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Shocking State of Bedroom

(9 Posts)
couldtryharder Sun 10-Jul-11 19:01:41

I know it seems trivial in the scheme of things, but my nearly 6yr old DD keeps her room in a disgraceful state. It's so bad, you can't walk from the door to her bed without treading on all her stuff. Sometimes it looks like we've been burgled!! I don't want to tidy it all the time as I don't want her to grow up thinking that it's not her responsibility and that mum will get so sick of it that if I leave it long enough she'll do it for me. If I suggest to her that it would be a good idea to tidy it up she acts like I've asked her to climb Mt Everest! Even if I offer to help. Her stuff is getting broken, her clothes aren't cared for, I can't tell if clothes are clean or dirty because they are all in a pile on the floor. But she just doesn't seem to care. We've tried to talk to her about the value of things and how she should look after her things as other people have worked hard to earn the money to buy them for her. We've tried pocket money and various other rewards, but then I think it's not something that should be rewarded in some way, it's something that is her responsibility to look after and care about. I just feel like it's all part of the ungrateful attitude that so many kids seem to have these days because they have so much. Or is it just me and mine??????

shivster1980 Sun 10-Jul-11 19:09:11

I have told this story before but it's worth it.

When I was in my early teens my Mum got so pissed off with the 'mucking out' as she called cleaning my bedroom she threw the whole lot of stuff on the floor out of the bedroom window and called me home from a friend's house to collect it from the garden and relocate to the correct place! That stuck with me - a bit harsh for 6yo maybe... smile wink

What you could do is warn her, then put it all in bin bags in the garage. She could earn it back by doing little jobs/good behaviour bit by bit. Anything completely forgotten could then be recycled or chucked out. I know a few Mums who do this with varying age kids and ithas been successful - my DS is 5 and still doesn't spend enough time in his room for it to be a hovel yet... we insists he tidies his stuff downstairs nightly.


Othersideofthechannel Mon 11-Jul-11 05:50:37

My DD is 6 and I don't think she has an ungrateful attitude but she has a messy bedroom with no clear floor space most of the time. I don't think the two are linked. She does mostly keep her clothes in the drawers but quite a lot of them are played with eg T-shirts become dresses for teddy bears, socks become sleeping bags for smaller soft toys. We just have a massive tidy up together every couple of weeks before we vacuum or when she can't find the other Barbie shoe because it is such a tip. And I have to reasoned myself into accepting that playing with a clean T-shirt on a doll is just as good a use for a T-shirt as wearing it. I'm surprised more stuff doesn't get broken but I think she is careful about where she steps because she does get upset when her things get broken. Also, she has lots of stuff but she only gets new toys at birthdays and Christmas and in between anything she wants she has to save up for. (She gets weekly pocket money).

Does your DD get upset (even if its only for a short time) when her stuff gets broken or genuinely not care?
Could take her clothes out of her room (put the chest of drawers on the landing for example) to solve at least part of the problem?
Also, have you observed her to see if the mess hinders her play or not? You know how some kids can't find anything they want to do because their room is a jumble and others create a scenario out of a strange mix of toys so it's stimulating for them to have some mess...

InLimboAgain Mon 11-Jul-11 06:58:03

She's only 6?! My first thought was, in reaction to "but my nearly 6yr old DD keeps her room in a disgraceful state." was hang on, doesn't that mean you do?! Kids (generally) don't care about a messy room, so if you don't keep it tidy or help her to it won't be kept tidy. I remember when we were kids my mum nagging all the time to tidy up but I just don't remember seeing what the issue was. We just didn't care. And my mum never got involved, so we never got to see how to keep it all organised or how lovely it was when everything was tidy and in its place (I'm not even sure things had a place grin.

dd is 7 and she's the same, although when I do give her room a blitz & it's all clean & tidy she loves it, and suddenly starts playing in there a lot again after having avoided it while it was a tip. TBH when her room is a complete tip it feels like Mt Everest to me too so I don't blame your 6 yo for reacting in that way! wink

The solution I came to recently was to force myself & dd to literally tidy it EVERY DAY, before bed, it became a routine, when there was only a few things to tidy up (a bit longer might be needed if you've spent all day indoors). So you give her a specific job "put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket" "put the animals back in their drawer" etc while you sort the more fiddly/complicated stuff. By the time I instigated this, dd had realised the value of a tidy room and was agreeable to tidying up every day, but I can't imagine she would think of it or remember on her own.

tbh I remember one time in my teens my mum finally snapping and making me tidy my room, and I sat on the floor and cried because it seemed too much & i didn't know where to start. I eventually got on with it step by step & got it done, but I could have done with a bit of support even then age 14 let alone at 6 yo!

AKMD Mon 11-Jul-11 10:06:33

I had a disgustingly messy room as a teenager and I agree with InLimbo; if you're going to crack this, tidying has to be done every day. These are my suggestions:

Check the practical things first - does your DD have enough storage space? Does she know where to put dirty laundry?

Have a big clean-up with her at the weekend and sort through all her clothes, toys and clutter. Anything she doesn't need or use, put aside to be thrown out or given away. If you can, get her to eBay anything of value so that she sees a return for being organised. Go on a shopping trip with her so that she can pick out a storage basket/laundry basket/toy box/bin if she needs one. Give the room a really good clean together so that she sees how nice it is when it's clean and tidy. Make sure it smells good and maybe get some fresh flowers in a vase to finish it off.

Once this is done, get into a strict routine of a tidy-up every evening before she goes to bed. Do it with her so that she doesn't feel overwhelmed (and so you can check that she isn't just tossing things into the wardrobe like I did blush!). Have a sort-out every couple of months so that everything she has is useful to her. Maybe make a special outing of choosing new flowers to put in her room each week - they don't need to be expensive and could even be from your garden but throw in a hot chocolate and she will love it and look forward to it.

Good luck!

InLimboAgain Mon 11-Jul-11 12:34:25

I second AKMD re a blitz - but I would do it without your dd!! I find it impossible to blitz a war zone room with dd around, because she ends up wanting to play with things, and it's impossible to bin stuff as well without there being a fuss -she'd keep EVERYTHING if i let her! I'd do that part all by yourself, get rid of as much as you can that she doesn't need any more, sort out the storage, she'll come home to a lovely room, you can explain where everything lives, and you can then go from there with the daily tidying.

InLimboAgain Mon 11-Jul-11 12:39:43

oh & one thing i did that helps, i don't know if your dd is like this but my dd is always drawing pictures, writing stuff, using reams of scrap paper, that ends up all over her floor. She now has two plastic boxes/tray things, one for fresh paper for her to help herself to, and the other to put her used paper in. That way, when tidying up you/she can just bung all her strewn papers into the box then every now & then I go through them all (without dd) and paper bank all the rubbish and keep the nice pictures/amusing bits. I also find other stationery, pens, pencils, felt tips etc, are really important to keep in an easily accessible/easily put away-able place as well.

Othersideofthechannel Mon 11-Jul-11 17:22:13

That's a good idea about the in and out tray!

I still think that if DCs are happy with their messy rooms which is the situation I understood from the OP, then the parents should grin and bear it (provided that it is messy and not unhygienic).

Happyfinnish Mon 11-Jul-11 17:34:47

I have no good advice but my mum was a stickler for the clean-and-tidyness. When I was around 8 I remember noticing the terrible state of a friend's bedroom carpet and suggesting we hoover! But now I'm the untidiest, messiest person I know. May or may not be a moral in there somewhere smile

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