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How do I get a 4 year old clean his room?

He will not clean his room!! I dont know what to do!! I dont want to do it for him. I've tryed putting him in his room and telling him he cant come out until it is clean. he throws the biggest fit, pulling all of his toys out of the basket making a bigger mess. I even tryed puting a movie on so he can watch a movie and clean his room but that doesnt work. my kids smart cause he pull that crap where he acts like he doesnt know how and I know he know how, it is so frustrating...someone help!! I am about to call "Nanny 911"

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Asked by Pfamily3 at 1:28 PM on Nov. 4, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • I think a 4-year old is too young to be expected to clean his own room. Why not make it a time spent with him and ask him to help you clean his room? Tell him exactly what you want him to do and then show him how you want him to do it. Most 4-year olds I know have the capability of remembering instructions for more than a few minutes. I think you are expecting too much of a little child.

    Answer by NannyB. at 1:36 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Make it a requirement not an option...he is old enough to understand that it's his job.

    Start by breaking it down into saying clean your room, he may not be able to prioritize what needs done or it is overwhelming to him.

    Make a chart with pictures for each thing that needs done. A picture of the basket that shows him picking up toys. A picture of the bed and how all the pillows are arranged.

    By telling him, pick up the stuffed animals and put them in the basket, he can finish that and then tell him, pick up the books and put them on the shelf...this makes a large ordeal into smaller more manageable parts and he is more apt to do them.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 1:49 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Go into his room with him, sit down and show him how to clean it. Encourage him. Keep him company. Also break it down into segments.

    "Ok, let's clean up the Lincon Logs"
    "Now let's clean up the Transformers" (I'm so out of touch with current toys)
    "Time to clean up the Lego's."
    "Yay, you're almost done, let's clean up these dirty clothes on the floor."
    "One more thing and we're done, let's get that bed made!"

    Answer by DawnA72 at 2:07 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • With mine we started with the living room and them cleaning up there toys with our help. That we started at 18 months. At 3 we started allowing my 4.5 year old to have toys in her room. Then we started having her clean her room. I would tell her put away your cloths, when she was done i would praise her then tell her to put away her puzzles or what ever. This makes the job a little more manageable and teaches how to clean. Now at 4.5 she can clean her room by herself, and takes some pride in it. Although it only stays for a day at most.  It is a learning process like everything else.


    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 2:11 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Good answer Jademom07. I would also put a sticker next to each task as he completes it so that he has a sense of accomplishment. If he gets all of his stickers, maybe he can pick the dessert that night for dinner or something.

    Answer by kenzie07 at 2:38 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Kids at that age should be responsible for their messes but they often feel overwhelmed by the requirement to 'pick up their room.' If you break it down into smaller things they will not feel as overwhelmed by the tasks, even if they are doing them one after another. Another thing I would do with my kids is to start by helping them out and saying I bet you I can beat you picking up the blocks, or whatever it may be. Or tell them- show me how fast you can pick these blocks up, I want to see how good you can do it. Good luck! This is just the beginning!

    Answer by eneed1566 at 4:46 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

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