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Does anybody manage to get their dc to keep their rooms tidy <head EXPLODES>

(28 Posts)
GiganticusBottomus Sat 10-Sep-11 16:44:01

My dc are 7 and 8 yrs old. Their rooms are vile and they spread their crap stuff all over the house. I am aware of course that this is pretty standard behaviour but FGS does anybody manage to get their dc to keep their rooms in reasonable order? I've just gone into ds's room and in addition to the usual toys/this morning's PJs etc on the floor there are clean pants everywhere, WHY????

Yes, I could spend time every day tidying their rooms for them if I object so much but
a) I don't want to
b) I don't have much time at the moment to do it
c) I don't sodding want to! I keep the whole house clean and tidy, they have one room each <head explodes>

Aaaah, that was a nice rant.

Bearskinwoolies Sat 10-Sep-11 16:50:59

I do, but my dcs are 12 & 14, and their pocket money depends on it. Dh and I hoover once a week, and empty their bins, but the rest is up to them.

My ds went for ages without pocket money when he was 8 or 9, as he couldn't be bothered to tidy - then it suddenly clicked. It did help that I used to black bag his stuff, and told him that it would be chucked out if he didn't make an effort.

purpleturtle Sat 10-Sep-11 16:54:13

I know exactly how you feel.

In fact, DS2 has lost more than half his stuff recently - it's in boxes and black bags in the garage - where I've lost the plot and confiscated it for some reason. He doesn't even seem to have noticed. angry All this tells me is that my DC have way more stuff than they should have, but I don't know how to begin the cull when I keep picking up toys that were given with love by friends, relatives and godparents.

GiganticusBottomus Sat 10-Sep-11 18:57:44

Argh! Most of the time I can just gloss over their rooms but every now and then I just explode. I agree, my dc have far too much stuff too. The culling will begin soon <jaws music>
At the moment we don't give dc pocket money - grandma does. I guess we could start a sticker chart for some reward (preferably not another toy!)

Carrotsandcelery Sat 10-Sep-11 19:22:04

Black bagging is the only technique I have used that has had any impact. For it to be effective you need to bag everything which is not in its proper place though - the whole lot. I then get them to earn it back, one item for every day the room is tidy. It tends to have a fairly long term impact.

You could have a really deep clean with them, going through everything and getting rid of as much as you can, then let them know that you will have a nightly/ weekly inspection and if it is not acceptable stuff out of place will be bagged.

You might also find they are more willing to declutter if they can sell their items in a car boot sale or on ebay etc and get the money for them.

I do feel guilty about the relatives and friends who have given the stuff that we have to move along but I tell myself that they don't want me to be miserable and that someone else could enjoy them too if I donated, gave to a friend, gave to a nursery, school, after school club, ebayed, car booted it.

We can't keep everything.

Good luck Giganticus

GiganticusBottomus Sun 11-Sep-11 18:28:13

Well shockingly after my explosion the other day DH decided to go through ds's room with him while dd and I were out shock So ds's room isn't too bad at the moment. Dd really needs some better storage so I should probably get that sorted so she will have places for everything <deluded hopeful> before I go through everything.

Thanks carrotsandcelery - I am going to start your black bagging policy along the lines of, you have x mins to tidy your room, when I come up if things are out or in the wrong place (eg stuffed in corners) they will get bagged. I may tempted to just bin them rather than letting them have them back - but I won't... Well maybe just once <evils grin>

Carrotsandcelery Sun 11-Sep-11 19:26:28


PennyFothaguy Sun 11-Sep-11 19:30:18

Yes we have tidy up tuesday where ALL electronic devices are switched off and rooms tackled by owner for 30 mins

PIMSoclock Sun 11-Sep-11 19:33:12

Could I suggest that you become inherently messy yourself??
I am quite a messy person but my ds (6) HATES having an untidy room and LOVES doing housework! I don't even have to bribe him!!grin

ByTheWay Sun 11-Sep-11 19:35:50

Mine tidy up - we have the threat -"Tomorrow I'm hoovering your room - anything on the floor goes in the bin". Seems to work after the first time when my eldest came home to find her favourite top and PJ's gone - and no, she didn't get them back.

PercyPigPie Sun 11-Sep-11 19:38:39

Ha ha. We have found though that a car boot sale is very good at getting them to really focus on what they need. Suddenly all those toys that were absolutely vital and pretty disposable if they know the profit will be added on to their pocket money grin.

seeker Sun 11-Sep-11 19:39:25

Don't. Just close the door. Say that if they want to live in q disast area that's up to thm, but if they want to tidybup andnif they ask nicely, you will help them. Note help- they do it, you help. It's reqly difficult to tidynq room once it is really, rally untidy.

But basically, it's their room. You have the right to expect the restof the house to be kept up to your standards,, but their room are their rooms. Shut th door.

PennyFothaguy Sun 11-Sep-11 19:43:08

seeker I dont agree. If they want to have a shit tip in their own house when they are adult, fair enough.

But in my house I expect a certain level of hygiene, tidyness, and capet that I can actually walk on. Being tidy is a good discipline, it teaches them nothing if they are allowed to live like pigs

I also describe what i can see rather than nagging ' There are clean pants all over the floor' The pillows are under the bed' They clear up- and arent zoning out my naggy voice droning on

purpleturtle Sun 11-Sep-11 20:58:50

Seeker, I want to agree with you. I really do. But on occasion I have had babysitters tidy my DSs' bedroom, and that makes me blush.

I am planning to have a good turn-out of their rooms, and am trying to come up with suggestions for relatives to buy at least useful presents for Christmas. (So far am thinking, new dressing gowns/slippers, hot water bottle type things etc)

DS2 had a box-full of Lego for his 5th birthday just over 3 weeks ago - it's been confiscated for several days now, and he's totally philosophical about it. Makes me very angry.

On the plus side, he did manage to tidy his bedroom with minimal assistance yesterday. smile

Carrotsandcelery Sun 11-Sep-11 21:23:09

The problem is that my dcs do actually prefer their rooms to be tidy and you can see their self esteem grow when they have managed it.

I know that they feel less stressed when it is all under control.

It also means they have room to play and can find the things they want to play with.

Taking charge of your room and your stuff is a tiny step towards being a responsible person and learning to take control of your life - just a tiny one.

purlple I think losing one toy doesn't work in an age when they have so many toys. They need to lose enough to really feel it and to learn to appreciate what they have. We probably learnt it by not having much <child of the 70's> but they have to learn the hard way.

On a happier note, we cleared out dd's wardrobe today and it was made a little easier for her knowing that she has the opportunity to sell much loved clothes and make a little money towards some new ones.

exoticfruits Sun 11-Sep-11 21:26:02

I insist on them keeping the rest of the house tide and I don't have food in bedrooms-other than that I shut the door.

Sleepglorioussleep Sun 11-Sep-11 21:28:05

Have recently started to sit on dd's bed at bedtime and direct her object by object until they're all away. I think she gets a bit rabbit in the headlights if simply asked to tidy. Alternatively, I get her to put away a set number of objects. Usually it's ten, and sometimes she will then carry on unprompted. If not, there's a bit of a dent in the mess. Does do your head in though.

GiganticusBottomus Sun 11-Sep-11 21:44:40

Seeker when their clothes are washed and folded by them, when their dinners are cooked by themselves and when they pay rent, their rooms are theirs. At the moment, they are my rooms in which I let them sleep grin wink

Ok, they are their rooms but if I make an effort to keep the house tidy (and it is an effort, I am naturally a slattern) then I want that reciprocated in their rooms. As it is, their rooms are such pits they constantly lose school books/library books/clothes/toys/the cats in there. I find clean clothes on the floor (as cited by the pants fiasco of '11) dirty uniform in corners and worn pyjamas in beds, it's infuriating.
I think what also aggravates me is the total lack of care for their things. In the distant mists of time I remember my own mum getting cross about me doing the same - and now I understand why!

Purple turtle - my dd is very similar with the philosophical approach - it is hard to find effective punishments/sanctions when your child is like that isn't it?!

Carrotsandcelery Sun 11-Sep-11 21:52:25

Giganiticus I feel bad about how I must have wound my dmum up too. I have apologised in a jokey way and she did grin. She was also a black bagger. She used to put it in the loft and give me one thing back for every tidy day too. grin

purpleturtle Sun 11-Sep-11 21:59:21

Carrots - it's not one toy. I've probably removed more than half of his toys over the last few weeks, and he just doesn't care. I thought he might be bothered about his £££ birthday Lego. But no. sad My DC have a total disregard for their things, and I really wish I could instil some respect and gratitude into them.

Carrotsandcelery Sun 11-Sep-11 22:07:37

I can see why you are frustrated then purple. How annoying.

Do they get pocket money? One thing I do with my dcs is get them to buy presents for people who give them presents. They have to save their pocket money towards this and we go in the October holidays and buy them ready for Christmas.

They obviously don't buy big things and this year it will be buying the craft materials to make gifts, but I do hope it does show them that people have to do without themselves to give others a gift. I don't think it solves the problem but it might be a step along the way.

I have also found that the recipients are really touched when they know the dcs paid for their gift themselves.

timetosmile Sun 11-Sep-11 22:10:40

I think I have learned to compromise (but then I am not obsessively tidy myself...)
Clean laundry has to go away, beds made, not clothes in inside-out bundles on the floor, desks clear enough for homework. Floors and windowsills have to be clear once a week for a hoover, and never any food/drinks left there.
DS1 has always got some kind of massive lego empire on the floor which takes days to play/build. DD ditto with playmobil.
It is the adults' house, but the DCs have to be comfy in their own space too.
Provided the basics are covered, I keep my views and twitchy tidying-fingers to myself...

Carrotsandcelery Mon 12-Sep-11 09:24:35

I totally allow the lego and playmobil empires - I love it when they do that sort of thing. grin

ravenc Mon 12-Sep-11 09:33:02

Im a clean freak so no mess allowed. I prob have a disorder cos i mean no mess as well. My eldest DD has no toys at all now so room is full of electronic stuff so stays clean and first chore after school is room cleaned, my youngest has learnt that mummy hates mess so is such a good helper at cleaning god i sound so bad they are allowed to play just it has to be cleaned up afterwards. Think i need help dont i.

purpleturtle Mon 12-Sep-11 12:05:38

I think, like most of my struggles, my problem stems from my own inconsistency. I absolutely do not have an immaculate house. But every so often I reach a point where it has to be tidied, and woe betide anyone who gets in my way. Which is probably not fair.

It would be nice if anybody else initiated a big tidy once in a while, though.

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