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I am a mother of two girls. Ages 6 and 4. How do I get them to clean up after themselves without bribes, yelling or threatening to throw things away?

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Asked by Heatherc1029 at 11:44 AM on Aug. 7, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • Make it fun. Set a timer and see how many toys they can pick up in 3 minutes, or who can pick up the most toys in 5 minutes, etc. But also tell them that if there are any toys left out at bedtime, they will "go away" for 3 days - and then do it! Make it a rule they can't get out another toy until one is picked up. I finally put all my kids toys in boxes in the closet. They can each have out 3 boxes at a time for the week, and that's it. Because they don't have access to all their toys, they can't dump them all out and the "new" toys we pull out for the next week are exciting and fun for them.

    Answer by missanc at 11:47 AM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • You could try making it a game.
    But If you are not going to reward or punish you have no tools. so good luck with that.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:47 AM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • don't?

    do you use some sort of chart or allowance for chores?
    do you help them? Give them direction on how to go about the chores? *do this first, then do that, then...
    I used to write out the steps for mine when they were old enough to read- it helped them because I think the would get overwhelmed with the overall all job- so it helped to sort of break it down for them

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 11:47 AM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • Stop bribing, yelling and threatening.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 11:51 AM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • Stop with the bribes and follow through on the threats. That way they become promises and they see the consequences of their inaction.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:53 AM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • I have bought boxes to deprecate and I have tried rewarding them weekly and monthly if the rooms stay clean. But they do not make it 24 hours without distroying something. I clean house for a living so the last thing I want to do is come home everyday and pick up the same stuff over and over again

    Comment by Heatherc1029 (original poster) at 11:54 AM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • Sorry that was suppose to be seperate

    Comment by Heatherc1029 (original poster) at 12:03 PM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • We don't use bribes or threats. We tell DD to do what needs to be done now, and she can't do anything else until it's finished.

    If she throws a fit, she goes to her room till that's over. Then she still has to do what she's told.

    We don't use anger, and compliment her on a job well done. It works well for us.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 12:14 PM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • You definitely don't have to use bribes, yelling or threats, and you don't have to rely on rewards & punishment. Parents who don't use rewards & punishment still have tools & options! For starters, you have your relationship. There IS such a thing as non-coercive, non-punitive parenting.
    Don't you ever cooperate with someone or consider what they want because you want to, because you genuinely care, not because they are making you in some way & not because you want some kind of promised reward? The same can be true for kids.
    In order for this to be workable, it's important to parent (overall) in ways that don't inadvertently weaken & erode your relationship, and introduce adversarial dynamics. Make choices that support the relationship. There is lots out there on connection-oriented or relationship-based parenting.
    Sounds like this is an area where you "own the problem" & that influences how you communicate.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:40 PM on Aug. 7, 2013

  • You could turn it into a venture, but why are you afraid to yell? Being a parent is tough do what you have to do to get your point across... sometimes that means blowing your cool. Be tough!!!

    Answer by m-avi at 12:46 PM on Aug. 7, 2013

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