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To try to make my 9 year old do some house work / clean her own room?

(30 Posts)
Slowprogress Mon 01-Aug-16 17:40:31

So my dd has recently turned 9, she is so lazy and won't do anything I ask! I am a single parent, I work and I like my home to be clean. Dd thinks it is acceptable to leave her dirty underware on the floor in the living room in the mornings when she gets changed, never Tidy her bedroom and never wash up.

I have decided if I don't change this now it will never change and she will be an unclean person forever. So I have started making her wash up and I expect her to tidy her own room.

I asked her to put away her clean clothes which she decided to throw on the floor, when I saw that I told her to move them, later in the day I took her washing basket to put on a wash and found all the clean clothes I had washed and asked her to put away in the dirty washing basket! I feel like she is taking the actual p1ss out of me! I have tired to explain that it costs me time and money to wash and dry her clothes and I fold them, all she has to do is put them away and hang some up.

I feel like it's ruining the holidays as I don't want to take her anywhere nice or buy her nice things if she is being untidy, unclean and more importantly disrespectful towards me.

So aibu? Also any tips how to stop my child from being so lazy and start helping? As I've had enough of it!

Rumpelstiltskin143 Mon 01-Aug-16 17:44:26

Stop doing her laundry, at 9 she can do it herself.

Slowprogress Mon 01-Aug-16 17:47:49

When I found out what she did with the clean washing I did say I wasn't going to wash anymore clothes for her, but I did since and I think that's the problem that I just do things so they are done! Because let's be honest I don't want to walk around with her wearing clothes that are not clean or may be clean but not appropriate as in a party dress for everyday where etc

MidnightVelvettheSixth Mon 01-Aug-16 17:48:28

My 10 year gets £1 per week pocket money if he empties the bins, tidies his room & puts away his own clothes every weekend, would an incentive work with your DD?

frenchfancy Mon 01-Aug-16 17:52:02

I think 9 is a bit young to be doing all her own laundry (though my teens do their own).

YANBU to expect her to help out. But that doesn't mean she will do it properly or without complaining to begin with. You just have to keep asking. Keep reminding her what is unacceptable.

I think many parents find it easier to just do it themselves than to keep nagging reminding.

Wonderone Mon 01-Aug-16 17:53:09

My nearly 9 year old has to keep his room tidy and put dirty clothes in basket, empty the dishwasher and then he gets £1 a week pocket money. I tried getting him to put clean clothes away but they just ended up all rumpled in the drawer and hanging wonky so given up on that for now!!

chitofftheshovel Mon 01-Aug-16 17:54:48

It's tough hey!
My mantra is "there are three of us living in this house and I'm not doing everything".
Have you explained what it takes to run a home? Or basic pocket money and then extra for chores? I'm afraid there is no easy answer.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 01-Aug-16 17:56:49

You used two 'lazy' and two 'unclean' in your OP. Negative comments don't motivate people, least of all children. Positive reinforcement works. Teaching and encouraging works. Not complaining and making people feel bad.

Have a chat. Say that she's getting older and she's clearly ready for some challenges. Have a system together. So she wants to leave clothes folded rather than hang them? So she wants to wear a party dress? Not battles I would bother fighting. But her learning how to do laundry on her own is about independence and skill-acquisition, which is actually important. Work out what works for her and encourage her to achieve it.

My mum spent my childhood complaining and moaning and making me do things and never reinforcing any positive behaviour. It's horribly demotivating. I didn't want to do chores because even if I did, she wasn't happy. "Why can't you do that all the time?"

Slowprogress Mon 01-Aug-16 18:05:12

My dd gets £5 pocket money from my mum every week and I know if I offered £1 she wouldn't be bothered. I might tell her the pocket money from my mum will stop unless she can keep her room clean and do a few other things around the house.

Amelie10 Mon 01-Aug-16 18:05:14

Yanbu, if she is unclean and lazy then she needs to be told. You shouldn't be picking up her dirty underwear, she's old enough to do that. Very disrespectful. Don't pay her to do it either. She shouldn't be paid for something that only benefits her.

Slowprogress Mon 01-Aug-16 18:06:37

I have explained how much I have to do to keep our home in order and our clothes clean, she doesn't seem to care and is more interesting in playing with her toys or watching tv etc!

Slowprogress Mon 01-Aug-16 18:17:01

Mrsterry - my dd is being lazy and unclean! I do also praise her and reward her for doing well etc maybe a little too much and that may be why she is so lazy!

I also do everything myself because I cannot be bothered to keep asking her! But I think that needs to change because I have noticed how lazy she is and I'm worried that she will not learn the life skills needed for later in life.

Slowprogress Mon 01-Aug-16 18:21:13

Also dd did not want to leave clothes folded instead of hanging them! She wanted to leave them on the floor! When I told her that was not acceptable she then proceeded to put the clean clothes in the dirty washing basket so she didn't have to have them up!

Rumpelstiltskin143 Mon 01-Aug-16 18:21:49

I also do everything myself because I cannot be bothered to keep asking her! But I think that needs to change because I have noticed how lazy she is and I'm worried that she will not learn the life skills needed for later in life

This is your problem, you! You're going have to keep telling her. Right now she knows that if she ignores you, you'll step up and do it. You've got to break that pattern.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 01-Aug-16 18:24:51

Yanbu, if she is unclean and lazy then she needs to be told. Sometimes the choice is whether you're right or whether you're effective. I choose the latter.

How much you do to keep the house clean is blah blah blah. Of course she's happier watching TV or playing.

What about her 'earning' TV time with laundry time? Half an hour of chores for half an hour of TV time. No complaining, no moaning just, "have you got any TV time on your chart? No? What about 15 minutes cleaning your room, then you can have some TV?".

Read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. It's really good.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 01-Aug-16 18:26:38

Oh and no gushing praise. A quick, "I see you cleaned, thanks" is MUCH more effective than, "awesome work cleaning, you're fabulous".

TendonQueen Mon 01-Aug-16 18:26:40

Move to a reward system where she gets TV time in return for putting her clean washing away properly. I'd still do the washing but I think her putting it away and tidying her room is more than reasonable.

JudgyMcJudgypants Mon 01-Aug-16 18:28:45

I think 9 is too young to do laundry, but at this age I was either polishing the entire house or cleaning three bathrooms.
I do think she's at the right age to be responsible for the same task either daily or weekly.

nooka Mon 01-Aug-16 18:31:52

I would have thought that most 9 year olds would prefer to play than tidy, especially when past experience has taught them that if they ignore your instructions they can get out of the chore. You need new tactics I think.

Think about what motivates your dd, what makes her happy or is important to her? Is she more likely to do her chores if it feels like you are doing jobs together (my dd would tidy more effectively at that age if I sat in her room and chatted to her while she worked) or if jobs are timed (my ds needed to know about the chore time in advance so we had weekly clean up times). Does she need praise or something to look forward to after clean up time (eg on Fridays we clean the house together and then watch a movie of her choice together)? Does she need more control perhaps (eg she knows that on Sunday evening there will be a room inspection, but she does it at a time of her choosing and you won't bug her about it - this approach needs a firm consequence if the room fails).

WeAllHaveWings Mon 01-Aug-16 18:34:41

with ds I started telling him what he needed to do, then tell me when done and I'd check and if not done correctly he'd need to do again. As he got older he needed less checking because he knew if he didn't do it first time it would take more of his time.

Now working on being able to tell him to do more than one thing and he goes and does them without doing one thing and forgetting what the other was.

I have never explained to him why he has to help, I just say he lives here and needs to help so get it done. He tends to be better helping when I am doing things too, for example I'll tell him I'll hoover downstairs while you strip your bed.

He's getting better, but its gradual.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 01-Aug-16 18:35:19

oh and no rewards or punishments, just non negotiable it needs done.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 01-Aug-16 18:37:34

A tip I picked up from one of those Supernanny programmes was to take photos of the tween's bedroom in its tidy state and print them out to go on her noticeboard. That way when they're told to "tidy their room" it's not a vague rummage but a clear visual reference for what "tidy" means.

I do a "jolly" joint clearup including dusting and reorganisation/clearout every 3/4 months with DS. 2 hours max. After that he's responsible for making up his bed, emptying his bin and clearing up his books/desk once a week before vaccuuming the floor. About 15 mins a week. His clothes are regimented- 3 drawers: underwear, tops and trousers and shoes go on the family rack. He's a messy one but good natured, so apart from these things I just close the door and let him get on with it! One memorable Post-it I put on his door said: "Put your goddam shoes on the goddam shoerack smile!"

10yo DD is tidier than I am, so no complaints there.

Your DD seems to be rubbing you up easily over lack of tidiness and respect for what you do for her. I'm afraid my response would be: "We have a system and I expect you to use it. If you don't like it we can change the system but untidiness and bad attitude are unacceptable." Collaborative but firm.

EweAreHere Mon 01-Aug-16 18:37:55

Disable the tv and turn off the wife and take her phone. Tell her she gets NOTHING and goes NOWHERE until she pitches in in the home she lives in, eats in, expects clean things in, makes messes in, treks grime into, etc. Nothing. She can make herself cereal and sandwiches for meals until she's doing more to help you, too.


Missanneshirley Mon 01-Aug-16 18:43:51

I have a nearly 9 year old.
In the morning I ask her to put any dirty washing in the basket, make her bed and open the curtains. Every so often we tidy the room together - she's willing but as I realised not particularly able! So I couldn't just say "tidy your room" but she needs help eg right 1st pick up all the lego etc.
I also asked her to hang stuff up and it soon transpired she didn't know how to work a coat hanger! So had to show her that, and so on.
She'll try to hoover if I bring it up and plug it in - not a great job but she'll do it.
I don't give her pocket money at all yet and tbh I wouldn't give it for these jobs anyway - I think they are just the basics she should be doing.
When I come to pocket money I think I'll link it to "extra" tasks such as taking the bin out etc
Anyway my rambling point is that when I first asked her to do these things she didn't know HOW and made a lot of mess! Your dd will need training!

Slowprogress Mon 01-Aug-16 18:48:54

Over the last few days I have got to the point of not giving her dinner until the tasks are done, so a few days ago washing the dishes! Today tidying her bedroom as a result she made her own dinner with my supervision today, which I would prefer so she knows how much work it takes to do these things.

Also back to the disrespect and being unclean, I found her lying on the sofa the other day and putting snot on my sofa! I was appalled by this! And I have tired to explain to her how important it is to keep ourselves and our home clean etc!

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