Saturday, January 15, 2011


How much should a four, almost almost five, year old be able to help clean her own bedroom?

And how do I convince her that yes, she should be helping, while the two year old runs around, not really helping?

I have a tough time remembering that my four year old isn't as old as she looks. She's eloquent and bright and I forget that she's just a little person. And then I get angry that she isn't doing more.

Luckily, then I remember that she's just a tiny human and can't clean her room all by herself.

so, now I'll go back to cleaning my daughters' room. And focus my frustration on the winter storm that is making my husband work on a Saturday to catch up. And make a gunny sack later.


Heather said...

Ok, you might hate me for this 4yo has to clean her room up every night before bed, it's part of bedtime rituals. Now, she doesn't clean it necessarily to MY standards, but every night her books are put back on the shelf (not up and down, but on there), her "soft friends" are back in their big bin and all doll house accessories are placed back into her doll house. Her carpet is completely clear so she won't step on anything should she need to get out of bed in the dark. I also incorporate her 2yo sister to "help". Her job is to pick things up and hand them to the 4yo. It's not perfect by any means, but they are both learning:) They all also have to help clean up the family room at night too by taking all their toys back to their rooms. I have to say, it's nice to sit on the couch and give orders while my mini-me's do all the work;) Work with her more, she'll soon realize it's just expected of her, even if she doesn't like doing it.

Liz said...

That's how we do it too, she's just really spacey about it and will sit and stare off into space while I clean, and we don't do it every night so when Saturday comes, it's overwhelming! Basically, it sounds like I need to make it a daily occurence and often I let it go just to get them in bed on time! There's a short window between Lu getting up and bedtime that gets very full of dinner, baths, etc.!

Heather said...

Yeah, I don't help my 4yo clean. If she gets stuck and starts playing with something, I just kindly remind her that it's bedtime and it's time to clean up, just to keep her on track with the task. My bedtime routine basically starts right after they finish dinner, roughly 6pm. They can play for 30 more minutes then it's time to start cleaning. Then, it's jammies, workbooks (aka "homework"), brush teeth, read "scriptures" (basically any of their church story books) and lights out by 8pm. It's just as much routine for them as it is for me. I will slack a little bit on the weekends but not much. My 7yo is so used to the cleaning that he knows the faster he picks his room up, the more time he gets to do something more fun. It is a learning thing for us moms, I actually had to learn from my hubby to get into this habit but we are all happier (well, most the time, fights can happen:)). Good luck, it'll come, especially if you and your hubby work together as a team. Team work always helps!!!

Teriney said...

We also pick up the living room & bedroom every night. When I skip it gets overwhelming. I started having the girls each take a item & it's container ( ie ponnies, blocks etc. ) and filling it. The more direct the quicker the job gets done. An to be honest, Ru usually is the better of the two. While they pick up toys, I pick up trash, laundry, etc. It's good team work. When all else fails, and nothing is getting done, they get a time limit before toys dissapear. They do not like this. You only have to do this a few times before they learn;) either way, it just takes time and work!

Katie said...

I am guilty of just doing it for my girls, but I know I need to make them clean up more too. One thing my sister-in-law did was organize all the toys in buckets, then take pictures of the toys that go in the buckets and taped them to the front of the buckets. Then when clean up time came, her girls knew where everything went and things got put away in the right places. I guess the trick is just finding something that makes them excited to help and pick up there toys. When you find something that works...let me know the secret! ;)