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How do you get your kid(s) to clean the room?

Posted by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 5:59 PM
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My oldest DD is fight me every step of the way about cleaning her room. We just moved into a townhouse. So I gave my girls the bigger room because it has two walk in closets that are big enough to be a small play room which is what she uses it for. My problem is that the youngest 3 will clean her part with a little nudge from mom and dad but the oldest with fight, cry, fit pitch, and anything else so she doesnt have too. I have tried bribbing, treating to throw it away (and have), reward system and nothing is working. HELP! the new school year is around the corner for the both of us and I do not want to spend time yelling to get her to do it when I rather being fun and playing games. HELP!
by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 5:59 PM
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by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 8:07 PM

 What has come to work for us is a simple rule. Note that I state "has come" in that it didn't work immediately....most of it being my fault for not following through.

The rule:  a dirty room = no play (games, friends, TV or playstation)

Simple as that.  She can read to her heart's content if the room is dirty. She can write or draw pictures if she wants. But she may not have board games, go outside to play, have friends over, go to friends, watch television or have playstation time.

It has worked like a charm - - since I started sticking to it and ASKING "is your room clean?" before giving the nod to her requests for play.

by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 8:13 PM

No friends, no tv, no ipod, no games, no playing outside, no FUN until room is clean.  Works pretty well lol.

She knows this so she cleans up as soon as she is asked (and sometimes before she is asked).

by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 8:23 PM

My kids have to clean their rooms before bath and bed.  The longer it takes them to clean their room the shorter their bath time is and that is less time they get to play in the tub which means they might run out of time for a bedtime story.  I make them pick up their toys every night so it is not such a pain and hassle when it is a big mess

by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 10:01 PM

My most recent attempt at getting DD to clean her room was quite the success.  After several months of struggle, I got this wild hair idea and put it into motion.  For a while I was beginning to think this wasn't going to work either but by day's end, her room was clean.

It was as simple as this - 'until the room is clean, this is where she will live.  She was only allowed bathroom privileges and I did allow her to come to the table for meals (though my DH suggested she should eat in there as well).  She was told that until the room was clean, she would just simply have to live in there.  If she chose to play rather than clean - that was her choice - but living in her room meant ZERO PRIVILEGE of any kind no matter how long it took and that meant if she spent the entire week in there, that was just the way it was going to be.'

We had a couple issues when she tried to manipulate her way out of the situation but she finally got the idea that it didn't matter and that mom meant business.

She spent 9 hours in her room that day (1 of which she actually spent cleaning).  It worked well (this time) and we've not had much trouble since with her keeping things a little more orderly as she goes along.

I'm not sure that this method would work again and it probably seems harsh but after months of fighting and backlip and threatening with follow through, it seemed my last alternative at the time.

by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 10:49 PM
She doesn't care that her room is a mess. She will live in it if she could and she has. She shares the room now with her little sister now. I thought I had a few more years before this started. I have gone as far as labeling things for her so all she had to do was put them where is was labeled and it not helping. I think next step is boot camp. lol
by on Jul. 6, 2009 at 1:44 AM

Hi - new person here...just thought I'd jump right in.

I have a 7 yr old and her excuse for not cleaning her room is either 1) "I don't remember how to clean" or 2) I'm tired from playing (Ya think!?)

When she needs to clean her room, I make a list.  I think when she looks at the mess she thinks she's got a million things to do in order to clean it.  When in reality she really only needs to put her toys away, make her bed and pick her dirty clothes up off the floor.  So I make a list of the three things and she does them one at a time.  She scratches each one off as she does them and within no time she's done. 

It is still sometimes a fight, but usually with better end results (meaning, I usually don't get so sick of stepping on toys that I clean it while she's at school)

by on Jul. 6, 2009 at 6:09 AM

Maybe if you break it down to simple, non judging statements like "toys belong on the shelf" and "dirty clothes belong in the hamper", so instead of saying "your room is a mess", tell her what needs to be done.

Another thing that worked for one single father was to say "Pick up 10!" and that mean 10 toys had to be picked up an put away...a very manageable goal for a young child!

by on Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:09 AM
These are all really good ideas. Thank you so much.
by on Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:12 AM

My kids know that when I say clean your room tha tis what I mean. If they dont they have no privledges, tv, games, phone, computer, and if none of that works I have been known to go into a room with a garbage bag and shovel and take it to goodwill or the salvation army. 

by on Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:20 AM
Happy to know I am not the only one who does that.
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