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what is a reasonable age to expect children to help tidy their own rooms?

(12 Posts)
marykat2004 Wed 22-Jun-11 21:32:07

what is a reasonable age to expect children to help tidy their own rooms?

My own mother failed at teaching her children any of what they now call "Life skills." She said "youth is for enjoyment" which meant that I learned to cook via friends when I was about 23, and only stopped leaving all my clothes all over the floor when I was about 37.

I am not being lazy but I want to teach my own child that tidying up is part of life. I suffer tremendous anxiety and stress over not being able to to find things because I never learned how to be tidy. It takes a colossal effort to work a little tidying into every day.

I try to get DD to help but she just refuses. She won't clean up her room. I clean it, then after a day it is a mess again. DH is happy to live in a pig sty by the way, and does nothing to contribute to picking up after DD. If I have been at work, and he's doing childcare, he doesn't even do the washing up, let alone pick up toys.

What age is reasonable to make children help? And how does on go about it?

AlsoAvailableSober Wed 22-Jun-11 21:35:42

DD1 is 4.5 and has to tidy her room and her toys in communal rooms. I also usually get her to open her curtains and pull her duvet back over the bed.

Usually the threat of not going somewhere (swimming), TV or food is sufficient for her to do it. Thinking about it, recently she has actually done it without me asking as she likes it tidy and likes to show it off to me.

I suspect this will reverse by teenage years grin

BaaBaaHerdwickSheep Wed 22-Jun-11 21:45:27

I'm trying to start already with my DS who is 18 months. I grew up in a house where chores were very much part of life and to be honest I don't remember ever resenting it at all. My brother and I both had to do our own washing (clothes etc) before we were in secondary school and always had our jobs around the house as well as having to clean up after ourselves. I'll be honest and tell you that my room was a pigsty when I was a teenager - but my mum always refused to clean up after me, so that was my choice! I have improved now!!

I certainly don't think you're being lazy expecting your kids to help, whatever their age. Ultimately, an important part of being a parent is teaching your kids to be a grown up - and I definitely believe you can do that without losing out on the fun of being a kid.

Before bathtime now I get DS to help me tidy away his toys and books and the same after games and things during the day. Easy for me to say really as he's at the cute age where bringing things to mummy is good fun. I know this will change! But I'm certainly planning on trying to keep it up.

kbaby Wed 22-Jun-11 21:46:55

Ds helps tidy his room and makes his bed unpromoted every day, he is 4.5 dd however needs constant nagging to do hers and wouldn't bother if she could do, she's 7.
I try to get them to see that I have to clean up after myself and so should, which will stop toys getting broken or lost.

queenmaeve Wed 22-Jun-11 22:01:59

hmm I ask myself this question all the time. have a look at my boys rooms its so difficult to keep them tidy.

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Jun-11 22:02:44

i make my lot help, even the 2 yr old.

redglow Wed 22-Jun-11 23:13:32

Just get them involved in tidying from a really young age.

However my sons bedroom is lovely and tidy and my daughters is like a pigsty.

Both brought up the same, I think it is in you to be tidy.

marykat2004 Thu 23-Jun-11 00:03:00

thank you for all the comments. Interesting to read.

peachybums Thu 23-Jun-11 09:44:53

As soon as possible or it becomes a nightmare! DS (almost 9) is great at tydying up after himself and because hes been made to do it he doesnt make much mess now cos he knows hel have to clean it up.

DD1 (4 years) refuses to tydy up and i just gave in and got DS to do it, My mum pointed out how unfair this was and i should make her clean her own mess, i realised she was right and now encourage her to tydy esp her own room.

DD2 is only 13mths and 2 days ago i caught her putting her mega blocks into their bag and shoving it under the bed so she trying already haha! Def makes life easier when they help tydy up smile

DP, well, im still training him but after many years of 'not being arsed' i guess hell take a bit longer pmsl.

mrsravelstein Thu 23-Jun-11 09:52:33

ds2 is a natural tidier, and in fact gets a bit over freaked out about mess, so he tidies his own room every night before he gets into bed, has done since he was about 2.5 yrs.

ds1 is unbelievably untidy and even now at age 10 when i ask him to tidy his room, he basically just shoves everything randomly into cupboards. i don't bother ironing any of his clothes as they just get thrown into a drawer with shoes, nerf guns, shower gel, the cat etc.

dd is 17 months and clearly intending to take after her oldest brother - but when i tidy up the toys at hte end of the day i try to involve her a bit so she at least gets the idea of what is supposed to happen.

nattie55 Thu 23-Jun-11 10:17:11

My DS is 4.5 and learning the concept of tidying away after himself, it's proving popular at the moment as he sees the stars go on his well done chart, although I'm sure the novelty will wear off soon. smile

KnickersOnOnesHead Sat 25-Jun-11 12:03:17

I've always gone with 'if they are old enough to make the mess, they are old enough to tidy it up'

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