Sunday, August 26, 2007

Why Does This Happen?

I am (almost) ashamed to show you this picture. I mean you don't want to go out of your way to tell the whole world that you are a lazy useless person do you? Well, apparently I do. This is Randy (the saint) cleaning up Super Z's room RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Of course he is doing this while I do important things like get the kids ready for bed (write this post).

But I wanted to show you this for a reason. Reasons make it a little less shameful, right? I wanted to ask some very important questions. 1) Do all kids make messes like this on a regular basis or was I just extremely good in a past life and thus earned children with this special ability? 2) How exactly do you teach kids to clean up after themselves?

I have been back and forth with Super Z over this room all weekend. Occasionally, he will do as he is told and pick up a few things. Occasionally, he will get excited when I come in to help and pick up a few more things than usual. But for the most part, the few things could be counted on one hand. I guess my biggest issue is how do I teach him to pick up after himself all the time so that this doesn't happen? I tell him to put his toys away constantly. I applaud him for a job well done when he does pick them up. I have thrown away toys when they weren't picked up. All of these things will work at the moment that they are executed, but nothing seems to change his habit of pulling out everything possible and putting nothing back. Do you think I should just throw away 75% of his toys? Is that mean and horrible? I don't know, I just know I don't want to raise a slob. So guys, any ideas are welcome.


Blue Momma said...

I could have written this post. Except for it would be me in the photo and not hubby.

I can't comment more because you said it all for me.

Punkin' picks up after himself, then he doesn't. We just keep trying and hope it sticks sooner or later. And if you throw all the toys away - no time to blog!

Amanda said...

I think I'd better start my son's training now. Its good to read a blog about kids several years older than mine so that I can 'try' to prepare for the future. Yours is providing me LOTS of insight. Thank you for sharing.

John said...

In the Bible, in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul writes, "When I became a man, I put away childish things."

I don't think this is what he was talking about, but it what I always think of!

Good luck. We have one child that is more orderly, one...not so much. Too many choices can be a problem. I think for a shorter attention span (child length) the temptation to move from one thing to another more quickly can leave a wake of toys behind. We've tried the 'let's put this away before we get out another toy' ploy, but that isn't in the planning process of a child. The best I can offer is--hang in there. Not long after they're grown, you can start on picking up after their kids!

Becky said...

Well, I found the throwing things away works pretty well. I told him everything on the floor was going in the trash and so he cleaned the floor REALLY well. I really can offer no advice. Ethan picks up if I specifically tell him to, but really doesn't pick up if I don't.

I guess I have nothing.

lisa's chaos said...

The only that I found that orked with my children (I had four and four step-kids) on keeping their things picked up was a doesn't belong box. Every evening we gathered up everything in the living room that was there but shouldn't be. It all got put in the box. Nothing could leave the box until a designated day. On that day eveything was put away or thrown away. I usually had the kids gather their "treasures" first then I went through it and threw out whatever was left. Imagine their excitement when they oculd put one of mommy's things in the box. :)

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Kids are suppose to pick up after themselves?



My 4.5 year old still fusses when we clean up "together". This "together" translates into me picking up 85% and him 15%.

It does get better though. My 7 year old cleans up pretty well.

And don't worry too much about raising a slob. I ALWAYS kept a messing room when I was a kid. On into teenage years as well. It drove my mom crazy and we would fight so much over it. My sister was the perfect neat room daughter. As adults...I keep the cleaner house of the three of us. So it just goes to show!

Dana said...

My kids were like that when they were younger. Thankfully they outgrew it. It will get better.