View Full Version : Teaching a 3 1/2 yr old to clean their room

January 20th, 2002, 02:40 PM
Morgaine is in pre-school and there they teach the children to clean up after themselves. In all of the reports sent home I am told the she is one of the first children to clean up when the time comes. At home however, it's a completely different story. I have to literally sit in the room with her and tell her what toys to pick up and where to put them. This is a slight problem for me since I KNOW she does it on her own at school. We've even tried the whole "throwing out the toys" bit. Nothing is working. Any suggestions?????

January 20th, 2002, 06:28 PM
Heh! If you find something, please let me know too. My son is eleven. Tried the throwing out toys, no special treats, rewards (point system). We're still working on it! :rolleyes:

BTW, his teachers always say how helpful he is in class. Always picks up after himself. I always ask if they're talking about MY son! Is this the same child that leaves a trail of stuff from the front door to the kitchen everyday after school?!

Yvonne Belisle
January 21st, 2002, 12:15 AM
My friend is a professional housekeeper and has borrowed my kids to help her when she is pressed for time. They will clean anyone's house except ours. If any of you have the answers please post them as you can see this is a problem many of us are having.

Flar's Freyja
January 21st, 2002, 12:28 AM
Sorry, Babes, my youngest is 18 and we still have the same problem. He'll spend 2 hours cleaning his room sometimes and mess it all up again in six minutes. And this summer I asked him to mow our lawn for two weeks and ended up doing it myself. What was he doing? Cleaning his girlfriend's mother's garage! :mad:

January 21st, 2002, 12:37 AM
I definately don't have all the answers by any means but I do have what's worked for us. The old standby-Erica has to put one toy away before she plays with the next. We never did this before we moved in with my parents and everything was just a mess. I guess being here and just not wanting Erica's (and the baby's) toys all over motivated me to really stick with that. If I see her playing with something else I immediately tell her to stop and pick up/clean up the previous toy/mess. It's been working pretty well and when we started I definately had to tell her "this goes here, that goes there" etc. It was tiring but now I can say "Put your toys in that corner, Makenna's toys in this corner and when you're done let me know". Then I come and approve what she's done or help her finish and that's it. Erica is also about 3 1/2. Hope I helped a little.

January 21st, 2002, 12:39 AM
I wonder if this would work on hubbies? :D

Yvonne Belisle
January 21st, 2002, 12:40 AM
Wanna try it on mine??? PLEASE it didn't work when I tried:( then again thier natural father taught them for the first several years of thier lives that they didn't have to listen to me.:mad:

January 21st, 2002, 12:49 AM
Maybe we should turn this into a "No one cleans up around this place but me " post LOL :p

Flar's Freyja
January 21st, 2002, 01:07 AM
Margie, your system sounds great - but mine is an all-state linebacker and a title-winning powerlifter - he's bigger than me!;)

Seriously - with three of them - I just gave up and closed their doors!

Twilight Garden
January 21st, 2002, 01:49 AM
My step-daughter is pretty good at cleaning her room. She has it as a chore twice a week. If it doesn't get done she gets punished. Usually no TV, video games, riding her scooter... or if she's been really lazy about it more frequently she gets "threatened" with no dance classes, etc. We just figure out her favorite activities and they get taken away when she skips out. It's not just cleaning her room, it's all her little responsibilities.

My husbands ex-wife used to think she was too young :rolleyes: to clean, so I ended up having to teach her by cleaning with her. I did that for about a month until she got the hang of it.

January 21st, 2002, 08:37 AM
This sounds just like my house too. :p

We have the rule "one toy out at a time." I think they interpret that as "one toy out, per child, per room, per minute." And that would be on a good day. Caitlyn can dump an entire bucket of legos, biuld with them and then whine she "doesn't know how" to clean them up.

Some tricks that we used in school were to sing the Barney clean up song, we labeled all of the buckets with pictures and words so the kids knew where to put things, make a game of it (who can get all of the green blocks before I get all of the red ones). Now I have tried these at home and they just don't seem to work here as well as they did when I was teaching. Go figure. :rolleyes: :p

If anyone comes up with an idea that works with kids and husbands, I want to hear it!


January 21st, 2002, 12:09 PM
BTW-NO it doesn't work on hubbies. Even if they are like 20 and you think you still have a chance to "mold" them. Sorry Von ;)

Old Witch
January 21st, 2002, 05:09 PM
Hey, is this a guy thing.? My three sons wouldn't clean for nothing. Now their house is spotless. The 16 yr. old has to be threatened with throwing the computer in the fishpool!

January 21st, 2002, 07:11 PM

I can't threaten my three yr old with that..............She'd be happy.

I'm going to try the whole pictures on the toybox though Chrissy . Who knows maybe it'll work. Even if it doesn't we'll be no worse off than we are now.

January 21st, 2002, 07:16 PM
If anyone does figure out how to get their mate to clean up let me know.

Mine will come home from a full day at work, do the laundry, wash the dishes, and make us supper... but he won't stop leaving his books on the table or floor rather then the *two* bookshelves we have.

Ah well. :)

Twilight Garden
January 21st, 2002, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by Old Witch
Hey, is this a guy thing.? My three sons wouldn't clean for nothing. Now their house is spotless. The 16 yr. old has to be threatened with throwing the computer in the fishpool! I was horrible at cleaning my room. I had a maid all my life. She came twice a week. As soon as she left in the afternoon, I had my room trashed again. :rolleyes: When as I moved out, I started cleaning. I had to figure out how to do it, but my place was clean. I even cleaned up for my roommate! :eek: My mom was very frustrated. Glad, but frustrated. :p

January 22nd, 2002, 08:27 AM
The Theologin- Of all the "tricks" the pictures seem to work the best. It could also be an age thing- My 5 yo cleans up wonderfully. For him I will seta timer and see if he can beat it. And he usually does. Cait, on the other hand, will take out more toys to play during clean up time. She is 3 too. Makes me crazy! LOL!

Man, I wish that witches could really wave a wand and clean a room!
:p :p :p

Old Witch
January 23rd, 2002, 12:10 AM
Remember Samantha, twitch of the nose, goes in high gear, rooms clean! I'd probably have a heart attack! By the way, I'm cleaning the 16 yr. olds' room tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 23rd, 2002, 04:52 AM
:lol: Now I know how my mom felt! :D

January 23rd, 2002, 10:52 AM
ROFL that's what it is ...................it the curse you know the one all mom's put on their teenage daughters (I hope your kids turn out to bee JUST LIKE YOU)

January 23rd, 2002, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by TheTheologin
ROFL that's what it is ...................it the curse you know the one all mom's put on their teenage daughters (I hope your kids turn out to bee JUST LIKE YOU)


I was cursed with twins, which might explain why Cait is twice as bad as I ever was!!!!

Goddess, please help me when she is a teenager!!!

:crylaugh: :crylaugh: :crylaugh: