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My kids are 4 and 2.8, they used to be really good at cleaning up their stuff but lately it has been awfull. They made a mess of their room and wont clean it up. I told them they cant leave their room until they put their stuff away except 2 hours later they are still in their room and it is still not clean. Any suggestions? I feel like this cleaning up battle is going to be the end of me.
Another game (I just thought of) you could try is turning it into a race. Have them race each other or time yourself on how long it takes to pick up their room and then have them try to beat your time. Or make a poster and keep track of their times...see if they can beat yesterday's time.
I have done the locking in their room until it's cleaned up thing because I know that if I give in they know that they just have to wait it out and then mom will clean. I have also taken toys away and that has worked too.
I might suggest that you remove some of the toys permanently or do a goodwill run. I think sometimes that many kids just have too many toys in general and just pull them out and make a mess just cause there are toys in the room. Once we did a big toy edit and put some in garage and some gone for good the cleaning issues were reduced.
I totally agree with the race game! That really works well with my young ones. even my 3 yr old. They also work for stars on their reward chart. Of course there days ( sometimes too many lool ) that they just are stubborn about it.
I often will tell them it's time to clean up their rooms-usually before bedtime or before dinner- My 3 year old still needs help and I just go in there and help him know where his things should go and how the room should look to be considered " tidy." Soon he will be able to do a good job without me or DH having to oversee the job.
If I see my six year olds room messy I ask her to clean up and she says 'ok mom'.
she's not always happy to have to do it, but she knows it's her responsibility to tidy her own things.
I would not leave them to play or use threats of takings toys away. Kids often have so many toys they will hardly miss a few -especially ones they care so little about they are left strewn about without a care.-I would outlast them- stay with them and not allow them to do anything else until they do as theyve been asked. It will get very boring for them standing there not allowed to do anything else and trust me, you will last longer than they will. Put your mind to sticking to following through with it.
To older kids explain why its important to keep their spaces clean or why this is their job or a family rule etc..."because I told you to" never helps any situation :S
Even if theyre not happy about doing it they should be aware of why its important.
IMO that is plenty old enough to clean up their own stuff. I personally would tell them I am setting a timer and it needs to be done by the time it goes off (45 min or so) and if its not I am taking this trash bag (show them the bag) and putting everything on the floor in it and throwing it away.