Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why I'm Losing my Hair

Did you know that asking a 4 year old to clean up his mess is just mean? Did you also know that asking a 2 year old to clean up her mess is just silly? No?? Well, it is. Just ask my 4 and 2 year old.

I have tried everything. I have offered (not bribed) tokens for cleaning, promised movies, promised going to a lunch store (yes, that is what we call it here, don't laugh. Ok, laugh, I don't care). I have begged, I have cried, I have threatened to have Christmas be canceled. I have had Santa write them a letter. While they were impressed with the letter, it did no good. They continued to laugh at me. Ok, so Seth cried and told me that "cleaning is SO boring!" and Amelia just said, "No. I don't want to, plus I am reading right now". And, really, she wouldn't be doing much good to the cleaning and reading is good, even though she can't read and just makes up the stories by looking at the pictures, which I know is an excellent pre-reading skill, but if she doesn't learn to clean, then Seth will have to clean everything in the house and if he has to clean everything in the house, then when he goes to Kindergarten next year, there will be issues with cleaning and this will all end badly with me being the Mom of the messy kids who don't listen to her. whew. How was that for a runon sentence thankyouverymuch.

Good thing they're cute or I totally would have kicked them out long ago. I just don't like messy roommates.


Rhonda said...

I'm a mean mom is what I'm told. Also Grant swears his legs are broken and that is why he can't. Or his most famous one....."I'm not cleaning up all of these toys they are Gracie's!" As I'm hearing those words I look around to find tractors, star wars toys, his crayons, etc scattered across the floor. He's such a jokester. Gracie does pretty well....sometimes she just tells me "no" but then other times she sings her clean up song. It's very cute!

Good luck you mean mom! hehe

Anonymous said...

When my kids were this age I took away the things that could make messes when they refused to clean. They went a few days (week?) with about 5 legos and 1 doll. We had boxes with locks on them. 3 books. They weren't allowed to play with my stuff.

Even now, they are still messy, but there is a clear rule. While toys can make an appearance in MY livingroom, MY livingroom and MY bedroom are MY rooms, and they have no right to mess MY room up. I don't mess up their room. (although, heh, I've done that too to teach them a lesson...) Clear boundaries, because Mom and Dad own the house and we MUST have rooms that belong to us. They don't have control of this situation, no matter how much they think the world revolves around them. It doesn't. My heart revolves around them (but I am more than just their mom, I'm also a wife and the wife part of me needs adult clean space...) but they must learn that their actions affect others. Kindness is cool. They can mess their rooms and only clean about once a week unless it's a hazard, but My room(s) my be picked up. Normally toys don't even come out to my room anymore, unless it's Missy who is still learning this does it.

Anonymous said...

I totally heard my 4 year old saying that. She says it's boring or "so not fun". I just tell her to suck it up cause life can't always be fun. But who can blame her when she does her job and then her little brother comes behind pulling things back out. Drives us both NUTS.

Melonius said...

There's no magic way to get kids to clean. After all, I hate cleaning too! We have implemented "toy jail" where the toys that are out after they are in bed get locked up and then they have to earn them back. I also find that they clean best when I clean with them {though sometimes it feels like I'm still the only one cleaning...}. They also like it when I turn it into a "treasure hunt" and pick certain toys to find and put away. But most of the time I just end up leaving toys all over their floor until I can't stand it any longer...sigh

Jen said...

Love and Logic Magic: Birth to Six Years by Jim & Charles Fay has great advice. It talks about only using enforceable statements. (Don't threaten anything you won't follow through with.) If kids won't clean, say something like, "You can clean up your toys, or I can. I like to put them away on the top shelf (or locked closet). I'll give you five minutes to decide." You can either let them earn them back, or just keep them hidden for a day or two and then let them choose to clean or not again. I really recommend Love and Logic. By the way. It's fun to see how much your cute family has grown since you moved from Salt Lake.