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How can I get 7yo DD to look after her things better

(21 Posts)
valiumredhead Thu 17-Jan-13 08:38:44

I would clear her room - she sounds like she has too much stuff in general just lying around.

I would introduce pocket money and make it clear that along with money comes responsibility and if she breaks things through sheer carelessness then if she wants a replacement then she has to pay for it otherwise it goes in the bin and that's that.

AlphaAndEcho Thu 17-Jan-13 00:33:46

That wad meant to be ThePL but I don't know what happened to the PL grin

I totally see what you mean iggly why care when if toys get broken you have plenty of others to play with . That makes me so sad sad my DD is NOT going to grow up with that kind of attitude I need to get rid of that asap .

Thank you all you've been really helpful I am going to definitely try a few of those things . And I think I will bring back the reward chart and pocket money as well . Any of you do anything like that ?

Viviennemary Wed 16-Jan-13 19:01:05

I was always in trouble as a child for being untidy. And told to tidy my room. I didn't know where to start. So I agree the main answer is less stuff. And doing small things to start with. Always put books neatly on shelf. And she will take some pride in this. Her books are always on the bookshelf. And then when she does this pick another area. Like dirty clothes in wash basket. And then go on to something else. And a place for everything helps.

Iggly Wed 16-Jan-13 18:56:37

Do you have places for everything? And not big boxes but smaller ones instead. Take a load of the toys and put away. You can rotate and bring them out later.

DS's preschool teacher explained that having too much stuff is overwhelming. Why would they care about things if there are tons of toys lying about? Nothing has value if it's not special.

I've noticed that ds is better at putting stuff away if we have a place for things. His bedroom only has books and soft toys. All other toys go elsewhere.

HappyTurquoise Wed 16-Jan-13 18:22:29

Ah, but you're so succinct, whisk! wine

whiskeytangofoxtrot Wed 16-Jan-13 18:08:43

Oh bugger x-post with HappyTurquuoise who is mch more eloquent

whiskeytangofoxtrot Wed 16-Jan-13 18:06:36

NB Have you tried showing her the best way to tidy things up?
I remember a completely helpless feeling of not knowing where to start when told to tidy room as a child.

Does she have a place fro everything?
Is it obvious where everything goes?
My DS1 gets stickers for tidying at school cos everything is labelled and they know where stuff goes but I know it's not as easy at home. blush
Sorting toys out is on my to do list though

e.g. "right DD,
first thing is to make the bed. See. That makes things look better right away.
Next pick all the clothes up and put htem on the bed so we can fold them in a minute or put them in the washing basket if they need a wash.
Now, look at all your toys. You wouldn't want your lovely dolls house to get spoiled. Lets pick all of them up now
Books on the shelf
Teddies in their teddy hammock (or wherever)
Then lets go back to your clothes
There, isn't that better and it didn't actually take that long.

HappyTurquoise Wed 16-Jan-13 18:03:09

OK, if you don't have anywhere else, put it in the boot of your car? Take it to your Mum's or a friend's house for a bit?

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Wed 16-Jan-13 18:02:53

IMO it sound like you want her to care, so bY not caring she can wind you right up. Decide today that the house rule is if it isn't away, where it lives, it's confiscated. Tell her she has 24 or 48 hours to get it sorted. Then follow through. Then every night give her a tidy up time, say immediately before tea. Anything not away - confiscated.

HappyTurquoise Wed 16-Jan-13 18:01:47

Here's what I did...

When she is out/at school, have a really good clear out of her room. Allow her the bare minimum, such as one (or 2...or 3) bedtime toy(s), essential clothes (school uniform and other ordinary clothes for next few evenings/weekends) hair stuff, a few reading books and other essentials. ALL the rest of it, go through and decide what you would like to see the back of and put in boxes/black bags. Then, put the rest (clothes/toys) into either various carrier bags and put into loft, or (jewellery, DS lite, other books, toys etc) pack carefully into various boxes and remember what's in them, and store out of reach somewhere in your room/kitchen/out of the way.

Buy her something new to put into her room. Something small and not valuable which would have an obvious place to be put away - hair slides, a book, a new tee shirt.

When your DD returns, before she goes to her room, sit her down with a drink and snack and be calm and gentle. Explain to her that her room has been untidy for long enough and you need her to learn to keep it tidy herself, so you can get in and clean it when you do the rest of the house. Let her know that , to make it easier for her, it has been cleared and cleaned so that she has less to look after, give her an encouraging hug and give her the gift to put away carefully. Go to her room with her and judge her mood. If she is happy, tell her straight and calmly, if she is terribly upset, you could invent some fairies who helped you and who might bring back some of her things if she can show she can look after what she has in her room already. Do not allow her anything to play with that you have removed on the first night. The next day, keep tabs on what she does and micromanage what she needs to be doing ...e.g. putting that clean skirt on a hanger, putting the dirty clothes in the wash box, make bed (show her how and make it fun, it isn't obvious to children) put book on shelf and hair things in their place. pick up rubbish and put it in a bin. Let her know that when you see her doing these things without being told what to do, she can start having some of the things back in her room.

When she has started to get the hang of something and you see she has remembered to do something without being reminded, make a huge deal and praise her, and when she isn't looking, the fairies can bring a box/carrier back to her room to put away. Explain now the fairies think she is doing so well, she is able to look after even more, so this bag has to be tidy too.

The trick is, don't stuff her room full of so much stuff, there isn't time in the day to look after it. I didn't give my DD everything back, the things I wanted to get rid of stayed in the loft and the fairies gave it to charity when we moved house. (I told her it was me, but in hindsight I wish I'd invented the fairies, it would have been kinder). Her room does still get in a mess, but she will give it a thorough tidy and clean when she's given time and told she must. She can also keep it tidy over several weeks at a time, so I have to keep an eye on it and give lots of praise when that is happening too.

TheProvincialLady Wed 16-Jan-13 18:00:52

Oh and I have been called a lot of things on MN - Prov, Provlady, TPL, Provincial etc etc - but no one has ever called me The beforegrin

TheProvincialLady Wed 16-Jan-13 17:59:50

Maybe she needs a lot less stuff to be able to cope with? You could have a massive clearout?

AlphaAndEcho Wed 16-Jan-13 17:58:07

I have considered doing that The but I have absolutely nowhere to put the stuff if I took everything away I wouldn't know what to do with it .

TheProvincialLady Wed 16-Jan-13 17:49:40

Or you could bag up the ENTIRE contents of her room including clock, lamp etc - just leave a bed and covers - and she has to earn back each item one by one by taking proper care of the stuff she does have access to - eg start by making the bed and putting her clothes in the laundry basket.

TheProvincialLady Wed 16-Jan-13 17:47:44

Have you tried just letting her get on with it for a good while? Then when things get lost or broken (throw away and don't replace) or she has no clean uniform for school, and her friends laugh at her or are appalled when they visit....she will have seen the true consequence of her carelessness.

AlphaAndEcho Wed 16-Jan-13 17:35:24

I've just went into her room and the big dolls house I paid £150 for for her Christmas is lying in some mess . I could actually cry how did she become so careless an ungrateful sad

AlphaAndEcho Tue 15-Jan-13 14:20:38

Oh I'm so glad she's not the only one I feel like all her friends rooms are immaculate compared to hers !!

I've tried bagging her stuff , if tried rewarding her for doing it , I've tried no tv unless her room is tidy - loads of things . They only work short term then she is stops caring angry

NeverQuiteSure Tue 15-Jan-13 13:54:57

I confiscate things from my youngest (2 and 4) which works on a short term level but it is still a constant battle with some things - especially boxes full of little things like Lego and Playmobil which get tipped out and mixed in with the contents of other boxes <bangs head against wall in despair> However it does work with their larger toys and breakable things which generally get put away or at least moved out of harms way now (e.g. the ceramic dishes for their play kitchen get put away now).

I have an older step child (9) who responds best to a 'carrot' approach. For example, we told him if he put his toys back into their boxes (all toys are stored in clear plastic boxes in our house!) he could have a theme wall added to his room for all his NERF guns. Worked like magic with regular reminders.

mrssmooth Tue 15-Jan-13 13:45:01

If you ever find out, will you please let me know? Have exactly the same problem with dd2, and she's 10! Feel your pain - I've given up now as I'm fed up tidying up after her. Her bed is a mound of clothes (putting clothes away seems to be her issue, although there are all sorts of things lying all over her bedroom floor!). I've told her if she doesn't put them in the washbasket, they won't get washed, and I've warned her that I'm not going to keep reminding her either!

Poledra Tue 15-Jan-13 13:42:40

take things away from her. So, if she's told not to leave something on the floor, when you find it on the floor, it gets confiscated. I did this with loads of teddies with my DDs - they were gobsmacked when I actually filled the black bin bag with toys. Mind you, they thought at first I was binning them when in fact I was just taking them away for two weeks grin

AlphaAndEcho Tue 15-Jan-13 13:40:00

My DD is 7 and she has taken absolutely no pride in her belongings or her own space . Ever .

Her room is constantly a tip I feel like I spend my life either tidying it or nagging her about it . She leaves things at her arse constantly !

It's not so much the actual mess but the disregard for her things . I don't know how many times toys have been stood on and broken because the floor is constantly littered with them .

I just want her to learn to take better care of them . Any advice would be greatly appreciated .


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