My dd gets panicky when her room is a tip, even though it is relatively straightforward to tidy it up. What has helped her is for us to give every toy a special place or storage container. When she gets something out, there is somewhere identifiable to put it back. Also, we have gotten rid of anything that is not part of a set & then organized her room around those themes. She is 7 & still needs a parent with her to guide/motivate her when tidying. At 4 (which is what ds is) I would expect enthusiastic participation while we tidied up together.

Your dd can't help that she gets everything that she asks for. Maybe you can work with the grandparents to be more selective with gift giving or to keep some of the toys at their house for "special" times.


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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: canadiyank on September 21, 2006, 10:28:25 AM
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I take things out, but not with a threat. They just disappear. Then they go in a closet, then downstairs, then to Salvation Army. Our church had a drive for stuffed animals during VBS this year and I was *shocked* at what my dd wanted to get rid of...we explained it was for kids who didn't have any and she was so generous. Maybe go that route? We have so many toys we can't keep our rooms clean, let's give some to kids who don't have any. Maybe do some decluttering of your own at the same time?



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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: snlmama on September 21, 2006, 10:35:52 AM
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Quote from: canadiyank on September 21, 2006, 10:28:25 AM
I take things out, but not with a threat. They just disappear. Then they go in a closet, then downstairs, then to Salvation Army. Our church had a drive for stuffed animals during VBS this year and I was *shocked* at what my dd wanted to get rid of...we explained it was for kids who didn't have any and she was so generous. Maybe go that route? We have so many toys we can't keep our rooms clean, let's give some to kids who don't have any. Maybe do some decluttering of your own at the same time?




We've done it both of these ways and it works well. They also like passing down toys to a little boy at church who is about 2 years younger than my youngest. They love to give things to J.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Gentle Journey on September 21, 2006, 10:43:16 AM
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I'm sorry, forgot to change my sig. She's 5. I should add I've been taking my stuff out by the garbage bag fulls too. We just have too much stuff, way too much stuff. I certainly think 5 is old enough to through some toys back in a box. It's not said deeming or mean, simply when she gets home after school, she has to clean her room before she leaves for school the next morning (10am).

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: ArmsOfLove on September 21, 2006, 11:31:15 AM
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I don't consider taking toys away if they can't keep them picked up a consequence, and I do work with my children on cleaning. Though I would say that expecting a 5yo to clean their room *may* be an unrealistic expectation. I've researched a lot about decluttering because of my issues with this and I've found that imposing an organizational system on a child is as unhelpful sometimes as imposing one on an adult. This can be really hard to understand if you are normally organized. What I've done is bring my children into the process and talk to them about their toys. For one thing, people take care of the things that they value. So if they aren't taking care of toys it means they aren't valuing them. That may mean they really don't care about stuff, or don't like that toy, or that they have too much to take care of and are overwhelmed. Some children do better with one bin to throw everything into. Some children are horrified at that and need small bins for each thing.

At 5 my oldest was not ready to clean his own room alone but at 6 he took pride in keeping it clean
At 5 my dd needed me to break it down for her: now go put away your Barbie's, now your polly pockets, now your dress up, etc

Making it part of routine helps immensely and if you can engage to disengage (get her started, pop in to keep her motivated, etc) that will help

Put on music
race the timer
make it fun

nothing says work has to be drudgery

IF she has too many toys consider getting rid of a bunch of them. Donate them or yardsale and let her keep the money You can also rotate what is out either once a week, once a month or once a quarter.

Once you have put into place a real system that takes her into consideration and makes her job manageable for her then it's fine to put a toy into "toy jail" or "toy time out" because it's not being properly cared for. Have her do something to make amends to the toy to get it back or have a jail break once a week


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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: pneumaphile on September 21, 2006, 11:32:29 AM
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Mike and I always do a toy purge once or twice a year (often after birthdays and after Christmas). We box up the toys and put them in the basement. They're there until the next toy purge - if a kid notices something's missing, and asks for it, we're happy to get it out for him. That has only happened twice in the whole 7 years I've been parenting!

When it's time to do the next toy purge, the boxes from the previous ones get donated (unless it's a special high-quality toy I want to keep for the next child or eventually for the grandchildren).

I will get rid of anything they're not playing with, and anything low quality that was given to them by someone other than Mike or I.

It works! Their playroom is uber-organized most of the time, which makes it easy for us to help them get the toys put away at bedtime. They play better if they have a few high quality things than if they have tons of cheap things. It's a win-win situation!

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: mamaKristin on September 21, 2006, 12:25:41 PM
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If she has an extreme amount of toys, she is probably overwhealmed by the idea of tidying them up. Maybe talk to her about what kind of systerm for storing toys would work for her - what would help her find homes for those toys. Does she need to have the toys displayed on a shelf instead of in a bin? Rotating toys could really help - it would greatly cut down on the number in her room at one time.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: canadiyank on September 21, 2006, 01:15:31 PM
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Quote from: mamaKristin on September 21, 2006, 12:25:41 PM
Maybe talk to her about what kind of systerm for storing toys would work for her - what would help her find homes for those toys.

For my dd we found it really helpful to have specific places for things. "Put your puzzle back in the drawer." "Put the barbies in their box." "Put the game on the top shelf," etc.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Garnet on September 21, 2006, 01:22:31 PM
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ITA it might be a bit much to expect for a four year old. But you are on the right road to "helping" her to be self sufficient. I think you should slowly get rid of all the toys the kids don't actively play with. And then put away a few "backups" in case of broken toys, lost toys, or the need to play with something "new". The good thing about toddlers/preschoolers is if you make it out of sight, out of mind, its new all over again. I think its reasonable to say dd can keep as many toys as can fit in her storage bin, and then put half away elsewhere. Or that she can keep four and four can be put away. However, I woudl not make a big deal out of it, such as saying "We're taking your toys and giving them away because you can't keep them picked up." That is punitive IMO. And then at birthdays and Christmas when she gets more toys, review which ones she's not playing with, or are broken, missing pieces, and act accordingly. I think the same can be said for ds toys and baby's toys. They can keep 4 each in the rooms, and 4 backups. Or as much as can fill their storage bins.

I have three kids too, and the toys situation can get overwhelming. Especially when they are little and mommy is doing as much or more of the cleanng as the kids.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Gentle Journey on September 21, 2006, 05:11:58 PM
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Thanks for the advice.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Garnet on September 21, 2006, 08:23:30 PM
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let me tell you our clean up song....I think it came off barney but hey....

Clean up! Clean up! Everybody everywhere! Clean up, clean up, everyone does their share! I would sing it while the kids were picking up, with me helping and pretty soon they became better at it, then it became a game to see how many time si could sing it before they got done......

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Mamatoto on September 23, 2006, 05:06:14 AM
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It might be a good idea for you to set some rules regarding what sorts of toys you want to come into your home...be the protector of blocking the clutter. Having less toys, and ones that your kids really like may help them want to take care of them more.

I don't threaten to take my dd's toys if she doesn't clean them up, because at five I think she still needs me to be present to clean up first and her watch me and help. We do clean up songs as we do it, too, and usually do it before a transition to another thing so she is eager to do it.

I also sort through my kids toys when they are sleeping. I am careful because I think children can form attachments to certain toys and if they are taken a trust is broken between the parent and child...as adults we tend to forget those deep attachments, particularly to dolls or blankets or things like that in which the child sees a part of himself in it.

As for the wanting, I think is great to allow children to ask, but then know that we can say yes or no. It is not the child's fault if a toy falls apart....really we should protect them from that happening by bringing in nice, high quality toys that won't break or lose pieces in a few days. My dd knows my standards, she still asks on occasion but she also at five has a great "eye" for toys that she knows she will love. On vacation her Poppy had given her some money and we went to the Dutch Wonderland ( a fairybook theme park) gift shop. We walked through for a long time and she pointed out quite a few things, and I had looked to see what I would have liked for her to have, and then finally I said, "Autumn, I want you to pick out your favorite thing in this whole store. Show me what it is that you love." She went right up the aisles to a purple fairy skirt with purple flowers. It is beautiful. So she bought that. And she has played with it over and over and over. She wore it the whole rest of the vacation over her clothes, along with a princess hat that she picked out, too. We didn't buy anything else for her...but the $30 skirt was not that much compared to how much a bunch of little things that would have broken and gotten lost would have cost.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Gentle Journey on September 23, 2006, 05:51:45 AM
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I'm having trouble accepting that a 5 year old cant pick up a toy, walk 2 feet and put it in a bin. Without assistance In fact, I think a kid under 2 can do that. An 18 month old, may need help, but I dont think a 5 year old. My boy's had been doing it for over a year and he's almost 3. I think we spoiled our daughter by doing everything for her or at the least helping her do everything and now she's lazy. That said, DH does think having different little spaces may help her keep more organized, so we'll look into that. And we are careful what we through out. she has a few special stuffed animals and her blankie that we'll never get rid of. I think I'm going for no more clutter toys. All gifts must be educational or a game ecept for maybe the odd doll or some clothes for it.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: joyful mama on September 23, 2006, 06:09:38 AM
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its not that placing one or two toys in a bin is beyond her. what's beyond her capabilities is expecting her to put 'extreme' amoutns of toys away. clutter is debilitating- even to adults. I think organizing will help

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Mamatoto on September 23, 2006, 09:22:11 AM
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Quote:
I'm having trouble accepting that a 5 year old cant pick up a toy, walk 2 feet and put it in a bin. Without assistance In fact, I think a kid under 2 can do that. An 18 month old, may need help, but I dont think a 5 year old. My boy's had been doing it for over a year and he's almost 3. I think we spoiled our daughter by doing everything for her or at the least helping her do everything and now she's lazy. That said, DH does think having different little spaces may help her keep more organized, so we'll look into that. And we are careful what we through out. she has a few special stuffed animals and her blankie that we'll never get rid of. I think I'm going for no more clutter toys. All gifts must be educational or a game ecept for maybe the odd doll or some clothes for it.
I think maybe it comes in the perspective of the goal....our goal is to work together as a family to live here together. Dd helps me to put dishes away, I help her to make her bed, she helps me make my bed, I help her to clean up her toys. I can certainly put a dish away myself, but I ask her to help so we can work together to get it done faster and more efficiently.

If your goal is just to clean up the room because it is such a crazy mess and you can't stand it, and you see it as their issue because it's their toys, then yes, they are physically capable of picking up a toy and putting it away. And I can see why you would think them not doing it would be lazy. Yet, my goal is to help my dd to learn compliance and in order to do that I know that staying close and working together is key to the long term goal of learning order and helpfulness as they grow.

I also think some children are just more orderly and different stages require different approaches. My five year old gets lost when she tries to clean something...very distracted, but I am like that, too. My 2 year old loves everything in it's place and absolutely loves to clean. Everyone is always surprised at what a huge helper he is. Part of it is being an eager two year old, and part of it is his bent in life and personality IMO.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: jenn3514 on September 23, 2006, 10:00:40 AM
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I agree that at five they can pick up toys and put them in a bin, esp. if it is just one bin. Having said that though, with a couple of my guys, I have also found that it is the amount of toys that is overwhelming. I have found that taking 'types' of toys and putting them in baskets on a shelf doesn't take up much more space than a toy box, and makes it much easier to clean up because they don't have to pull everything out of the bin to find what they want. (it only took me 2 kids and 9 years to figure that out! ) After watching my kids from start to finish in the playroom a couple of times, I realized that that was what was happening. They weren't just throwing things on the fllor, they were looking for the stuff that they wanted that went together. So now we have a ball bin, one for cars, dress-up, barbie,lizards and bugs (ds), pollypocket, etc.. The rule is, that you have to put away the one bin before you pull another out. we sometimes let that slide because they like to build roads, houses, furniture with their blocks and legos. And it may just be her make-up, I went from one dd who had a meltdown if a shirt was sticking out of her drawer or it wasn't closed all the way to one who likes to put all of her toys in a circle, sit in the middle of them, and play Good luck!

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Joanne on September 24, 2006, 11:34:51 AM
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Quote:
I'm having trouble accepting that a 5 year old cant pick up a toy, walk 2 feet and put it in a bin. Without assistance In fact, I think a kid under 2 can do that. An 18 month old, may need help, but I dont think a 5 year old. My boy's had been doing it for over a year and he's almost 3. I think we spoiled our daughter by doing everything for her or at the least helping her do everything and now she's lazy.
I agree. All (non special needs) 5 year olds are physically and developmentally able to clean up in a basic way.

However, it seems that your daughter struggles with issues of stewardship, respect for property and issues related to respect. Address the underlying issues before you try to fix the symptom (the continually messy room).

A gratitude journal, work with people less materially blessed, teaching and coaching on properly caring for things, building a system and routine for maintenance.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: ArmsOfLove on September 24, 2006, 12:12:29 PM
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Joanne expressed what I'm trying to say--it's not so much about ability, though it may be, but it's about the reality that she's not and she needs some teaching/discipleship in order to get to where she *is*.

Can and does are different places

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