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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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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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