Am I expecting too much? Room tidy

(35 Posts)
Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 11:13:09

8 year old boy, room is a tip, he's got loads of nice toys and he doesn't look after them.

For example
Nintendo ds games left lying around everywhere, under the bed, on the floor, down the back of drawers.
Lids constantly left of felts
Bits of games going missing and dumped around or jumbled up

So many times I've gone in and cleaned and tidied the whole room. Everything has got a place so literally all he has to do is put things back. I've tidied it with him and shown him where to put things.

I send him to do a 10 minute tidy each day but what I find by the end of the week is he's all the dirty socks thrown in toy boxes, put back in drawers, under the bed. Felts just thrown in drawers and toy boxes, bits of games hidden in drawers.

I've tried everything, I've made lists like, washing in basket, felts in pencil case, Lego in tub.

People have bought him nice things like a card game and I found some of the cards drawn on and ripped up.

I've even threatened just to throw it all in the bin and he'd actually rather throw it all away than tidy it up.

Any ideas? Is it typical of his age.

ChipmunkSundays Wed 21-Sep-16 12:03:06

Does he just actually have too much stuff? That might have two consequences if so: a) maybe it feels overwhelming to tidy up if he has huge amounts of things, and b) maybe it encourages him to devalue the things he has, because he just takes it for granted that he has all these nice things.

ragz134 Wed 21-Sep-16 12:05:17

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who finds socks in all the toy boxes! I have two sons sharing, ages 9 and 10 and although they tidy when asked, to them that just means clearing thenl floors. I then find all their stuff in the wrong places even though it has a place... My eldest isn't toobabd, but younger one tends to shove stuff down the side of the bed and keep his dirty laundry in his bed! (Pulled bed out yesterday to paint walls, OMG socks, school clothes, books and rubbish!)
To be honest, I'm not as strict as I should be, probably because I'm not as tidy as I could be either and our house is cluttered.
I am currently decorating their room though, bought new (used) furniture and painting to make it more grown up and am hoping to bring in better routines and stricter guidelines. Including them vacuuming it themselves. I don't plan to go in there much at all after this.

ragz134 Wed 21-Sep-16 12:06:54

Should have added, I binned two bags of stuff during my pre decorating clear out. Odd cards, broken games and toys, party bag stuff etc. They do have too much stuff and as they are getting older most isn't played with so have persuaded them to bin and sell quite a lot...

ragz134 Wed 21-Sep-16 12:09:54

YANBU though, I just don't have the answer aside from less stuff!
Maybe rewarding him for tidying well, or making something he enjoys dependant on a tidy room?

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 12:21:37

Thanks both.

Maybe he has too much stuff. It's difficult, we have a big clear out every few months and I bin any party bag type toys, McDonald's toys.

In his room he has a couple of shelves with collectable figures and trophies.

He has a large box full of board games.

A couple of tubs of Lego.

A toy unit with plastic tubs each sorted into individual toys dinosaurs, marvel figures, Nintendo games and so on then some large items like a castle and a batcave.

A chest toy box containing a few bits, Buzz, Woody and large dinosaurs.

A large bottom drawer with some books, papers felts and things like match Attacks.

I've tried offering 50p a day to keep it clean. He doesn't care! He doesn't want the money!

redskytonight Wed 21-Sep-16 12:24:35

I have 3 rules with my children
1. No food in bedroom
2. Dirty clothes will only get washed if they are in the washing basket
3. The room must be hovered and dusted (by them) to an acceptable standard at least once a week.

This keeps the room hygienic, if they want to live in a cluttered hovel that's their choice.

ReedBunting Wed 21-Sep-16 12:29:41

I have 3 rules with my children
1. No food in bedroom
2. Dirty clothes will only get washed if they are in the washing basket
3. The room must be hovered and dusted (by them) to an acceptable standard at least once a week.

redsky can I ask what age were your children when you started this? Sounds a great plan!

ragz134 Wed 21-Sep-16 12:32:12

Reedbunting that is pretty much my plan for once room is finished. Great advice! How old are your kids and how long has this system been working for you?

ragz134 Wed 21-Sep-16 12:33:09

Redsky, I mean. Sorry, can't seem to edit posts!

RunningLulu Wed 21-Sep-16 12:38:21

Considering that my four year old will put his toys away, straighten his duvet, and is now learning how to dust, I don't think you're being unreasonable. I would personally just chuck away all the toys/put them into storage and not buy him anything until he's prepared to take care of it.

nokidshere Wed 21-Sep-16 12:42:53

Why do the things need to be in the "right" place?

My rule when the boys were younger was that anything still on the floor after lunchtime on Saturday would be binned. I never looked where they put it though as long as it was tidied away.

As they got older (10/11) the rules were no food in bedrooms, no washing done unless it was brought down to the washing basket, (and yes they ended up in dirty school uniform more than once) and no cleaning or hoovering done unless the floor was clear.

Now at 15 & 17 they don't need telling or reminding. They both tidy each night before bed and the younger one cleans his room a couple of times a week. They even bring down their stuff and put the washing machine on now with no prompting.

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 12:43:48

That's what I feel like doing runninglate although beware, ds was actually better when he was 4. I can remember him proudly putting all his jigsaws away nicely.

The only thing ds seems to care about is playing on the console/tablet. He's allowed to do that at weekends.

I might ban it until his room is sorted properly.

redskytonight Wed 21-Sep-16 12:45:29

The oldest was probably 9, the youngest maybe 7 or 8?

I find it quite stressful not to care that DS has piles of "stuff" everywhere, but actually probably less stressful than forcing him to tidy!! I've also (with both DC) had to go through that moment where they realize they don't have some crucial item of clothing due to pile of dirty clothes under bed. In DS's case it was a school shirt, so I did feel a bit guilty ...
It only took once for both of them - we no longer have a dirty clothes festooned everywhere problem (or at least only for 24 hours max).

I does mean I have the ultimate threat of saying that if they don't stick to my rules we will go back to regular tidying sessions and I will nag ...

I do insist on regular (maybe 2 or 3 times a year) clear outs where I will provide manual labour but not actually decide what is going. DS is very bad about getting rid of anything though ...

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 12:47:44

Nokid it's because if all the bits from board games are shoved under the bed and so on then we can't find anything to play with it.

He can't even find his coat and uniform half he time because he's thrown it all everywhere.

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 12:49:58

Similar with Nintendo games. We go to take it out for a car journey but the games are lost.

Felts are ruined once lids left off.

nokidshere Wed 21-Sep-16 12:52:30

Creative it's quite difficult to step back from but you just have to say "that's a shame we can't play the game then" if you can't find the peices or "you will have to go to school in something else and accept the consequences"..... It's much less stressful than the alternatives

WowOoo Wed 21-Sep-16 12:57:18

nokidshere Sounds like you trained them well.
I like things to be in the right place as when I need something I know exactly where it is. So when DS says 'where is my lego/spiderman figure ?', I tell him to look in the lego box or the character box. In theory it should make things easier...grin It helps when friends come over too.

I agree on the too much stuff comment. I found taking a load out and putting it in a cupboard for a while meant that he played with things he hadn't bothered with in ages. Helps you to decide what can go in the charity bag too!
The screen thing is a constant battle. We have a rule of no games/screens apart from some TV on school nights. Homework for eldest is OK. Weekend time is dependent on tidy floor, clean clothes away, dirty clothes in laundry. One of my sons 'failed' last weekend. He was v upset until he did some extra work to earn some time on Sunday.

Redsky I should try the dusting and hoovering challenge on them. Fab ideas!

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 13:05:48

Yes I know what you mean, natural consequences.

nokidshere Wed 21-Sep-16 13:07:30

If mine asked where was "whatever" I would just tell them that it was wherever they put it when they tidied up. The trick is not to do it for them, don't look for it and don't suggest places it might be - eventually they learn to put the things they want in the right place for them.

My boys rooms were often a huge mess - I just closed their doors and didn't look at it. The main rule was that their mess didn't encroach on anyone else's space but their bedrooms were up to them.

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 13:11:55

What would you do about felts? He loves drawing in bed but then leaves the felts all over the floor with lids off. Just not replace them?

It's a tactic I'm willing to try because nothing else I've tried has worked.

PedantPending Wed 21-Sep-16 13:12:31

I never learned to tidy my room as a child. Certainly did not have too much stuff, but definitely did not have anywhere to put it.
I think it is unreasonable to tell a child to tidy its room if you haven't shown them how to do/what you expect and there isn't sufficient space or storeage to achieve tidiness.
Even giving clear instructions such as find all your felt tips, make sure the tops are on tight so they don't dry out and put them all together in their tin or box is much easier to achieve than "go and tidy your room".

WowOoo Wed 21-Sep-16 13:21:22

Do you mean felt tip pens? I wouldn't replace them. But if he loves them, maybe Santa could bring some special ones!

In our house the only place art stuff is allowed is the on the dining table downstairs or outside if it's warm. Damage limitation - my brother had children before me and I witnessed some disasters at his place!

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 13:26:49

Yes felt tip pens.

Pedant I did say I have shown him and done it with him several times and so has dh. Everything has a place/box. I've given really specific lists like this.

Put felt tip pens in pencil case
Put match Attax in box
Put dirty clothes in basket
Put board games together and in board game box
Put marvel figures into blue tub

He just hides everything and I only realise later on.

Creativemode Wed 21-Sep-16 13:29:56

I've even sat on his bed and set an alarm for 10 minutes and said see how much you can get done. Then told him what needs doing bit by bit.

He spends the 10 minutes flapping his arms like Kevin the teenager or saying he needs the toilet, anything to get out of it.

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