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to expect my children to do the cleaning

(46 Posts)
catweasel44 Tue 26-Sep-17 10:27:18

I realise I may have left this too late but I'm at the end of my tether.

I have 2 DS aged 9 and 11. They are horribly messy, leave wrappers on the floor, socks on the floor, shoes never go in the cupboard, clothes never go in the basket.

DH and I both work full time but I seem to spend my life picking up and tidying after them. I myself am horribly messy and it's a real effort for me but I want to live in a nice house.

We've had a cleaner for a while but I'm sick of paying money we can't really afford, only for the place to look a tip a couple of hours later. Also noone lifts a finger in between.

We have 4 able bodied people in the house - surely we can manage this between us, and it might give them some incentive to keep clean (not wee on the floor).

I'm determined to raise decent human beings, not animals.

How do you get your children to do the chores? Lists? Charts? Threats? Rewards?

What is reasonable to expect them to do.

MrsOverTheRoad Tue 26-Sep-17 10:48:58

Give each child a labelled basket. Tell them that every evening, they need to put all their stuff in it before they go to bed.

If you find any random things in the wrong place (within reason) such as socks on floor, books on kitchen bench etc...then they will be binned.

Then hide the things they fail to clear away. Let them freak out...and feel the fear of having lost their precious stuff...for at least an hour.

Then produce the things and tell them that was their ONE chance...next time it will be for real.

Basket. Filled. Bedtime.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Tue 26-Sep-17 10:52:45

Lists are the way to go!
Pick up rubbish
Clothes in basket
Books away
Toys away
Dc are like dh. . Spell it out =gets the job done !!

Roomster101 Tue 26-Sep-17 10:55:59

I don't expect them to do cleaning but I certainly expect them to pick up after themselves. I would never bin random stuff as I don't like wasting things that I have paid for but if they leave something somewhere in the house (apart from their bedrooms) I tell them to come and pick it up NOW. I expect bedrooms to be tidied at the weekend but I leave them during the week apart from expecting them to put dirty clothes in the wash basket.

Cantspell2 Tue 26-Sep-17 10:58:13

You are going to have a battle on your hands as you should have started years ago.
I would sit them down and tell them what you expect, then tell them what you will be doing if they don't do it i.e. Black bin bag everything left,out, shop buying the stuff that comes in wrappers that are dropped, anything not in the basket not washed. ONe warning and then follow through. No reward charts as no one rewards you when you put the laundry on

Blankuser1992 Tue 26-Sep-17 10:58:32

What used to help me as a teen was to plan outfits in advance, so hang the entire school outfit ( knickers and all) on a hanger and do that for five days etc

That way clothes wouldn't be everywhere.

I do it as an adult too

rightnowimpissed Tue 26-Sep-17 11:01:40

Yanbu it's only right they should have chores to do and at a minimum pick up after themselves and take some responsibility for their things

MargaretTwatyer Tue 26-Sep-17 11:02:48

YANBU to expect them to pick up after themselves. YABVU to expect them to do the cleaning, that's not age appropriate.

Personally I would say at that age keeping their own room tidy, dusted and hoovered, picking up after themselves and maybe a couple of age appropriate jobs like emptying the dishwasher or collecting up the waste paper are okay.

But getting rid of the cleaner and expecting your kids to do it is a bit Cinderella.

Tainbri Tue 26-Sep-17 11:06:08

I have a black bin liner. They know if I find anything on the floor it goes in there, including their rooms (with fair warning to tidy up) They have to "pay" to get it back, which might mean doing extra jobs for me. They soon realise keeping their space tidy is the better option. I've sent them to school in dirty uniform (which DS hated!) because I asked him to put it in the basket or it wouldn't get washed. He doesn't forget these days. I also do rewards/pocket money and bonuses for super tidy rooms or helpfulness with jobs around the house.

oldmacdonalde471 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:07:53

I don't see putting wrappers in the bin and putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket as chores. Your DC should be doing these things.

Could you stop giving treats/snacks to them until they learn to tidy up rubbish? And ask them each evening to put their clothes in the basket and help them get their clean clothes out for the next day?

Cantspell2 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:10:59

Why should an 11 and 9 year old not clean?
At that age they should be more than capable of doing a bit of dusting, pushing a hoover around or changing a bed. These are life skills and should be helping out.
I am not saying send them up a ladder to clean the top floor windows but they should be doing something more than putting their dirty socks in the wash basket.

hannah1992 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:13:37

My dd1 is almost 7 and my dd2 is 20 months. My dd1 tidied up her own bedroom every weekend. I've found that getting her to do it herself now means that she doesn't mess it up too much because she doesn't want to spend forever tidying it up again. She puts her own clothes in her drawers while I hang her clothes in her wardrobe, she will dry dishes and out then away, she puts her shoes away when she takes them off, she makes her own bed, helps tidy toys away, helps clear the table after dinner. However, I have had her helping since she was able to, she has always helped pick up toys and things from being very young so now she does that when I ask. Other things sometimes I have to pester her a bit to do like make her bed but I do not want her to become lazy in the house and expect everyone to pick up after her. My dd2 helps put toys away and puts rubbish in the bin and puts her shoes in the cupboard. She knows how to "make her her bed" although she can't do it yet but she tries.

You need to set down rules and be very strict! When me and my dh first lived in together he was a slob and didn't do anything at all because he used to do the same at home and mil would just go round cleaning and tidying everything so he never had to do it. Had a shock when I told him I was not his mother get off your arse and pitch in 🤣. Lay down some ground rules, have them earning pocket money through doing chores

Roomster101 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:21:00

At that age they should be more than capable of doing a bit of dusting, pushing a hoover around or changing a bed. These are life skills and should be helping out.

I would expect them to hoover and dust their own room at the weekend but the rest of the house or cleaning bathroom/kitchen i.e. doing the work of the cleaner is too much for that age, I think.

LiveLifeWithPassion Tue 26-Sep-17 11:24:07

I have ds similar ages.
I have a list that they need to complete daily which includes folding pjs and making their bed in the morning and putting dirty clothes in the laundry bin and hanging clean clothes if they can be worn the next day. I don't expect to see any mess on the bedroom floor.

Other than that, they help out generally with laying table, dishes in dishwasher, tidying living room, putting clean laundry away. They'll do the odd bit of hoovering and mopping (which is fun apparently) and dusting.
Dh gets them raking leaves and helping out in the garden a bit too.
That makes us sound like slave drivers but they're probably doing chores about 15-20mins a day at most. A bit more in the weekend sometimes.

PickAChew Tue 26-Sep-17 11:25:45

It's just basic respect not to leave your rubbish lying around. You need to hound them every time and, if they can't be arsed to throw away wrappers, you no longer buy them snacky things to eat.

Tackle this first and the dirty clothes.

catweasel44 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:33:35

I didn't actually mean all of the cleaning whilst I put my feet up and read a magazine (although VERY tempting), but I want them to tidy and clean up after themselves as they go along so there isn't much cleaning to do.

I just mean that with 4 of us in the house we shouldn't really need a cleaner if everyone pitches in and I'm not spending my life folding bloody washing.

catweasel44 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:35:04

This is good advice, thank you.

I'm going to get myself some bin bags!

One issue I think is we don't have correct/big enough storage, so its hard for them to easily put away. I big clearout is on the cards I think!

user1494409994 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:37:18

Mine are 4 and 8 and are expected to put their clothes in the laundry basket and help tidy the toys away. 4 year old loves to help though and was cleaning the windows with me at the weekend. 8 year old is quite handy with a duster. Not because I make them but if they offer, I accept. They can also both load the washing machine (with guidance). It's good for them to learn life skills.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 26-Sep-17 11:39:19

My dc are expected to pick up after themselves I find it hugely disrespectful if they leave rubbish lying around, I'm not their unpaid skivvy.

They each have their own chores to do as well, they clean out food cupboard and fridge weekly one empties kitchen bin the other the bathroom bin and eldest washes dishes younger does cat litter trays and outs away clean dishes.

I'd keep over if I had to do everything.

Mine have been doing the above chores since they were similar ages to your boys.

BorisTrumpsHair Tue 26-Sep-17 11:53:09

"not age appropriate" smile

I think some cleaning is of course age appropriate.

Mine don't have "set" jobs but if I am cleaning they are cleaning too - loading recycling into bag, DD1 age 9 is great at cleaning the bath and getting good at the rest of the bathroom, they both hoover, will dust occasionally, DD2 is 6 and loves doing mirrors and windows.
They do grumble sometimes, but still it has to be done.

We do have a cleaner now who does kitchen, bathroom, floors which is a massive help.

DD's have to tidy up after themselves, sock match, put clean clothes away etc - little and often. DD1 wants porridge for breakfast and I make it but she has to wash to pot (I don't have time and she does) smile

GrowThroughWhatYouGoThrough Tue 26-Sep-17 11:57:33

I think you should lead my example in your post you say you are horribly messy so they probably get there lack of cleaning/tidying up from you.
Maybe a chart showing chores which everyone needs to do including you would help

geekone Tue 26-Sep-17 12:14:25

It's fairly simple if your room isn't tidied and your stuff isn't picked up the. You don't get TV iPad (insert) whatever activity they would have been doing.

Cagliostro Tue 26-Sep-17 12:16:01

My two aren't good at cleaning up after themselves but I can't really blame them as I'm not either blush but we are trying to learn together. Gradually building up good habits so they automatically put PJs in the wash as soon as they get dressed etc (I'm hoping this can eventually lead to a "if it ain't in the wash it ain't getting cleaned" type rule for all of us)

They are good at doing stuff like putting their clean clothes away etc so I'm building on that too

Ropsleybunny Tue 26-Sep-17 12:19:42

Imagine how you want your DC to behave as adults. Do you want them to grow up capable of looking after themselves and to show consideration towards others? Or do you want them to be slobs? It's your choice.

Londoncheapo Tue 26-Sep-17 12:23:53

"cleaning bathroom/kitchen i.e. doing the work of the cleaner"

Most people just call that kind of task "cleaning the place they live in," not "doing the work of the cleaner."

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