GETTING YOUR KIDS TO HELP CLEAN UP



Don't you feel like THIS is the kind of mess you deal with on a daily basis? It looks like a tornado hit. I clean up the house every night before I go to bed. The next morning, I wake up, get breakfast for the kids, make the beds, do a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, and get dressed. By the time I've done that,  THIS is what my living room looks like.  It gets a little frustrating when I feel like all I'm doing each day is picking up toys. I'm really trying to focus on getting my kids to help out a little more. It's important that we TEACH them to pick up after themselves. Not only does it make our lives a lot easier, but it prepares them for real life. I recently read Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition). I learned so many great things from that book including some advice on getting kids to pick up.


Here is a little example I got from the book.
PARENT: "Hey, honey, there's a lot of your stuff laying around the house today. It's kind of getting in the way. Do you want to pick it up, or would you rather I picked it up?"
CHILD: "You pick it up."
PARENT: "Well, the advantage of your picking it up is that you'll get to see it again. If I pick up, I'll keep the stuff. So you might want to rethink your decision on that. But you don't have to rush. I'll know what you want. If by lunchtime I still see your stuff out there, I'll know you decided to have me pick it up. If I see that it's gone, then I'll know that you decided to pick it up for yourself."


I've learned that it takes a lot of patience, but I'm trying to be consistent. 

Here is a cute video of Oliver cleaning. It is soooo funny! He just started doing this one day, and I've noticed he does it a lot now. He's making me proud :)




81 comments:

Carrie said...

What are his rates? ha ha

carla said...

oooh please to send him my way.

MizFit

Slamdunk said...

Ha, good post. I insist that our gang helps clean up as well. Our youngest has an autism spectrum disorder and he is even non exempt when dad activates the cleaning crew.

A Lil Story said...

Sweet video! My boys have to help out- there is just no way I could do it all everyday. It is a lot easier if I get them to pick up their room right before lunch or dinner, my boys are really motivated by their stomachs (just like their daddy ;)

Kristina P. said...

I totally believe in child labor. The younger, the better, I say!

My Personal Journey said...

I always had my girls ( 6 of them) pick up before lunch & bedtime. They knew if they valued their things and wanted to see them again, they better get them before I did. If I had to pick up their things they would go into a hefty sack I kept at the top of my closet, the more expensive things (video games, videos, Cd's toys etc) could be earned back over time with them minding & listening, the things they never missed went into a box and went to the fire station at Christmas time for the kids who had less.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

We do lots of picking up here too, and I agree- it is a never ending battle!

FourJedis said...

That's so cute. We are trying to teach ours to pick up... one of them is great, but the other one takes what he's picked up and remakes the mess, then runs away.

Megan said...

hmmm... wonder if that logic will work on a stubborn 4 year old.. Im going to give it a shot! Cause these toys are making me nutty!

NIKOL said...

I love that example from the book. I think I'll have to get the book for myself, actually.

kyooty said...

How very very kyoot!!!:)

Taylor Family said...

oh what a coincidens!I just finished implementing that strategy with the boys. The loft has been a mess since Monday. Mondays are the boys day to clean the loft, pick up their room and sort their cloths for me to wash. "work hard day" so we can play hard the rest of the week. Gave them the choice to finish it by Tuesday..night, if not I would clean up wednesday and the toys will be gone for two weeks. 10 min ago just finished cleaning for them. Toys are gone. Patience, always,it never gets easier...ugh. I keep reminding my self:
The "Love" in Love and Logic means we care enough about kids to set limits and hold them accountable in compassionate ways. The "Logic" is what happens in the child's head when they realize their poor descisions result in consequences." I love that! On the bight side I won't see toys for two weeks to drive me crazy! :) I love the. You did awesome Mothering!!

Taylor Family said...

oh yea, and that Oliver is SO adorable, looks just like Sean.

Liz said...

Maddie's too young, but I do have Kate help, and she enjoys the positive recognition from me.

Elaine said...

My niece has that same problem. I usually make it light-hearted and she usually does it! :)

clothed much, a modest fashion blog

Ms. Understood said...

LOL. That is cute and hilarious. He really puts his muscle into getting the job done right.

Daisygirl said...

Oliver is so adorable! My 2 year old loves to clean...that is how I know he is related to me!

I am having a tough time getting my 6 year old daughter to help around the house...she always humphs and says "do I have to do everything"...teenager already I tell ya!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I'm totally doing that. I love it!!! My techie friend helped with the facebook thing. I'll ask how he did it.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

paige said...

I was always expected to even when I was really young so I always just did it. :)

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Wow I love that I'll have to check that book out I need all the help I can get.

Verena said...

Oliver is soooo cute! My 2 year old daughter loves to help me clean up everything, too. Hopefully she will stay that way. ;) Our livingroon looked most of the times like in your picture. But I got so tired of it that we decided the kids should keep there stuff in there rooms. It´s not working all the time, but the good thing is they take everything back to there rooms when they are done playing.

julie said...

Ok, how CUTE is he? You've just showed me that I can absolutely get my 16 month to clean up after himself. And my older boys, well they need a bit more work, but I like your strategy. I just need to get a stiffer backbone and actually take the toys away.

I noticed mommyblogs reset as well. Do they do that often? It's rather annoying if I do say so myself.

nmaha said...

Teaching the kids to help out is a great move. My daughter is trained to put her dirty clothes in the laundry basket, put her dirty dishes in the sink and clean-up her toys and material after every activity. We haven't attacked making the beds yet :-)

Bringing Pretty Back said...

I love the example from the book! I did things like that when my boys were small , and it works! The key is to follow through!
Oliver is adorable!
Kristin

Holly said...

My son just looks at me when I say that...,y daughter is a helper though she cleans the whole house. The key is consistency...which I am BAD at, BUT I am tired of this too and so, the new mom in me is working on this consistency with the kids and herself.

Cheryl D. said...

Happy SITS Friday Potluck! Great technique in getting your kids to clean!

Kara@ Creations by Kara said...

Visiting from SITS. That was totally adorable! Thanks for the smile tonight. What a cute little man!

Jessica Anne said...

Is it working? My house looks like your before picture all the time and I'm so tired of cleaning it up by myself. Stopping by from SITS Friday potluck. :)

Cheryl said...

Over from SITS.. Good luck with that! You'll end up picking it all up anyway! ;)

magimomsblog said...

Stopping by from SITS - Happy Friday.
The video of your baby is so precious! I love when the little ones decide to clean - it's always too cute.
I started the "If I pick it up it's gone" thing with my kids when my oldest was 6 (that was 20 years ago). They learned quickly that if mom cleaned their mess she did it with a garbage bag... if they cleaned the toys got put away to be seen again. Great tips, this method does work!

Cook Clean Craft said...

I didn't shut the pantry door properly and my toddler has moved everything he could reach to the coffee table - maybe it's time for some cleaning training!

Visiting from SITS.

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

That is a great way to handle it, thanks for sharing! Congratulations on your SITS day!

Carrie K said...

Soooo cute and great tips! If only I could be that patient.
I knew a Mom who would do late night rades in her kids' room. She'd burst in right after they went to bed and throw everything on the floor into a big, black garbage bag. They could EARN stuff back by doing chores... I don't know if I'll ever do that but I thought it was kind of interesting.

-Happy SITS morning!
-CK

Saretta said...

Real interested in hearing if that model dialogue actually works! That sort of threatening suggestion kind of bothers me. Have you had success?

embejoetc said...

Hi there,
Just stopping by from SITS. Yes! I can so relate. I have four kids and they are pretty good most of the time but it STILL feels like I'm picking up after other people all the time... Husband included ;)

cheekymama said...

So cute, he's just like my 16 month old who's obsessed with wiping and also sweeping. I definitely encourage that, even borrowing toy vacuum cleaners from the library for my kids to play with.

Both my boys are quite into tidying as a 'fun chore' and sometimes I do just threaten to walk around with a rubbish bag and 'clean up'. That gets my eldest going!

from SITS via
Babes about Town
http://babesabouttown.com

Carey said...

So happy for you and your SITS day! I am already a follower so I was thrilled to see you as a featured blogger! :) Enjoy your day!

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Our house never looked like that. I was taught from a young age to put away things that I was done playing with before getting out something else. It's good to see you teaching your kids to clean up after themselves.

Happy Friday! Stopping by from SITS.

Elizabeth @ My Life, Such as it is... said...

Happy SITS Potluck Friday! I've been reading that book too. My 5yr old actually enjoys cleaning up but I'm a clutterer by nature so it is hard for me. We've already started teaching Charlie how to clean the bathroom with vinegar/water solution. He loves squirting the bottle & wiping the countertop!

BLOGitse said...

oh yes, parenting is hard, needs a lot of perseverance. I still remember how hard it was but worthed! Now my boys are good grown ups who know how to clean and cook.
Don't give up! :)
Happy SITS Friday!

BLOGitse

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Happy SITS Friday Potluck!

I haven't read the book, but I do the same thing...use it with conflict and tattling too... "Well, either you can work this out, or Mamma will decide and neither of you seem to like Mamma's decisions, so you may want to figure this one out yourselves!"

Jeramey, Stacie, Jaylee and Alexis said...

Good Advice:) Oliver is too cute!

kelly said...

Getting the kids to clean up is a constant battle!

Katy said...

I think that sounds like a great "method." I've heard lots of great stuff about the love & logic series.

TornadoTwos said...

I just had a talk with my kids last week about this. I told them that every evening I'm going to pick up all the items they leave laying around, and that they are all going into a box for a week, over time they will be able to do extra chores to earn back items one by one. My biggest problem is in me being consistant. Visiting from SITS!

Angelia Sims said...

Oliver is the cutest thing EVER! And that is a very good idea about getting them to clean up. My (almost) step daughters 4 and 6 are usually pretty good, but you have to tell them a few times. :-)

Rebekah Costello said...

Aww, the little one cleaning was just too precious!

Great ideas...I'm going to have to try that one...

Jennifer said...

I did this with my daughter, kind of, a couple of weeks ago. I told her it was time to donate some things and either she could pick the things out or I would pick the things out. She filled up four small boxes all by herself.

The Double Dipped Life said...

Great example! I use that one all of the time... but more as a threat... I will work on patience! Congrats on your SITS day!

Maggie S said...

I wish I had so much space to fill with a mess.


I digress.

Mine are big, and we aren't chatting anymore...stuff has just been disappearing. It's working.

Young Yoga Masters said...

Such a sweet video and thanks for the book recommendation.

Lynn said...

Happy SITS Friday Potluck! Love the video...especially how he's grunting with the effort!

Emma said...

Brilliant idea. Hope that you enjoy your SITS Friday PotLuck! x

Lindy Leigh said...

This is what I use for my granddaughters too! It works like a charm.

Your son is adorable cleaning up...he doesn't do a bad job!

Happy Sits Friday Potluck!

IASoupMama said...

Happy SITS day!

My hubby has found out that my kids are very motivated if they think that cleaning the house will be a good surprise for me. I know that tactic won't work forever...

Kristy said...

Yes, sometimes it's hard to follow a consistent strategy, but eventually it's better than spending your time doing it all yourself. We, too, take away toys that are not picked up. Someday he'll get it. Maybe.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Stopping from SITS! We have just started having trouble with "making mess" at my house. The video is priceless.

Beth Zimmerman said...

What a wonderful idea! Already a follower. Dropping in from SITS!

Kristina said...

thanks for posting this! I love this idea...drop off from SITS

Licia said...

Your son cleaning up is about the cutest thing I've ever seen. He's so proud of himself!
Thank you for the tips, I think I'll apply this one at home
I love your blog. Congratulations for having such a lovely family and have fun on your SITS day!

Jenn Erickson said...

What great advice! I'm definitely going to employ that method right away. I've been going nuts this week with the messes that my girls leave in their wake in every room.

Stopping by from SITS.

Sarah said...

Looks like my house everyday. I am always amazed how I can clean it up, and yet when I turn around it looks like a bomb went off.

I saw that book the other day, and now I think I'll go get it.

JoJo said...

That was a great tip. I'm not a mom yet, but I'll be sure to use that line one day in the future. The picture and the video of your son was absolutely adorable! I am so impressed with his cleaning skills! Can I hire him or is child labor still illegal? Kidding.
Stopping by from potluck Friday on SITS!
Congrats and have a great weekend!

Sunday said...

I LOVED this post! It reminds me of my mom when I was a kid and she would offer to "clean up" our toys. I think I only fell for that offer once.

Aimee said...

Don't you LOVE how readers say things like "My kids ALWAYS pick up their mess...they are SOOOO perfect." When what you want to say back is..."if that's the case, why'd they make a mess to begin with?" HA! I think it boils down to letting kids have their "own" space to destroy instead of your space. My house stays picked up but their playroom does not. We clean it up a couple of times a week, when I notice that they are starting to play elsewhere because they have run out of room. I also limit the toys they have and organize everything with them, each time they clean up. I have 3 boys so maybe it's different but they seriously wouldn't care if I loaded up their crap and hauled it off, unless they were currently playing with it. Anyway, good luck with it. It's hard being a mommy sometimes.

Aine Butler-Smith said...

Stopping by from SITS. Good tip, I'll pass it on to my daughter who is struggling with her two year old and picking up. I waited until mine were three before I started threatening to take toys away, but it did work.

Young Wife said...

That video is adorable!

Rebecca said...

Stopping by from SITS!!! Good job being a parent! Keep being consistent. The mom you are in ten years will want to hug the mom you are being now!

Gina said...

Good post! Looking forward to more awesome kid tips! Stopping by from SITS

Tractor Mom said...

Happy SITS post day!!

I started making my oldest son pick-up his toys from the time he was able to understand (around 2 years). Now its just second nature to him. It makes me really proud when we go to church suppers and I am the only mom that has to remind their child to bus their own plate!
We're still working on keeping the closet and the desk from being dumping grounds!

www.frugaltractormom.blogspot.com

"Queen" Vic said...

GREAT idea! I've heard of this book from the parents of children I teach (I teach 2nd graders). I hear it's great but definitely takes consistency. Way to go!

Oh, and congrats again on your SITS Friday Potluck post!

Nolie said...

Happy SITS potluck day for you. My son loves to help clean. As long as it's not his toys lol.

Andrea said...

I get trash bags out multiple times a day with every intention of heaving it all!!!
Happy SITS day!
multiplemama.com

Melanie said...

Great tip. I am definitely going to be trying that with my boys!!

Missy said...

I have heard a lot of great things about Love and Logic. I may need to check it out.
I wish I could get my kids to help clean up consistently.

Happy SITS potluck day!

Six Feet Under Blog said...

I wish my kids would clean up!

Rene W. said...

What great tips! And your little ones look like they enjoy it :)

KDC Events said...

I am going to get that book! Thanks for sharing. I have been having a heck of a time with my 7 year old. He is driving me to the limits!!

Forest Rose said...

Love and Logic....I'll have to check it out!

Thanks!

Forest Rose said...

Oh, and by the way, Happy belated Sits day!
Sorry I missed it!

Suriayati Datu Mudin said...

for sure ill take note of it

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