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Old 07-07-2007, 02:03 PM   #9
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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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