G.C. asks from Spring, TX on May 25, 2009
Cleaning, Children Cleaning
How do I show my kids to pick up after themselves? My girls wont pickup after themselves. I need some advice on how to get them to do it. We tried a reward system but they grew very bored of it after a couple of months.
1 mom found this helpful
J.H. answers from Houston on May 27, 2009
Anything left on the floor, or laying around anyplace, gets picked up and put away out of sight. When they don't have it to play with anymore, they'll learn to take care of it.
K.B. answers from Houston on May 25, 2009
I had the same problem with my daughter and to a much lesser extent with my son. First I went through all of their toys and donated/threw away what was appropriate and then I organized everything that was left. I made sure everything had a "home". I then explained to my children that from now on I would tell them 20 minutes before it was time to get ready for bed that it was time to clean up. Anything that was not put away when it was time to get ready for bed I would pick up and place in a large garbage bag. Anything placed in the bag was gone for 1 week.
As with most things they did really well in the beginning and then I guess my daughter wanted to test me so she stopped working so hard at it and I had to bag up several items. Once she saw that I was serious she started following the program again.
Now I'm trying to get them to understand that if they clean up throughout the day as they finish playing with things then they do not have as much to do before bed and can continue playing or watching TV longer. My son has this one figured out but my daughter still makes quite a mess throughout the day and just waits to pick it up at night.
1 mom found this helpful
D.G. answers from Sherman on May 29, 2009
I'm a pastor's wife who just read a book I've heard advertised for awhile on the Word FM. It's by Dr. Kevin Lehman "How To Have a New Kid By Friday". It has some excellent ideas on making children mind, teaching them responsibility, etc. I bought the book to give to a lady in our church who has a very undisiplined teen but read the book before giving it to her. It is useful from tots to teens to young adults living at home. Another great idea I learned from another ministers wife was found online at www.accountablekids.com. She has two young children and a one year old. She was having trouble with the older kids picking up after themselves, etc. and she found this website and has implemented this with her children. She said it made a world of difference in her kids. It is somewhat on a reward system but it also teaches kids that, if they don't follow through, then there's consequences too (such as losing priviledges).
E.L. answers from Houston on May 26, 2009
www.flylady.com has some advice about getting children/family members to clean up together. One of her ideas is to set the timer for nine minutes, put on some groovy music, and then everyone get a basket and go through the room filling it with their stuff to put away (or whatever their job is, to do it in that time). I've read about a million ways to get your kids to work at home, and sometimes a good idea will work for your kids and then it won't work with them in a few weeks...that's why life is never boring! The library also has great books about it. Something we've been doing has been playing the Enchanted CD on the Happy Working Song track and the kids love it, are motivated to do such-and-such very quickly, and I'm with them doing it. It becomes fun and you learn to work together and accomplish something good--which I believe is one of the best ways to grow self-confident, happy children. Best wishes!
E.M. answers from San Antonio on May 26, 2009
My kids 7 and 4 have been picking up after themselves since they were 2 yrs old. Now if they don't pick their room up the toys are taken away. We have had their toys taken away only twice. Kids are smart they learn pretty quick....try it and you will see a change.
K.J. answers from San Antonio on May 26, 2009
You could try asking them to clean. If they refuse and you end up cleaning. You can put some or all of those toys you cleaned in "time out" for the next day. When they can't play with the toys they want to play with you can explain that when Mommy has to clean up the toys they go into time out for a day. Hopefully they will be more willing to help clean up next time and you can praise or reward them for it.
L.J. answers from Houston on May 26, 2009
My kids are not allowed to do "fun" things until their chores are done! Period. If I have to pick it up, I put it "away". They have to earn it back. They know what to expect now and are getting better at it.
E.I. answers from San Antonio on May 26, 2009
My 3 year old twins don't clean up automatically but if I'm cleaning they will clean up with me or when they are told. I have a rule that I will tell them once to pick up their items from the floor or they go in the trash. At first I threw a lot away, no when they see with the sweeper they tell me "mom wait 5 min." They run and clean up so that I don't pick anything up.
At 3 they make their own bed, and I do make them clean their bathroom, we do it together. Each one gets a clorox wipe and they help wipe down counters and pick up clothes etc.
They pick up the living room and to get them to do that, I give them a small piece of gum which they absolutely love. The whole sticker reward chart never worked, they like instant gratification. Sometimes I'll have a fruit snack and as they clean they get one, and so on.
Good luck, and I'm glad you are trying to teach them to be responsible, it's very important.
L.B. answers from Corpus Christi on May 26, 2009
This will work wonders, tell them both that you need their help in cleaning up their rooms. If you find any of their toys out of place and you go in there you will pick them up. But they may be in the garbage. If this does not work pick up the things and put them in the attic or hide them. If they are old and ready for the garbage do it. It may dawn on them that you mean it.