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How do I get my 6 and 5 year old to want to clean their rooms?

they are very independent when it comes to everything else. they give themselves showers (while i stand there and watch) they pick out what they want to wear and dress themselves, and they can order what they want at just about any restaurant that we go to. but when it is time to clean up they start to cry and tell me that they are tired and don't feel good and will stall till it is time for bed. i turn tv's off and i check on them telling them that i am cleaning to. which i usually am. i am just out of ideas


Asked by rainfey at 4:07 PM on Apr. 20, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 9 (320 Credits)
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Answers (14)
  • My son's room is not always clean but it's not always a disaster either. He's 7 and I tend to tell him if he isn't willing to pick up his mess then he obviously doesn't care enough about his stuff and doesn't need it. I have learned a few things though. Kids do MUCH better when given specifics rather than general "go clean your room" So in my son's case it's "time to pick up the army men" the "books belong on the book shelf" etc. I don't always have to do that but it does come up. Last time he was complaining about not wanting to pick up his action figures I told him he had 2 choices. Pick them up and put them away or pick them up and put them in a trash bag to be thrown away. He put them away. I don't think they will ever WANT to clean their rooms but with the right incentives they will do what needs to be done.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:28 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • Geez they are little kids not teens. Just make them pick up their toys. Let them be little kids for as long as you can.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:08 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • My child is also very independent . When I first had him clean his room. We organized it so everything has a place and I helped the first few times but now his 8 and cleans his room very well on his own every Sunday. I dont even have to ask anymore. I'm waiting for him to get a little older so he can vacuum it too.

    Answer by LucyT20 at 4:11 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • My DD is 6yo. We have a rule that she cannot have any of her neighbor friends or any of her cousins in her room to play if it's messy. And when they're all finished playing, they ALL have to help clean up. Also, if we're out shopping and she asks for something (toy, candy, or even a little toy out of the quarter machine), I always ask her if her room is clean. If she says no, then she doesn't get anything new. If she says yes (and I know it really is clean), then we usually negotiate. (I'm not going to buy her a $20 toy EVERY time we're out shopping!) The way I explain it to her is like this...I tell her that when her room is a mess and toys are covering the floor, then it look like she has too many toys and doesn't have enough room for anything else. After we started this she became really good at keeping things picked up.

    Answer by mama2br00ke at 4:13 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • Our 6 and 7 yr old do the same thing,lol.... Yes they're kids but they also need to learn if they want to keep the things they love to play with they need to take care of them. I make it a set time every evening, no story at bedtime if they don't clean up. They love having a story so they get it done as fast as they can. Even if it's not perfect I don't mind, as long as they make an effort to get the floor cleaned up.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 4:13 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • My 6 yr old won't pick up her room unless I am beside her helping her. All I can say is that kids probably won't want to clean on their own until they become adults.


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:13 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • a lot of people think it's cruel,but i run a military style house when it comes to cleaning. i think it creates a stress free environment for everyone. my kids (5,4, and 2) have picked up on my habits. when i'm finished with something, i put it away before i do ANYTHING else. we make our beds as soon as we wake up. we clear our plates as soon as we finish a meal. my kids like to keep their rooms clean because they know where to find things. the toy bin organizer is a great investment. even my 2 year old knows that the blocks go with the blocks and the cars go wit the cars. best of all, they can bring an entire bin full of farm animals outside, and it doesn't take 5 trips to bring them back in. lead by example and point out the benefits of organization every time you hear "mom! where's my shoe/ book/ game/ ect...?"


    Answer by bestmommyeber at 4:23 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • I would let them do what they want with their own space if you can. Otherwise I would just explain to them that YOU have a need for things to be organised including their rooms and would like them to keep them tidy but I wouldn't force them or pressurize them, let them CHOOSE whether they tidy or not. You can also say that if they choose not tidy their room and you feel a need you will be doing it or you could alternatively try encouraging them to help you or making a compromise that they help you do it.

    Answer by keyaziz at 4:38 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • I'm an adult and I don't even want to clean my room!! I give my son a little reward like more tv or video game time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:52 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • Ours is required to clean up his room at the end of everyday before bath time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:37 PM on Apr. 20, 2010