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Those of you with tidy children, HOW have you achieved this?

(35 Posts)
Troika Tue 04-Oct-16 14:47:04

For example, the expectation here is that they come in from school, put shoes in the shoe cupboard, hang bag and coat up on peg, take lunchbox to the kitchen and empty it.

The reality is that every day without fail shoes are kicked off and left in the middle of the floor, and coats, bags and lunchboxes are dumped on the floor. I have to tell them to do these same things every single day. They are in year 6 and year 4. Surely it should be second nature by now?

They are expected to put their dirty clothes in the washing basket. They just get left on the floor until I tell them to put them in the basket.

They are expected to hang their towel up after a shower. Not leave it on the floor. Every day "Hang your towel up please".

They leave their stuff littering everywhere. When told to put it away they often just move it to another room/surface and I have to repeat the request to put it away.

Are some people just innately messy or are my children particularly lazy and disrespectful?

I have in the past gone round with a bin bag to get everything they'd left lying around, but this had no effect. And I can't really throw out school shoes and lunchboxes etc.


2014newme Tue 04-Oct-16 14:50:40

Reward chart.
Or, they can only have screen time when it's done. Put list up of what they need to do.

rhiaaaaaaaannon Tue 04-Oct-16 14:52:45

I think a lot of people are just born with a tidy gene.

My eldest just drops whatever he's got where ever he feels like it. Has no inclination to tidy up.
My 2 year is the tidiest of us all. If I put a cup of tea down without a coaster he sighs and gets one for me! He's not picked it up from any of us.

I think all you can do is just keep on keeping on. They'll get it one day. When they've moved out. ..

Artandco Tue 04-Oct-16 14:55:14

Just make it happen before anything else. So home from school, no games or toys out until shoes away, coat hung up and school bag emptied. A few days and they will find sitting on sofa with nothing to do boring

With things like clothing mine have always put in basket from toddling tbh, but again I would literally be following them for a week saying clothes in basket after they change.

Here nobody leaves bathroom until bath/ shower is rinsed and towel hung up

AllTheShoes Tue 04-Oct-16 14:56:41

It's partly nature (I have one naturally tidy child, and one not) and partly endless training and routine. Things like no snack after school until coats are on coat rack and shoes are on shoe rack. No story in bed until towel is hung up properly after bath. TV doesn't go on until they've cleared their places, put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher and (on a good day) wiped the table. Plus massive praise and appreciation for tidying up and techniques like how may things can you put away (and race), I'll do five things and you do five things, I bet you can't put away that washing before the bath has run etc.

Lj8893 Tue 04-Oct-16 14:59:07

I think it's just different personalitys, the same as how some adults are tidier than others too.

4yoniD Tue 04-Oct-16 15:00:09

I also have one tidy child, doesn't own much and keeps it tidy, and one messy child, a hoarder who wants everything she sees and wants it on her bedroom floor. Sorry.

AmeliaJack Tue 04-Oct-16 15:01:24

I have twins. One is naturally tidy, the other is definitely not.

Repition and routine has helped reinforce tidy behaviours.

Also we'll design storage in their bedroom so it is easy to tidy up.

AmeliaJack Tue 04-Oct-16 15:02:06

Well designed not we'll design

Bloody autocorrect

Troika Tue 04-Oct-16 15:06:55

Artandco, see this is where I just don't understand it because I already do all that! They've also had to put their own dirty clothes in basket since they were tiny but I still need to remind them every single day. They're not allowed to do anything until they've done those after school jobs, but they still don't do them without me telling them!

It sounds so simple when you say "just make it happen before anything else" but I have been doing that for the past 6 years + and they still don't do it automatically. I walk in the door with them, say shoes in cupboard, coat and bag on peg as I take the baby in, then by the time I look back in porch their stuff is all over the floor and they've scarpered. And I have to call them back to do it all!

Troika Tue 04-Oct-16 15:17:50

They already have a list up of everything they're meant to do, with boxes to tick each day. They cant be arsed to do that anymore than they can be arsed to do the actual things. I even tried bribing them with money for completed days/weeks but they still didn't do it!

They're a bit old for reward charts/ races/ making it a game now unfortunately. They'd give me this look hmm

Why don't I have trainable children?

deepdarkwood Tue 04-Oct-16 15:25:46

How old are they? Makes a difference to strategies, obv.

Like others on here, I have one messy child who dumps everything on the floor/desk (clothes; school books; homework...) and one tidy child who loves nothing better than to sort out her room. Eldest is the dumper, so if anything I was certainly stricter with him - like you I just keep on keeping on with him....

AmeliaJack Tue 04-Oct-16 15:32:52

What happens if they don't do it?

salsamad Tue 04-Oct-16 15:37:00

You have to decide which battles to "fight" as you cannot chase them over everything when you are already busy. These jobs are very unimportant in their eyes and they would rather be gaming, on the Internet, out with friends etc so you have to make it clear you mean business - don't just "nag" about things or they will just tune you out.
Pick what chores/jobs are most important to you and then have a family meeting. Explain what you are requesting that they are to do eg when you've had a shower leave the bathroom tidy and put washing in wash basket. Then explain that from now on if this doesn't happen you will unplug the modem and put it away. They will complain they need it for homework etc and you will have to police this carefully initially - it will be annoying at first but you have to be firm and consistent. (A bit like sleep training toddlers really grin).
The speed at which compliance occurs following loss of Internet always surprises me 😉.

BiddyPop Tue 04-Oct-16 15:43:13

DD is in Y5. I have managed to get her to (mostly) at least put her dirty clothes in a small basket in her room, and then I will move them to the main hamper. But at least they are corralled in that 1 basket! And she has actually started to put some straight into the main hamper too. I got the small basket around Easter this year.

Shoes are all over the house.

She never takes out her own lunch box for washing.

She will hang her coat on the hook just inside the door, and does put her house keys and bicycle keys back in their designated spots.

But leaves cups, plates, wrappers all over the joint. Empty bottles of water fester beside her bed unless DH or I remove them. And sometimes the remains of her bedtime hot chocolate if she finishes it upstairs, or an apple core, may not get taken down unless we do it.

We are working on the important parts - certain things MUST go in their proper places - or she won't have them. And slowly we are starting to see the evolution of better habits as we focus on 1 and then move on to another, and do each in small steps to try and help her learn those good habits.

But then I get very frustrated with her still....

OlennasWimple Tue 04-Oct-16 15:45:22

Another one watching for tips and strategies...

GerdaLovesLili Tue 04-Oct-16 15:53:44

Don't wash things that don't get put in the laundry basket.
Take things to the charity shop or chuck them out if they leave them on the floor. (I actually put them in the loft, and if they're not asked for then they get dumped).
Don't make lunch if there's nothing to put it in.
Reserve their own individual cups/plates bowls/ cutlery. If it doesn't find its way into the dishwasher then you can't serve their food. Then they have to wash their own up to get fed.

Don't keep reminding them. You are not their brain. Leave a list of what you expect them to do somewhere they can see it and point them at it.

Or scream to yourself out of the window every day. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.

AllTheShoes Tue 04-Oct-16 19:38:42

For me, the trick is having the thing they want directly after the tidying. So want snack, then shoes need to be away. I don't even need to nag, exactly, as they say 'what can I have for a snack?' and I say 'when your shoes and coat are in the right place, you can have...'.

J0kersSmile Tue 04-Oct-16 19:47:33

I have to tell my dc every single night to take their dirty clothes out of the bathroom and put them in the washing basket. Every single night it fucks me off.

They are pretty good at tidying up, we do ten minute tidy ups before going out and they tidy up their rooms when asked to a reasonable standard it's just the having to ask all the time.

They were better when they were younger. They've even started leaving cups and plates around and they were so ingrained to take them out when they were small I'm not sure what's happened. Maybe they like hearing me call their names to sort it out because I don't clear up after them. It must annoy them to stop what they're doing and take out plates/clothes/ect.

Hellothereitsme Tue 04-Oct-16 19:54:57

Watching with interest as I have 14 year old and 12 year old boys. Bloody lazy is all I can say. I have told them from day 1 to put shoes into shoe box in hall. They ant even do that. Towels on floor, tie on floor, bike helmet left in dining room, nag nag nag. I've tried my best and will continue. But one day when they have partners I'm sure I will hear "did your mother not teach you anything!"

TealGiraffe Tue 04-Oct-16 19:59:52

I was a tidy child, it was just the way it had to be. The rule was our rooms could be messy but communal areas were tidied.

So we could play and have our toys out etc, but after tea we had to tidy them up before bath / bed. Then it was my parents time. I think the key thing was my mum got us involved in running the house from an early age and certain things were non negotiable.

You eventually just hang your shit up, cos mum will only tell you anyway... grin

As a teen my room was a pit though...but basic rules such as no food left in my room were still followed. Mess was allowed, dirt was not.

Troika Tue 04-Oct-16 20:44:18

Deepdarkwood they are 10 and nearly 9, years 6 and 4 at school. The older one is worse here too.

Ameliajack if they don't do it then I call them back to do it and they usually do. There's sometimes a "can I just..." but they are always told they can do whatever it is after they've done what they have to. Sometimes there's a bit of arguing about it but most of the time they do just do it ONCE reminded. I just feel like these are basic things that surely by now, when they've been expected to do them since preschool, they should be able to do without needing to be told!

If lunchboxes don't get emptied I don't make lunch for the next day. Dd hates school dinners so you'd think this would make her ensure her lunchbox was emptied but no.

Same with washing, I wash only what's in the basket. And then have tons to do all in one go when they dump it all in there at once.

If they go and say turn on TV or computer instead then they lose that for the day. If things are particularly bad they lose all technology for the week.

When I was pregnant with dd2 last year I sat them down and explained to them how frustrated it made me feel that they couldn't seem to remember to do these things and how I felt like they disrespected me by not doing them. I asked them what it was I wanted them to do and they were able to tell me everything so they do know, just can't be bothered to do it it seems.

I started them off on little jobs (such as clothes in washing basket and shoes away) really young to try to avoid this very situation. I thought it would make it second nature for them but it really hasn't worked that way.

Troika Tue 04-Oct-16 20:46:43

J0kers exactly, they can do it, and they DO when asked, but why can't they do it without being asked??

Roystonv Tue 04-Oct-16 20:49:18

Will be slated but mine never really did jobs/tidying. Both grown up, one is naturally tidy, one isn't despite knowing what looks tidy and how to achieve it, just doesn't care. Think you can only go so far.

Artandco Tue 04-Oct-16 20:52:52

Roy - putting their own shoes away isn't tidying or chores though, it's clearing their own crap away where it should be so someone doesn't fall over it

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