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Old 10-04-2007, 06:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: snlmama on September 21, 2006, 10:35:52 AM
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Quote from: canadiyank on September 21, 2006, 10:28:25 AM
I take things out, but not with a threat. They just disappear. Then they go in a closet, then downstairs, then to Salvation Army. Our church had a drive for stuffed animals during VBS this year and I was *shocked* at what my dd wanted to get rid of...we explained it was for kids who didn't have any and she was so generous. Maybe go that route? We have so many toys we can't keep our rooms clean, let's give some to kids who don't have any. Maybe do some decluttering of your own at the same time?




We've done it both of these ways and it works well. They also like passing down toys to a little boy at church who is about 2 years younger than my youngest. They love to give things to J.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Gentle Journey on September 21, 2006, 10:43:16 AM
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I'm sorry, forgot to change my sig. She's 5. I should add I've been taking my stuff out by the garbage bag fulls too. We just have too much stuff, way too much stuff. I certainly think 5 is old enough to through some toys back in a box. It's not said deeming or mean, simply when she gets home after school, she has to clean her room before she leaves for school the next morning (10am).

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: ArmsOfLove on September 21, 2006, 11:31:15 AM
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I don't consider taking toys away if they can't keep them picked up a consequence, and I do work with my children on cleaning. Though I would say that expecting a 5yo to clean their room *may* be an unrealistic expectation. I've researched a lot about decluttering because of my issues with this and I've found that imposing an organizational system on a child is as unhelpful sometimes as imposing one on an adult. This can be really hard to understand if you are normally organized. What I've done is bring my children into the process and talk to them about their toys. For one thing, people take care of the things that they value. So if they aren't taking care of toys it means they aren't valuing them. That may mean they really don't care about stuff, or don't like that toy, or that they have too much to take care of and are overwhelmed. Some children do better with one bin to throw everything into. Some children are horrified at that and need small bins for each thing.

At 5 my oldest was not ready to clean his own room alone but at 6 he took pride in keeping it clean
At 5 my dd needed me to break it down for her: now go put away your Barbie's, now your polly pockets, now your dress up, etc

Making it part of routine helps immensely and if you can engage to disengage (get her started, pop in to keep her motivated, etc) that will help

Put on music
race the timer
make it fun

nothing says work has to be drudgery

IF she has too many toys consider getting rid of a bunch of them. Donate them or yardsale and let her keep the money You can also rotate what is out either once a week, once a month or once a quarter.

Once you have put into place a real system that takes her into consideration and makes her job manageable for her then it's fine to put a toy into "toy jail" or "toy time out" because it's not being properly cared for. Have her do something to make amends to the toy to get it back or have a jail break once a week


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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: pneumaphile on September 21, 2006, 11:32:29 AM
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Mike and I always do a toy purge once or twice a year (often after birthdays and after Christmas). We box up the toys and put them in the basement. They're there until the next toy purge - if a kid notices something's missing, and asks for it, we're happy to get it out for him. That has only happened twice in the whole 7 years I've been parenting!

When it's time to do the next toy purge, the boxes from the previous ones get donated (unless it's a special high-quality toy I want to keep for the next child or eventually for the grandchildren).

I will get rid of anything they're not playing with, and anything low quality that was given to them by someone other than Mike or I.

It works! Their playroom is uber-organized most of the time, which makes it easy for us to help them get the toys put away at bedtime. They play better if they have a few high quality things than if they have tons of cheap things. It's a win-win situation!

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: mamaKristin on September 21, 2006, 12:25:41 PM
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If she has an extreme amount of toys, she is probably overwhealmed by the idea of tidying them up. Maybe talk to her about what kind of systerm for storing toys would work for her - what would help her find homes for those toys. Does she need to have the toys displayed on a shelf instead of in a bin? Rotating toys could really help - it would greatly cut down on the number in her room at one time.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: canadiyank on September 21, 2006, 01:15:31 PM
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Quote from: mamaKristin on September 21, 2006, 12:25:41 PM
Maybe talk to her about what kind of systerm for storing toys would work for her - what would help her find homes for those toys.

For my dd we found it really helpful to have specific places for things. "Put your puzzle back in the drawer." "Put the barbies in their box." "Put the game on the top shelf," etc.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Garnet on September 21, 2006, 01:22:31 PM
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ITA it might be a bit much to expect for a four year old. But you are on the right road to "helping" her to be self sufficient. I think you should slowly get rid of all the toys the kids don't actively play with. And then put away a few "backups" in case of broken toys, lost toys, or the need to play with something "new". The good thing about toddlers/preschoolers is if you make it out of sight, out of mind, its new all over again. I think its reasonable to say dd can keep as many toys as can fit in her storage bin, and then put half away elsewhere. Or that she can keep four and four can be put away. However, I woudl not make a big deal out of it, such as saying "We're taking your toys and giving them away because you can't keep them picked up." That is punitive IMO. And then at birthdays and Christmas when she gets more toys, review which ones she's not playing with, or are broken, missing pieces, and act accordingly. I think the same can be said for ds toys and baby's toys. They can keep 4 each in the rooms, and 4 backups. Or as much as can fill their storage bins.

I have three kids too, and the toys situation can get overwhelming. Especially when they are little and mommy is doing as much or more of the cleanng as the kids.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Gentle Journey on September 21, 2006, 05:11:58 PM
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Thanks for the advice.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Garnet on September 21, 2006, 08:23:30 PM
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let me tell you our clean up song....I think it came off barney but hey....

Clean up! Clean up! Everybody everywhere! Clean up, clean up, everyone does their share! I would sing it while the kids were picking up, with me helping and pretty soon they became better at it, then it became a game to see how many time si could sing it before they got done......

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Mamatoto on September 23, 2006, 05:06:14 AM
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It might be a good idea for you to set some rules regarding what sorts of toys you want to come into your home...be the protector of blocking the clutter. Having less toys, and ones that your kids really like may help them want to take care of them more.

I don't threaten to take my dd's toys if she doesn't clean them up, because at five I think she still needs me to be present to clean up first and her watch me and help. We do clean up songs as we do it, too, and usually do it before a transition to another thing so she is eager to do it.

I also sort through my kids toys when they are sleeping. I am careful because I think children can form attachments to certain toys and if they are taken a trust is broken between the parent and child...as adults we tend to forget those deep attachments, particularly to dolls or blankets or things like that in which the child sees a part of himself in it.

As for the wanting, I think is great to allow children to ask, but then know that we can say yes or no. It is not the child's fault if a toy falls apart....really we should protect them from that happening by bringing in nice, high quality toys that won't break or lose pieces in a few days. My dd knows my standards, she still asks on occasion but she also at five has a great "eye" for toys that she knows she will love. On vacation her Poppy had given her some money and we went to the Dutch Wonderland ( a fairybook theme park) gift shop. We walked through for a long time and she pointed out quite a few things, and I had looked to see what I would have liked for her to have, and then finally I said, "Autumn, I want you to pick out your favorite thing in this whole store. Show me what it is that you love." She went right up the aisles to a purple fairy skirt with purple flowers. It is beautiful. So she bought that. And she has played with it over and over and over. She wore it the whole rest of the vacation over her clothes, along with a princess hat that she picked out, too. We didn't buy anything else for her...but the $30 skirt was not that much compared to how much a bunch of little things that would have broken and gotten lost would have cost.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Gentle Journey on September 23, 2006, 05:51:45 AM
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I'm having trouble accepting that a 5 year old cant pick up a toy, walk 2 feet and put it in a bin. Without assistance In fact, I think a kid under 2 can do that. An 18 month old, may need help, but I dont think a 5 year old. My boy's had been doing it for over a year and he's almost 3. I think we spoiled our daughter by doing everything for her or at the least helping her do everything and now she's lazy. That said, DH does think having different little spaces may help her keep more organized, so we'll look into that. And we are careful what we through out. she has a few special stuffed animals and her blankie that we'll never get rid of. I think I'm going for no more clutter toys. All gifts must be educational or a game ecept for maybe the odd doll or some clothes for it.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: joyful mama on September 23, 2006, 06:09:38 AM
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its not that placing one or two toys in a bin is beyond her. what's beyond her capabilities is expecting her to put 'extreme' amoutns of toys away. clutter is debilitating- even to adults. I think organizing will help

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Mamatoto on September 23, 2006, 09:22:11 AM
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Quote:
I'm having trouble accepting that a 5 year old cant pick up a toy, walk 2 feet and put it in a bin. Without assistance In fact, I think a kid under 2 can do that. An 18 month old, may need help, but I dont think a 5 year old. My boy's had been doing it for over a year and he's almost 3. I think we spoiled our daughter by doing everything for her or at the least helping her do everything and now she's lazy. That said, DH does think having different little spaces may help her keep more organized, so we'll look into that. And we are careful what we through out. she has a few special stuffed animals and her blankie that we'll never get rid of. I think I'm going for no more clutter toys. All gifts must be educational or a game ecept for maybe the odd doll or some clothes for it.
I think maybe it comes in the perspective of the goal....our goal is to work together as a family to live here together. Dd helps me to put dishes away, I help her to make her bed, she helps me make my bed, I help her to clean up her toys. I can certainly put a dish away myself, but I ask her to help so we can work together to get it done faster and more efficiently.

If your goal is just to clean up the room because it is such a crazy mess and you can't stand it, and you see it as their issue because it's their toys, then yes, they are physically capable of picking up a toy and putting it away. And I can see why you would think them not doing it would be lazy. Yet, my goal is to help my dd to learn compliance and in order to do that I know that staying close and working together is key to the long term goal of learning order and helpfulness as they grow.

I also think some children are just more orderly and different stages require different approaches. My five year old gets lost when she tries to clean something...very distracted, but I am like that, too. My 2 year old loves everything in it's place and absolutely loves to clean. Everyone is always surprised at what a huge helper he is. Part of it is being an eager two year old, and part of it is his bent in life and personality IMO.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: jenn3514 on September 23, 2006, 10:00:40 AM
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I agree that at five they can pick up toys and put them in a bin, esp. if it is just one bin. Having said that though, with a couple of my guys, I have also found that it is the amount of toys that is overwhelming. I have found that taking 'types' of toys and putting them in baskets on a shelf doesn't take up much more space than a toy box, and makes it much easier to clean up because they don't have to pull everything out of the bin to find what they want. (it only took me 2 kids and 9 years to figure that out! ) After watching my kids from start to finish in the playroom a couple of times, I realized that that was what was happening. They weren't just throwing things on the fllor, they were looking for the stuff that they wanted that went together. So now we have a ball bin, one for cars, dress-up, barbie,lizards and bugs (ds), pollypocket, etc.. The rule is, that you have to put away the one bin before you pull another out. we sometimes let that slide because they like to build roads, houses, furniture with their blocks and legos. And it may just be her make-up, I went from one dd who had a meltdown if a shirt was sticking out of her drawer or it wasn't closed all the way to one who likes to put all of her toys in a circle, sit in the middle of them, and play Good luck!

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: Joanne on September 24, 2006, 11:34:51 AM
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Quote:
I'm having trouble accepting that a 5 year old cant pick up a toy, walk 2 feet and put it in a bin. Without assistance In fact, I think a kid under 2 can do that. An 18 month old, may need help, but I dont think a 5 year old. My boy's had been doing it for over a year and he's almost 3. I think we spoiled our daughter by doing everything for her or at the least helping her do everything and now she's lazy.
I agree. All (non special needs) 5 year olds are physically and developmentally able to clean up in a basic way.

However, it seems that your daughter struggles with issues of stewardship, respect for property and issues related to respect. Address the underlying issues before you try to fix the symptom (the continually messy room).

A gratitude journal, work with people less materially blessed, teaching and coaching on properly caring for things, building a system and routine for maintenance.

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Title: Re: Punitive or consequence? (cleaning room)
Post by: ArmsOfLove on September 24, 2006, 12:12:29 PM
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Joanne expressed what I'm trying to say--it's not so much about ability, though it may be, but it's about the reality that she's not and she needs some teaching/discipleship in order to get to where she *is*.

Can and does are different places

Last edited by flowermama; 12-21-2010 at 01:59 PM.
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