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I have a question....

how do I get my kids, 2 and 3.5, to pick up after themselves? My 8 year old gets mad when I ask her to do it b/c she's at school all day, but I am tired of cleaning up after them too...I have enough shit to do! BTW, they all three share a room.

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Asked by suhweet1 at 8:44 PM on Mar. 4, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (13)
  • You just tell them if they do not help put their toys away than you will have to throw them out and do it. Get a large black bag and tell them today is the day we all are cleaning this room and as they learn you can let them do themselfs. Show them when they take something out, put it back before they get another toy.
    Your 8 year old is to old not to be helping. Just tell it is part of growing up to help mom and stick to it. It will be hard at first,but do not give up. Make them a" kiddie do list". Spoil them with hugs and kisses everytime they help. Make them fell good about a job well done.

    Answer by gammie at 8:53 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • When they get the toys out, while the 8 yr old is at school, you tell them "ok, we need to put the toys away now. No, you can't get ___ out, or watch ____, or go outside, or ____ until everything is put away." You can try the fun approach to it as well - "Let's see who can put away the most toys" - and "play" this with them. Or as "beat the clock" - get a cheap kitchen timer and set it for 10 minutes or however long, and "see if we can get everything put away before the buzzer goes off - Mark, set, GO".

    That sort of thing. It's not going to be something they take to right away, or, if they do, not something they will always want to do once the novelty of it wears off, but be consistent.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 8:54 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • cont

    I had my kids 15 mos apart, so I know how hard it is, but, I'm also the oldest of 4, and I understand where your 8 yr old is coming from. I DO NOT mean this as a bash in ANY way, but the thing is, even though I know you're tired, and by the time your 8 yr old gets home, you're ready for a break, too. But the thing is, she isn't their parent, and it's really unfair to her, and will cause a lot of resentment from her towards them, and towards you, if she has to be your break from them or from cleaning up after them.

    What she does at school might seem easy to you, from an adult point of view, but for an 8 yr old, what she does at school is hard work, and she shouldn't have to regularly come home and clean up after her younger siblings.

    It'll be hard, and make more work for you (most parenting does lol), but work to teach the younger ones to pick up after themselves and you will ALL be much happier in the long run :-)

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 8:58 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • By the way - to clarify - I don't mean that at 8, she shouldn't be helping, but to expect her to have to clean up after her siblings, because you (as the mother) are tired of doing it, really isn't fair, and will build resentment.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:04 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • I love that idea far as my 8 year old goes...I only ask her to pick up what is hers but 90% of the time I clean their room. It's funny because the eight year old loves to clean the rest of the house...IDK

    Answer by suhweet1 at 9:10 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • i do not think that you have any chance of winning that battle easily. I got tired of being the only one who cooked, cleaned, took care of the animals, laundry, errands, etc. I finally told the kids 9yo, 7yo, and 2yo that i refused to feed them until their stuff was picked up. now with the 2yo i help her but she has to help mommy put them in the basket. i will make dinner and give the a count down as to when it will be ready so they have plenty of warning. then i will make their plates and set them at the table but they are not allowed to eat until they are finished picking up their stuff. they fought it a few times in the beginning but after eating several cold meals they gave in and clean up while i make dinner.

    Answer by vbongard at 9:10 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • oh another thing...when I do make the eight year odl clean up she usually gets something out of the deal, like money or something.

    Answer by suhweet1 at 9:13 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • No offence, but why are you giving her money for cleaning up. Isn't it part of her role in the family to help clean up!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:33 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • Because it is her lil sisters who are making the mess.

    Answer by suhweet1 at 9:39 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • Yes, Why do give money for something they should do anyway? Don't do it. make her feel good, when a good job done, with hugs.

    Answer by gammie at 9:40 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

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