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Old 06-15-2007, 05:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about 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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