Friday, February 25, 2011

To Clean or Not to Clean?

That has been the question. Here at Smart and Trendy Moms, we are trying to figure out just how much to help our kids with cleaning their rooms. We'd love to hear what you require of your kids when it comes to cleaning up.

When you have kids, it goes without saying that you have tons of toys, sports equipment, and basically junk that needs to be organized and cleaned. We have been asking around and have discovered that things range from moms who don't have the kids clean anything to kids who are totally responsible for their own rooms and everywhere in between.

I’m all for making kids responsible for cleaning their own rooms (admittedly, sometimes without much success), having them put away their own laundry, and help with a few other simple chores.  However, I usually end up in a cycle of:   I say “clean your room” and threaten loss of privileges when they aren't doing it; they grumpily clean up; and then within a few days, the room's a mess and the cycle starts again. Not fun!  A couple weeks ago when a friend asked me what I was doing and my reply was "getting the kids to clean their rooms."  She said, "you're always doing that" and its true.  Things have got to change.  I'm just not sure how to do it.

I've got friends who spend more time cleaning up for their than I do, but less time arguing about it.  I’m looking for a middle ground so that I'm not having a weekly argument about cleaning with grumpy kids, but I'm not just running around cleaning up after them either.

Please leave us a comment to tell us your opinions on how much kids should be responsible for doing and how you get them to do it. We'd love to hear your ideas.

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Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. But I know someone who isen't allowed to play with their friends before they have cleaned up their room. It actually works. I haven't been able to make it work here in my household. So I am looking forward to see what other people write.

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

My ten year old has a list of choirs that have to be done everyday. simple stuff, like feed the cat, take the dog out, take the garbage bin in after school (if it's trash day), and just generally picking up after herself. I also make her fold her own laundry, but I put it away (only because I am a serious neat freak). She does get punished if her few choirs aren't done, but she also gets rewarded if they are done. The reward you ask? We buy her a small hersheys bar, if all choirs are completed, on Friday. I am seriously not one to let my kids have a bunch of sugar, so maybe this is why it works. She really looks forward to her weekly treat. I can't blame her though, I love chocolate too!

You could make a chart (a cute crafty one of course) with their names and choirs. Then put stickers on them when they are completed. If they get enough stickers they get a prize. Hope that helps! I find that rewards work so much better than punishment.

Christine said...

We created a chore list for our boys. Some of the things on it - help set and clear the table, put away clothes, clean up toys, ect, ect. They only make $2 a week, but they know they need to do their chores to get paid. We've printed out a chore chart, so they get to check off after they have done their chores. They don't always do their chores without a reminder or do them the way I would, but it helps.

ChinaDoll said...

I remember my mom telling me every weekends to always clean my room...I guess you really have to be more patient with them. :)

That Bald Chick (formerly ladyvdzine) said...

My kids are two and three years old. They are required to help pick up their toys in the living room and in their bedrooms. I recently discovered, though, that the promise of a Hershey's kiss goes a long way toward them doing it all on their own. LOL.

KJ said...

Thanks for sharing the great ideas!

Blogger Broadcast said...

I clean whenever I have a chance to. Picking up is a continual task for me with a three year old. :-)

h. mcnaron said...

A great post. We struggle with this all the time. I want to instill good habits in them but don't want to turn it into a showdown of wills. Plus I know I was a total slob until I realized I had to live in my own filth once I got on my own-- and I cleaned up fast. So I might be too lenient. But we do keep our shared spaces clean, and I let their room fall apart if that's what it takes. They are supposed to be responsible for their own space as well as our shared space.

I love your blog-- if you want, check out mine too:

Mabel's Labels said...

Great post.

My 3 year old is responsible for cleaning up after himself every single night- if he took the toys out in his playroom he is expected to put them back where they belong before he gets in the bath to go to bed.

He is responsible for picking up his clothes and making his bed too.

I am serious- of course I help a little if he actually NEEDS it, but I believe responsibility should be taught at a very young age and he seems to thrive on helping. He LOVES it... I think its a positive thing.