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Monday, March 8, 2010

Parenting 101?




Let me tell you about a little parenting issue we've been having lately with one of our kids. Miss L. never wants to clean up her room. Well, you say, that is not unusual for kids. I know but here the the issue. No matter what we do she won't clean her room. We've tried to wait her out. Have her stay in her room until she gets it done.....two....three afternoon's will pass and it still isn't done. In fact, it's become even more messy because all she does is play.

We've given her spankings. We've set timers. We've taken away activities.


So, finally hubs had had it. A couple of days ago, L was again asked to clean her room and she was told that if she didn't get her room cleaned, then we would take everything that was still in the floor, clothing and all and it would be gone for a while.


SO, that is exactly what happened. L refused to clean up. K went in her room with a garbage bag and scooped up everything that was in the floor. Clothing, toys, hairbows, shoes, everything.
What happened, you ask? Exactly what you think happened! L started screaming and crying about her stuff.
What I found sort of comical, sad, and endearing all at the same time is that BOTH of her sister's started crying, too. They were sad that L had lost "all of her stuff". They actually thought that hubs was going to throw all of her stuff away. "Even all of her American Girl stuff".
Here's the thing, though. A and M cried much longer than L did. L got over her stuff being gone very quickly.
Well. By this time, it was bedtime and the girls were to be brushing their teeth. L saunters into the living room where her Dad and I are standing and says " Well at least you didn't get my Bitty Baby because that was on my bed. Humph!". And with that she flung her hair over her shoulder and walked back down the hallway to her bedroom.
SO - here's the question. WHAT are we going to do? HOW are we supposed to get this girl to clean her room (not to mention the sassiness of that last statement!)
I'd love to hear how you get your kids to clean their rooms! Any suggestions for us?
Is it an age related thing that she will grow out of (remember, she's five)? I mean A and M complain about cleaning their room but they do it.
Or maybe it is because she has to clean her room up herself and she she's that her sister's do their room together.....that is her chief complaint. "I can't do it all by myself."
SO- let's hear it. How do you get your kids to clean their rooms? I'd love it if it could be in a way that doesn't involve a screaming match. =)
I look forward to seeing what ya'll have to say!
in HIM -

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wish I had an answer for you! But, I do know of a friend who "lost" all her stuff the way K did it...garbage bag and all. Only difference was she drove the stuff and the girl to Goodwill and donated it all. The girl was a teenager, so a little different then Miss L, but she never had a problem getting her to clean her room again. And, she didn't replace the stuff she donated....the girl had to buy those things with her own money, which of course, took forever. She said she learned that the "stuff" wasn't so important, and was more choosy about what she purchased. I know it doesn't help with L, but maybe for the future?! (and for me, too!) Kandi

Anonymous said...

Wish I had an answer for you! But, I do know of a friend who "lost" all her stuff the way K did it...garbage bag and all. Only difference was she drove the stuff and the girl to Goodwill and donated it all. The girl was a teenager, so a little different then Miss L, but she never had a problem getting her to clean her room again. And, she didn't replace the stuff she donated....the girl had to buy those things with her own money, which of course, took forever. She said she learned that the "stuff" wasn't so important, and was more choosy about what she purchased. I know it doesn't help with L, but maybe for the future?! (and for me, too!) Kandi

Desiree' said...

I do think it is an age/maturity thing and a little bit of personality. My daughter is the same way. She is eight now and cleans her room much better, but still struggles. She is a pack rat which does not bode well for her future home.

I have done several things including, clean along side her because I think she gets overwhelmed at the mess, give her small portions at a time, give her pennies for each item she cleaned up. If it is 300 items (Lord help me!) then it is only $3.00 which I would gladly give for a clean room! She is better now so have hope. :)

Lisa said...

I was going to say positive reinforcement too. Maybe make a chart and at the end of every day, if her room is clean - she gets a star sticker; after 5 star stickers she gets a treat. Good luck!

JenB said...

I agree with the room being overwhelming to clean at that age. We've struggled in this area as well. I tried assigning sections to clean---- "First clean off the toys from your bed." Then "Ok now, pick up all the dolls." Easier for their little minds to handle then the blanket statement of "Clean your room." And maybe let her sisters help her and then she can help them with their room. That works well for my two.

Cheryl said...

Like the others suggested, I think you'll have to break the cleaning into sections. My daughter was/is a pack rat and when she was younger, it would be too overwhelming. Sometimes I'd help her and sometimes I'd give her a specific area to clean. And there are times when I will go in her room when she's not home and clear out all the "junk." She's never once missed any of it!
Just remember parenting is a journey not a destination!!!

Amanda said...

I think the others have very good ideas. I like the helping her so she can see HOW to clean in steps, and breaking it into sections for her.

I am no expert, since I've only been a girl who didn't clean her room...never had one. :) But I have a warning for you - My mom would do the garbage bag thing with my sister and me, even throwing the bags out the back door (closed tightly) for us to find when we returned from school. My sister loved this, since now her room was clean. I'm pretty sure she left everything in the bags, threw them in her closet and lived out of the bags for a while. I think I just piled everything back on my bed and put things away so I could go to bed that night.

No help, but just a warning about the garbage bag trick.

Beth said...

I have had to make a rule that before you get something else out you have to put what you are done with up. Noone's room should get so messy that it's overwhelming to clean up. I took all of my daughters things out of her room one time because of her behavior and made her work to get them back. I found that she forgot about most of the stuff and honestly all these kids have WAY to much. Sounds like your biggest problem is the attitude not the messy room anyway.

Ginger said...

I am not a mom (obviously) but I know your kids & I think it has everything to do with M & A sharing a room & cleaning their room together. Since they all play together in each other's rooms, I like the suggestion of all of them helping each other clean their rooms - at least until they are older. I also think the chart idea is a good one - you would just have to find a treat that L would respond to. :) Love you!

Devin said...

I am a big believer in what some of the other ladies have said--the assignment has to fit the age. Breaking it up, like : "Colin, you do the trains, Cam you do the cars, and Ethan, you do the blocks" helps us. I realize you are only talking about one here--but you could just do that one at a time, and I really do believe it is less overwhelming that way. Another issue I would continue to talk with her about is how God asks for her obedience--and it isn't truly obedience if her heart isn't "happy" about doing it. Obviously, this is something that take a LONG time to get (I'm an adult and still struggle with doing what God wants me to do!) but we just continually remind the boys that 'obedience is doing what you're told to do, when you're told to do it, and with a happy heart.' Hope this helps! Hang in there...