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Kids and housework

(26 Posts)
FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 24-Aug-09 16:06:34

The kids do sod all really and what little they do do is always under sufference (DS1) and not always good enough (DS2) so it makes more worse. DD tries.

What jobs would you give for 4, 6 and 8 year olds which are fair and how often?

My MIL has had the kids today and I have spent pretty much the whole day cleaning and tidying and ds1 and dd's rooms haven't been done. It took me 2 hours to do ds2's room yesterday and he has a small room.

DH told me to do the downstairs rather than the kids' rooms as it gets me down more.

I just feel like crying or smashing something as they just will not put things away. Things get lost and broken. I have bought as much storage as is acceptable but still, they shove things anywhere and they just don't care. If I explain why I want things put away - so it is easily found/not spoilt, ds1 just gives me a mouthful.

I am sick of washing clean clothes because they have been thrown on the floor as they can't be bothered to put their clothes away.

I even found a wet nappy stuck in pyjama bottoms under ds2's bed yesterday - he is 4.

I think about just leaving things and making them just live in their rooms but then I can't get in to put clean clothes away.

This is all my fault for being fussy about tidying up when they were small and not getting them to help.

They will only help for reward - tv, computer, etc and even then it is done with bad grace and moaning about how hard done by they are.

I have to say it is mostly the 8 year old who argues, the 6 year old will do some and the 4 year old will avoid if he can or do one thing.

Mistymoo Mon 24-Aug-09 16:10:46

For the younger one, can you put picture labels on the storage so that he knows what goes where.

Ask them to have a quick tidy of their rooms before dinner (maybe 10mins) or before school or whenever suits. This should probably be done every day so the mess doesn't build up.

(I'm laughing to myself as this is what I should do with mine but don't but now you've made me think about it I will try too!)

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 24-Aug-09 16:12:48

I once spent all day doing their rooms properly while DH took the kids on a day out.

I told them I wanted their rooms to be the same when they went to bed. They could have anything out but it needed tidying before they went to bed.

One night.hmm

bargainhuntingbetty Mon 24-Aug-09 16:18:49

Oh Fab Baker you could be me. My kids rooms are terrible, the table is always a disaster with craft stuff , pens, paper etc and DD2 is bad for rummaging in the wardrope for 'party in the dark clothes' for her and her friends to play in (she has a trunk of dress up stuff) so I never know what is clean and what isnt. You have made me think though.

I cleaned their bedrooms at the start of the holidays as we had friends coming to stay and I told them they could take stuff out but they had to put it away when they were finished with it, I had to re do the rooms before the friends came and within a week you couldnt see the floor..

DD2 isnt so bad but dd1 is terrible. She has places to put things but she just stuffs things into corners and under boxes. AAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

juuule Mon 24-Aug-09 16:19:19

Sounds normal to me.

Just get them to help you when you are tidying. Do it together. Agree that it would make things easier if you could do a tidy up every day. Stay with them and supervise folding up their clothes and putting away/putting into the wash at night before bed.
Otherwise do a once a week tidy with them.
Although some children can and will tidy by themselves, I wouldn't expect it.
And with 3 young children in the house I think it might be wiser to relax your standards a little.

vinblanc Mon 24-Aug-09 16:21:49

My youngest is 7, and all my kids have done virtually all the housework this summer. My sole domain is the family bathroom and my own room. They have a rota for the kitchen (which they made up themselves), general tidying and hoovering.

They do their own laundry too, although I will iron anything they ask me to.

They do the gardening, basically picking up dog poo and cutting the grass.

They don't do a brilliant job, and I often have to go over some of the cleaning. But my workload is cut significantly.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 24-Aug-09 16:22:49

It isn't about standards (she says welling up) it is about as messy house = a messy head and when one has depression I need all the help I can get. If the house looks good/better it helps me mentally.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 24-Aug-09 16:23:58

We do a '10 minute tidy up challenge'. We set a countdown timer going on the computer, run around and shout a lot in frenzied voices grin Most things get put away somewhere... And yes, they do get something at the end of it. Yoghurt at the moment hmm

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 24-Aug-09 16:26:51

Tried the buzzer thing too.

Nothing works. They just do not see why they have to help.

I need to go and get them now.

Thanks for listening.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 24-Aug-09 16:30:38

My DD says she likes her bedroom messy. Grr. Having helped her get it tidy(ish) I really want her to keep it tolerable. She's 10, thats old enough.

About the only thing that will motivate her to tidy the playroom (which I've given up on at this point as I don't need to go in there) is if she wants a sleepover - that physically can't happen if the floor and bed are covered in her junk.

She did help me tidy out a big kitchen cupboard last week - I think thats the sort of thing kids quite enjoy once in a while.

Mind you, DH is almost worse - strews the dining room table with papers, doesn't like them moved but wants us to sit down to dinner together hmm

Fab, I'm pretty tolerant of mess but I do feel a nice calmness when the house is actually tidy!

TheFallenMadonna Mon 24-Aug-09 16:31:38

I'm not saing I haven't threatened them with black bags as well, in order to get to our current understanding. In fact I've put a whole bunch of DS's stuff in a black bag before blush

I think you have to spot a time when they are receptive (hard to coordinate with 3 I would imagine), and go for it.

vinblanc Mon 24-Aug-09 17:00:17

When I was a teenager, my dad once removed my bedroom door off its hinges.

Our biggest incentive is screen time. They also get into gear if they want a friend over.

They also know that 10 minutes of work is better than a grumpy, nagging mummy.

I often repeat advice given to my boys by one of the male teachers - keep the women in your life happy (wife, girlfriend, teacher, mother) - it is so much easier and calmer that way.

leenasmom Tue 25-Aug-09 22:56:39

I have to clean the dc's room for/with them once a week and then expect it to stay like that...it lasts for a few[hours]days and then nothing is put away again because they are 'playing 'with it... my rule is that I will be up in 10 mins with the vac and if anything is on the floor it will be binned- ds did try to be funny this morning saying does that include the bed ... so had to rephrase that the toys should be in the chest or in the bin---do get the lip and the arguements..that the toys dont fit, my response usually is so we can get rid of some...
I am left surprised to find they manage to fit in the chest after that suggestion.

HerBeatitude Tue 25-Aug-09 23:08:17

This sounds very familiar.

It has got better though, as I have been driven to distraction and instead of reasoning, nagging and explaining, I now simply say "up to your bedroom and no more screen time until thta room is clean and tidy. And when I come up and check, I want everything to be in the right place, not chucked in any old way, otherwise there will be NO SCREENTIME."

The other thing that has worked this summer, is making them hang the clothes out on the line, take them down again and put them in the shed to air, then take them down from the shed horse-rack and bring them in the house and put away their items. The sheer volume of laundry has startled and outraged them, and I had the satisfaction of declaring: "well if you will keep throwing clean things in the laundry bin because you can't be bothered to put them away, there will be more laundry to hang on the line".

It is getting better. You've got to be implacable.

HerBeatitude Tue 25-Aug-09 23:09:33

oh yes and make them do it every day. No screentime until they do. That way it stays under control and is never too much.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 26-Aug-09 12:29:29

Asking them to put away 3 pieces of lego is like asking them to re paint the house.

Lego still there

HerBeatitude Wed 26-Aug-09 19:05:50

~Yes mine still occasionally act as if I'm asking them to go up chimneys.

Have they watched TV today? Or played with Wii/ playstation/ computer? If so, that's why the lego's still there...

PlumBumMum Wed 26-Aug-09 19:14:52

Fab my dd is 8 and ds 6
they can load & empty dishwasher

dd can sort and put away washing she is crap at tidying her room

ds has those big coloured plastic tubs, one is filled with transformers, one for lego etc, and so on, so he is brilliant at tidying his room

Although they do have their moments I pick up stuff and start putting it in the bin they don't be long shifting their asses then!grin

BUT dd2 is 2 and undoes all their good work in 2 secs flat, she still needs some trainingwink

StopTalkingAndEatYourDinner Wed 26-Aug-09 21:05:49

could you just confiscate anything that is still on the floor after your alloted clean up time? My DCs know I really mean it when I say I will send the things they don't look after to the charity shop and they would rather tidy than be toyless! Bet you'd only have to do it once and they'd knew you meant business the next time you threatened grin

nancy75 Wed 26-Aug-09 21:11:38

dd (4) is quite good, she will pick up her toys and tidy her room in a fashion, i usually get her to do it like a race - you pick up your toys while i do the washing up type thing, she is quite competitive so this works for her, although i should imagine that as she gets older she will realise i am conning her

LoveMyGirls Wed 26-Aug-09 21:24:21

My dd's rooms are quite tidy usually, I think the way it works is to lead by example, we're both quite tidy (having learned early on that living in a pig sty is not nice) so when we moved we decided we would both try hard to keep it tidy and clean and so dd1 has followed that and now dd2 is starting to.

We have times of the day when we have a quick tidy, usually I do a quick 5 mins after breakfast then about 40 mins after lunch, then dc's do 15mins of picking up toys while I finish off/ serve dinner then I clean up downstairs while dp baths dd2. Works well for us. We have the odd slip now and again like today I've been out with dc's all day and I'm shattered, dp is going away tomorrow and so it's a bit of a mess, I'm about to do 15mins of tidying - honest!

I still have to have the odd day when dp takes dd's out and I do a big sort out/ clean and a couple of months ago I got a cleaner in for 2 hours every other week so that I don't feel like it's a constant up hill battle and I can walk in twice a month and it looks and smells lovely, it is £36 a month for that but it works out at approx £1.20 per week or as I like to think of it 18p per day to save my sanity!!

HerBeatitude Wed 26-Aug-09 21:26:02

I had a timer and used to set it for 15 minutes, the rooms had to be tidied by the time it was set off. I never quite worked out wht the consequence would be if the alarm went off before they finished. That worked for a bit.

Also I had a competition between them as to how fast each could go and that failed because they started chucking things in each other's room so that their own room was tidy. It ended in violence and tears.

Ho hum. grin

NO SCREENTIME is the only thing that has ever worked consistently for me because it's the one thing they love love love. A friend says her DD gets bribed by the promise of a game of chess.

Just choose the one thing they really really want to do and either stop them doing it
unless their rooms are tidy, or promise them they will do it when their rooms are tidy, whichever is appropriate. (Obviously if the one thing they really really really want to do is to invade Denmark or something else unaffordable and/ or unreasonable, then this won't work.)

Karam Thu 27-Aug-09 16:00:42

My Dds are almost 6 and almost 3. I expect them to help out.

Regarding clothes - they get dressed in the morning, and once clothes are on that is it. No changing of clothes all day. They wear what they chose and no changing. If they want to dress up, they have dressing up clothes. But after the morning selection, they are not allowed to get anymore clothes out, and so they don't. DD1, did go through a stage of trying to get out 101 clothes a day, so I put a lock on the top of her cupboard and that stopped her grin.

Regarding bedroom, actually I don't give two hoots about how messy or otherwise their room is. As far as I'm concerned, its their room and I don't go into it, so they can do as they please. However, I do have a few rules. No food goes upstairs in the house at all, ever. So we don't get old cups/plates upstairs etc. Also, if they want friends to play in their rooms, then the room has to be tidy, otherwise they have to play downstairs in the playroom. Finally, they get undressed in the bathroom and leave the clothes there - so dirty clothes never go back into the bedroom.

Regarding tidying up. In the evening before bed, we have tidy up time where we all tidy up downstairs. DD1 is expected to put certain toys away - so she will be allocated putting away all of the lego, or the dressing up. I will not help her on that task, that's her responsibility and if she doesn't do it, then that toy gets taken away and put on top of the kitchen cupboards and she won't have it for a week. For my two year old, I have a tidy up box (just a big plastic box) which I expect her to put loose toys into. I will then sort out that box later and return things to their homes later in the evening (or if I don't manage it, its all in one box, which I can hide so at least the house looks tidy!). Also, I keep all the toys with pieces up high in the playroom, so they have to ask to get them down and I have a rule that they only have one toy down at a time. I won't get the next toy down until they have tidied up what's already down. Stuff that is easy to throw back (dressing up etc), the children have free access to.

On the days we do this, it works... but it needs to be constantly reinforced otherwise DD1 can get a bit cocky about not tidying up - but a week without her favourite toys (as they are usually the ones she has left out!) soon teaches her she has to take responsibility for her stuff.

Oh and a final rule we have is that if something is not looked after and gets broken, then it is binned and not replaced. The girls have a lot of toys (and I mean a lot), so they need to learn responsibility for looking after them!
Hope that helps to give you some ideas. I am quite strict, possibly too strict - I know friends of mine often think I am, but it helps to contain the mountain of toys my children own.

Hulababy Thu 27-Aug-09 16:31:46

Get the bin liner out.

Give them a set time to tidy their room - say 30 minutes (more if really bad) and tell them anything not put away properly at this time goes in the bin bag.

After set time go in the room and start putting stuff not put away in said bin bags and goes away to be earnt back or binned (your choice).

Would they respond to a reward chart for chores? Set list of set chore with rewards for those done. Do they get pocket money? Perhaps link to this if so. Either start with a set amount for week and reduce if room not tidy each night OR earn money from £0 upwards for tidy room.

colditz Thu 27-Aug-09 16:39:28

Switch tv off, compueter off, confiscate all consoles, phones etc.

make the EARN that time.

Ds1 (6) gets 20 minutes computer time in return for a tidy living room.Living room not tidy? Try again tomorrow son - too late.

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