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Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ideas?

Posted by koala_em (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 5, 06 at 0:35

My 8yo DD is the laziest child who breathes! If I dug a giant hole into the middle of her room and said throw any toys you finish, rubbish or dirty clothes (clean even!)into the hole, it would still be too much effort on her part.

I have tried to declutter. I have thrown out copious amounts of toys, excess clothes, shoes.... etc Even if she had nothing in her room but a bed I am sure she would spread the doona onto the floor!

Every draw has a label -eg T-shirts, undies, jumpers. She helped choose where items would go. If clean clothes make it to the draw she shoves the lot in anywhere it'll fit. I wash daily, so there are never many to put away.

Bratz dolls spew out over the floor mingling with Barbies and soft toys... mixed in are dirty clothes she is too lazy to throw into the hamper, hair ties, hair brush... bits of crap (like folded up paper with drawings).

I periodically lose it and clean it top to bottom (about twice a year). It never lasts.

I need to make myself into the cleaning police each day for her to lift a finger- and it gets so painfully whingey I give up and let her live in the filth.

The rest of our home is tidy and a delightful place. Her brother and sister are both tidy kids. I am not a perfectionist, I just want to see the carpet!

ANY ideas? ANY tips for organising? Should I just get all toys out of there? Should I blackban TV? I have tried a 'prison cell' room- eg minimum clothes and no toys- it worked but as soon as we added any extras it exploded! But in herself she was unhappy without her toys.

I have been using the 'forget it and close the door' method lately. BUT her room faces the street and she seems to regularly manage to lift the lace curtain up so everyone outside can see her mess! PLUS her room is the one next to the path to out front door and they are full height windows.

Em


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Here's what I did when I was getting my kids trained to see the floor. Set a timer and help her pick up and put things away. Every single darn day. Just for 10 min. or so. You have to change your mindset. Words like lazy, pig-pen, etc. have to be banished. I will bet you anything, she is also your most interesting child with lots of interests and is curious. Just not naturally neat.

REWARD the effort. Just like other children may have to learn to cook or learn to do laundry, she has to learn to pick up. If you will be consistent, set the timer and help her (without fail) every day, you will being to see a big improvement in a very few weeks. You must do it everyday without name calling or judgements. Just help her pick up. I can tell you at 8, she is overwhelmed with her own mess when she is told to clean it up. She doesn't know how to break that into step. Teach her. Give her an order to work. First, all clothing put in the hamper or drawers. Next, all large toys up and put away. Then all small toys put away. You already have the containers in place, it's just too much when she has the exploding style of room management.

Yes, you need to be the cleaning police, but I wouldn't call it that. I would just call it being a mother and teaching a child a skill. I wouldn't worry about people seeing in her windows, but just focus on the fact that this is something she needs to learn to do.

I am your daughter, only I'm 50 now. My mom didn't know how to give me those skills, so adulthood was a challenge. I DID learn, once I had an order to do things. I found that through Flylady, but the same concept works well for children. An order to the tasks and a small amount of work each day.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Gloria's suggestion is excellent. Ten minutes everyday "learning" the pick-up process should help.

I also have 2 kids with the "exploding style of room management" (I love that description--it's so true!). One has learned to deal with it, the other still gets overwhelmed. He's 15 and I sometimes I still have to remind him how to get started (make the bed & get the linens off the floor, pick up the clothes, throw out the trash, put the books on the shelves....). Even though all kids are different, they all have to learn the cleaning guidelines. This weekend I'm going to try to talk him into a room make-over. He hates change, so this will be a challenge.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Sign my name to Gloria's post. I clearly remember being overwhelmed by the mess in my room, with my parents telling me to "clean up that pigsty." I had no idea how to start. I couldn't even see the discrete items. Instead of "bedstand with five books, two magazines, and misplaced shoes underneath," I saw "bedstand." I've spent a lifetime training myself to see the details that many people see naturally.

Like Gloria, Flylady has been a godsend for me, and the 15-minute babysteps are a huge part of it. I agree that helping her for 15 minutes a day, every single day, will not only result in a much tidier room, but will giver her the skills she is unlikely to learn otherwise.

I remember my first apartment, with three other college-age girls, all born neat. They were so frustrated with me, and I knew why, but I couldn't figure out how to maintain order. (Though I was great at throwing a last-minute dinner party for 10 on a shoestring budget.:)

Good luck, and good luck to your daughter.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

And I think you may be expecting too much from an 8 year old....go back to the 1 thing at a time.
I noticed with my boys when told to clean their rooms they did not know what I meant.
So...that means you say..please put the barbies in the case.
then you say put the case on the shelf...
you get it..
I still have problems with that and my boys are now adults..
sometimes you have to break things down in steps and I think that kids need help doing that!!
Be patient mom, she is just a kid!!
Karen L


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Hmmm ... my younger sister is now 46 years old and she's still like that. She claims she "can't see" the mess. She has a great little apartment that she bought a few years ago and it's filthy -- AND she has a cleaning lady! Her car is worse. I was never that messy, but my mother never really taught me how to clean and I'm definitely not a neat freak. I finally got a book (one of Don Aslett's) and learned some basics. DH hates clutter and is good at throwing things out. I seriously doubt my sister will ever improve on this, which I find rather sad. She is, however, as Gloria suggested, one of the more interesting people I know.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Koala: Quiltglo had a great idea. In my house, it was called a cleaning blitz - 10 minutes max. The promise of a reward after all was said and done was motivating. Nothing big, but maybe cookies before dinner, go to the park, etc. You get the idea. Then when she's 32 (yes, I had one, too), you'll get the satisfaction of hearing her complain about her new husband: "Can't he put anything away? Is it rocket science???" LOL, 'cause that's all you can do.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

It seems like on alot of those oraganizing shows I watch on HGTV, thier conclusion to taking hold of a mess is to scale down. Maybe she just has to much stuff? Only keep what she absolutly can't live without or just only the things she really needs. After all, you are the MOM..you make the rules! I know you said you tried it before but maybe it's time to re-visit the "prison-cell" look until she can respect the items she does have. Maybe have her donate the extra stuff to some other young girl who might really want and need the things that she does'nt use or get a chance to play with because there is just so much. It might make her feel good to be doing something nice for someone her own age, and it will allow you to see the light at the end of the tunnel!! Or find a way to organize it in a very simple way. In a way that will take her no time to put things in thier proper place in her room. I find that with my DH, if I don't make it simple for him, he takes the easy way out and just does whatever he wants with the stuff which is usually drop it wherever he is!!


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I think the rest of us are trying to say that every behavior doesn't need punishment, netshound. The child is only 8 and the OP is not saying she is breaking or trashing her toys. The prison cell look will teach her nothing! Mom doesn't have to mean dictator. Dictators usually find people eventually revolt. Giving away her toys because she can't keep a neat room will not result in the care of those less fortunate, only resentment.

Cleaning up a room is a skill, just like riding a bike. We run along side them when they learn to ride, just like we clean beside them for a long time while they learn to clean.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Take a deep breathe quiltglo-I'm not saying to punish the poor kid by giving her stuff away to the less fortunate, although I don't believe helping the less fortunate is a punishment. Children usually feel good when they help. I was just trying to say what I've heard alot of the "professionals" suggest on TV. Scale it back, see exactly what you have, maybe there are some things she can live without..especially if she has'nt played with them for awhile. There is nothing wrong with starting over. And as for my "prison-cell" comment, I was only referring to what the OP called it. And the OP actually said it worked for awhile so maybe it should be re-visited. Maybe it can be along those lines..just re-vised a little. As I said before in my post OP, keep the things she really loves. Or if it is everything, come up with a system that is very simple and makes it quick to put things away. I don't think kids mean to be messy, they are just the busiest bodies on the face of the planet!! They are doing one thing and already thinking of something else. I wish I had half that energy! I think quiltglo is reading me wrong, I feel your pain! I really was just giving you some suggestions, none of which was to punish your angel. I'm kind of going thru that here but the biggest mess maker is my DH!! Now with him, I actually did threaten punishment!! I told him if he loves his clothes...don't leave them in a pile on the bathroom floor, put them on the hooks on the door or they will come up missing!! LOL! Good Luck with your organizing!


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Koala,
I feel your pain. I have an obsessively neat 14yo DS and an 11 year old DD who is not lazy but has the propensity to be the worlds biggest slob. When she was about 6 or 7 I started training her to keep her room really clean. It's mostly good now, but it was a long haul and my patience was tested many, many times. Here is what worked for me:

1) I helped her get her room really clean and then we took pictures of it from all angles. I posted the pictures on her bulletin board and when I tell her to clean her room, she is to make it look like it does it the pictures. This tricked has helped the most by far--she has something visual to help her check her progress and figure out what to do next.

2) When she was really little, I finally figured out she didn't know what I meant when I said "clean your room" so I made a list of tasks for her to do in order: 1) put away all the clothes and shoes 2) put away all the books, 3) put away all the dolls 4) put away all the craft supplies 5) make the bed. She loved the check list and focusing on the categories helped her to focus on each smaller task instead of being overwhelmed by the whole big picture.

3)And this would have been difficult for me but thankfully DH and DD are morning people--she usually has to have her room cleaned up before coming out for breakfast in the morning before school. My DH is the morning/breakfast person and has tons of patience, so this worked really great for both of my kids. I am the one who drives DD to school though and a few times in 6 years, I have actually taken her 5-10 minutes late because she didn't get everything done--I know this won't work for some kids but my DD HATES being late. So, she really learned to organize her time in the morning and also learned that we REALLY meant what we said.

Finally, and I know this wouldn't work with some people's homes--but both of my kids have VERY few toys in their bedrooms--we've always kept most of their toys in our basement family room in built in storage we have there--that way I'm more likely to see what's out and remind them to pick up AND keeping their rooms clean is much easier. They do have books and music in their bedrooms and my daughter had her dolls and my DS had his legos but everything else was downstairs.

Also, since we have a defined space for toys, we've always had a rule that whatever they have has to fit in the toy closet--once that have stuff that won't fit neatly, some stuff has to go--they've always helped decide and that has really helped us keep control of the amount of junk we have.

Good Luck! I love reading about other people's strategies!
Theresa


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Thanks for the feedback. I think I am just at sheer frustration point. In case you wondered, I don't call her names. I ask her things like How does the room make you feel? is it relaxing? Is it easy to live in? Does it feel frustrating when you can't find your XYZ? This is your space, how would you like it? I do get the grumps at times, especially when her explosion starts spilling into the hall (not uncommon!).

I have tried lots of the ideas- eg the photos of what the room/ draw should look like, a step by step list, a routine- which she has responded to a little.

As I work outside the home 4 days a week I find time juggling difficult, I need to find a good time in the routine to add "Teach DD to be tidy".

I have a small window that might work- I arrive home with DD at 3.15- she (with plenty of reminders...) gets changed, puts clothes in washer and empties school bag. While she does this I usually run to take the washing off the line and prep afternoon tea. Usually 3.30ish I am done. My other two bus it home and arrive at 3.45ish. The gap between 3.35 and 3.45 might work- it's short, the other children aren't there yet to distract. I need to get tougher and say NO TV until all afternoon tea is done and all after school routines are done. Also, DD tends to get distracted by her cat- maybe she can't keep the cat out until the older 2 get home and we are cued to stop tidying.

I was thinking of breaking her pocket money into a daily amount that she can put into the jar when she does her 10 minutes of tidying... good reward? any other reward ideas? Or should TV and cat time be reward enough?

Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Koala,
I think small rewards--TV and the cat are always a good thing. But, I would also add that she just doesn't get to do ANYTHING else--no TV, no phone calls, no playing, no cat, no snacks (or tea), no dinner, etc--until she has finished whatever it is you told her to do--if it takes her 10 minutes or 5 hours, that's OK. The key is you have to stay completely unemotional about it--make her think that either way is fine with you. Your DD might be different from mine but I never had any luck with connecting her required chores to $$--I don't think younger kids have enough long term vision to care about getting a dollar or two a day--and frequently there wasn't anything my daughter wanted to buy anyway. (As a side note, we used to keep a "Help Wanted" list with corresponding wages next to each task on the refrigerator door--when my kids did want money they could choose from a long list of jobs which weren't their usual chores and earn pocket money that way--they loved that plan. I need to do it again I think, but I'm afraid they're smart enough now that I'd have to pay more!)

I learned a great lesson many years ago from a book I read called "How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk". If I remember right, (I hope I'm not remembering another book) the key to getting your kids to obey you is not to talk about what you want them to do until you are blue in the face--explain to them ONCE why they have to do something and what the consequences will be if they choose otherwise and then that is ABSOLUTELY it--no more talking about it all. If you are completely consistent and nonemotional about sticking to the consequences, without any lectures attached, eventually your DD will learn that it is easier to just do what she is supposed to do. If nothing else, she is old enough that the afternoon hunger pangs will probably kick her into high gear!
Theresa


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I became a stepmom when my SS was 8 (now almost 12). I can definetly vouch that if I told him to "clean his room" he wouldn't have a clue as to what to do. He needs very specific instructions and a set time limit. So I set a timer and ask him to sort through his magazines (or clean his desk, or make his bed and put away laundry, or pick up the floor and put things away)for 15 minutes. I hand him a box and a bag and tell him that anything he wants to give away should go in the box and to use the bag for trash.

He doesn't get any reward for doing it, but then again, it's only 15 minutes. And I wouldn't ask him to do this during his favorite TV show, but when he seems bored. Oh, but now that I'm thinking about it, I guess I often do this right before we leave the house to run errands, so he's tidying up while I'm getting ready and he knows he doesn't have time to really get involved in anything else. He also knows that I'll respect the time limit and that when the timer goes off he can wrap things up and not have to keep working.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Koala em, I hear you! I have a 7yo dd to whom I am trying to teach the rudiments of housekeeping, and it is a hard row to hoe.

Many excellent suggestions here. I find it so useful to break the mess down into it's parts: The drawing pad and crayons go in the art cupboard. Please put your dirty clothes in the hamper. No, it's not dirty if you put it on for 5 seconds. FOLD the clothes before they go in the drawers. Shoes on the shoe rack please.


She dislikes picking up after herself, but is happy to vacuum, help me fold laundry, put the clothes from the washer into the dryer, clear the table, etc. I play to her strengths, and we work together on what is hard for her - putting away toys (she seems to feel more comfortable with everything out where she can see it.)

What is depressing is seeing my neighbor who worked so hard to get her kids to be tidy - and it worked! until they got to be around 16...


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I find that my lazy 8yo needs something bad to happen to him if he doesn't do whatever it is he's supposed to do. Me being displeased with him is not enough. He needs to lose a toy, either for a while or for good, or stand in a corner for an hour, or something.We discovered this w/ him not doing his classwork, but it's true of every other area.

The "15 minutes" thing doesn't work--my kid will dawdle through his 15 minutes. I have to make it quantitative, not time related.

He's gotten training on how to break it down into units, and he is not overwhelmed by how much there is to do. He's just "not doing it" to see if he can eventually not have to do it at all. Nevermind that it eats up MORE of his day than just doing it quickly would...and he has to do it at the end anyway.

And his "negative consequence" has to be something that makes him cry. He can weather having fewer toys--he's just happy w/ whatever is left. We had to take EVERYTHING away, and I mean everything, to ge thim to pay any attention.

It IS frustrating to have to be the bad guy. but for my kid, that's the only thing that will work. Rewards help some, but not enough. I try to combine them--reward if you do, punishment if you don't.

But I can't keep inventing rewards, and at a certain point, I don't want to have to reward him as the only way to get him to do the few things he's REQUIRED to do (clean his room, fold his clothes, do him classwork and homework). So sometimes it's just that I find the thing he wants most to do and take it away from him.

And *I* can't be lazy if I'm trying to enforce my orders. I can't do anything else, really--certainly nothing absorbing. (that's one of my frustrations with this). but i can't slack off. I have to think of "training DS to be tidy" and "training DS to do his classwork" as jobs worthy of my undivided attention the way cleaning the bathroom is.

And I find that it's easier if the room cleaning happens OFTEN. Then it just can't take so long, because not as much stuff is all over the floor. I try to make them do it daily.

As for cleaning his room--I have him "do a dozen." He has to take a little plastic basket and put 12 things into it. Then, he puts those 12 things away before the timer goes off.

there are other basics, of course: less stuff; easy-to-access storage; good labels. Revisiting those things, even if you think you've squared them away, might help a lot.

But I've found that I *can't* be "lazy" in terms of enforcing discipline, or my kids will be, DS especially.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I think we forget that a reward doesn't have to "be" something. Don't we usually feel the best when someone acknowledges that we make an effort or get something completed? Just saying "good job" is a reward. How many of us would appreciate if our families would acknowledge a dinner made or clean clothing, instead of just expecting it because that's what moms do? Don't we gripe that the family doesn't appreciate our efforts? Works the same with kids if you want positive behavior. Reward it.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Together DD and I did 15 minutes of tidying. I chose clothes as the first item to tidy. I am now washing the THIRD LOAD! An 8kg washer! BUT the good news is she responded well. I told her what would happen step by step this morning- home, changed etc. Then reminder when I collected her. I can see some carpet!!!!!!! She was OK with no reward- just cat time while she waited for me to get her afternoon tea.

Progress!
Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Just one question.

How easy is it to clean the girl's room?

The reason I ask is perhaps there isn't enough storage space or the daughter has become discouraged or frustrated by not being able to effectively tidy up and thus doesn't ever do it. If there were ample storage space that was easily accessable and easy to use maybe some closet or shelving or container system is the answer. If you worked together to make the room neater and more organized than the other kids, I think you got a shot at some long term success.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Reading Tally Sue's post reminded me that in the beginning, I did have some problems with SS "dawdling" his time away. There are consequences for not doing as you're told, and the timer does get reset then. If he hadn't done as asked, DH or I would stay in there to oversee his progress. That was pretty common back when he was 8, but now he just does it.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Reading these posts is fascinating 'cause I was that little girl about 50 years ago. My mom was always on my case to clean up my room, but I can't remember that she ever told me exactly what that meant - or why I had to do it except that the mess bothered her and she didn't want people to see how messy I was. It was a battle between us for years, and very painful for both of us. It was never really resolved until decades later, when she finally made her peace with the fact that my standards for mess were different than hers. (This is the same mom who, when she was about 81 and visiting me, told me in all seriousness one day that she, "just happened to pull out the refrigerator and found dust behind it." I told her I couldn't imagine how someone who weighed 120 pounds could "just happen" to do that! *lol*)

My point is that I so much appreciate hearing all the excellent suggestions to help your kids learn how to clean up in a non-judgemental way. I wish my mom had done that. All I can remember is thinking that it was supposed to be MY room and being tremendously resentful that I had to keep it to HER standards and wasn't allowed to just close the door. I'm still messy - some times moreso than others - but I have learned that mess isn't the worst thing in life and definitely not worth 1000 battles over. When my son was little I would close his door when the mess got too bad even for me, and it rarely became the battle it was when I was a kid.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

quirky, just having containers in place doesn't get it for people who aren't born organized. A system for putting things away has to be put in place. I had a terrible time until just five years ago, trying to get things put away and kept away. I logically knew what to do, but somehow that didn't result in a way my brain worked. Once the OP walks her dd through this for a few weeks, she will eventually get in a routine of putting her belongings away. Even though I've worked with my kids and they are really pretty good about putting things away, they still need some structured follow-up. We call it "room zooming" and everyone just runs around for a few minutes and gets their stuff put away. We still all do it together. We view the house as a family job, even though we are all responsible for private spaces like bedrooms.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I don't think you have to be born organized. Truthfully, as a kid I was locked in my room and not allowed to go out and play until I "cleaned up". At the end of the day my mother would come in and see that nothing was accomplished and she went on a rampage and started throwing everything out.

The problems with me was there was too much stuff and not enough places to put it where it was out of sight. I never thought I'd later in life be more organized than most but to this day I find myself coming home, plopping stuff down on the kitchen table or the counter or desk and going to do something else. Then after a week of this, I get the "piling effect" as I call it where every surface, table, counter has a pile of stuff on it. Even though I have places for everything, I do laze out from time to time. On friday, I fix that though. I leave no piles left standing! Maybe setting aside a couple of days each week to put stuff away would be alternate approac as opposed to just demanding the daughter put stuff away constantly. My excuse is that I'm pretty busy and living in a 3 story house means having to climb a lot of stairs to put stuff away but somehow having a set day to deal with it makes the whole idea of cleaning up less dreadful. But if I didn't have places to put the stuff, that would be much more difficult.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

- or why I had to do it except that the mess bothered her and she didn't want people to see how messy I was.

This is one of my pet peeves. I try so hard to make sure my kids understand the PRACTICAL reasons for keeping their rooms neat.

So they can find it; so it doesn't get broken; so that vacuuming is easier and can be started right away; so that they have room to play with NEW toys; so they don't lose as much time at ONE time havingn to pick so much stuff up.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I am not sure that storage is an issue. What I plan to do is get the carpet clean then assess what could change.
It is frustrating that she doesn't seem to care what her room is like. I suspect I will have to take that 'teach her' tactic. If I explain each day what, how and why we are doing the tidying hopefully at some stage I ask her what we do first and build her confidence... gradually decreasing the 1:1 support as she gains competence. FINGERS CROSSED!
I just find she does these odd things- for example yesterday with her school jacket- instead of putting it away (dreaming!) or chucking it on the carpet she had threaded one sleeve over the bedpost so it hung there. She is a bit unusual that way.

Do other people's kids do stuff like that?
Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

quirky said, "I don't think you have to be born organized. Truthfully, as a kid I was locked in my room and not allowed to go out and play until I "cleaned up". At the end of the day my mother would come in and see that nothing was accomplished and she went on a rampage and started throwing everything out. " Wow, not my parenting style, nor was it my mothers' who is now 88.

Koala, I do think that this is a skill which has to be learned, which also means you will have to be the teacher. I'm sure my kids don't care if their room is clean and neat, but since it's an expectation just like taking out the trash or cutting the grass, then it's my job as a parent to get the desired behavior. I don't see it as any different than getting homework done, etc.

I still think the best way is to do short amounts of time on a daily basis. This reinforces the behaviors of putting the items away.Just image what your sink would be like if you decided to deal with the dishes only a couple of times a week. Even waiting a few days is too long and there is a mess to clean. I've found that my kids put up almost everything now after a few years of regular pick-up times. We don't wait for a mess. Even if there is just a couple of things, we deal with them daily. My youngest is six, so any age can learn this, it just takes time.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

My mom had a no fail system. I was always the worst for leaving my clothes lying around, i.e., over the banister, on the furniture. To this day I still don't put my dirty dress clothes in a hamper. My hangup. Anyway, my mom got tired of not being able to see the furniture or the banister and she kept telling me to pick up my clothes. I of course kept ignoring her. Then she got the bright idea to throw them in the middle of the sidewalk outside. I know that sounds drastic, but believe me it worked. No more clothes lying around after that!! My mom was a woman of her word. She gave ample warning before she followed through. HA! Seriously, make sure there are enough storage solutions for your daughter's things, i.e., containers, hooks, etc. Also, offer to make-over her room. They may give her the incentive to keep it nice. Maybe you could fix it so she could have friends over to hang out. I saw on some of the HGTV shows where they turned the little girls rooms into entertainment areas also by pushing the bed up against the wall and putting throw pillows so the bed doubled as a sofa. That's just one example.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

My Mom had a no fail system also...you did it because she told you to!! LOL!! Thats all it took for all of us 6 kids. We were'nt rewarded with anything. We just did it because we were told. We new that's what was expected of us. And to this day..no resentment for being strict with us. I love her to death, she's my best friend! I guess you can't get a simpler system than that! LOL!! Love ya Mom!!


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

LOL! I'm the messy daughter of an incredibly neat and organized Mom. Although I do clean up nowadays (with 4 kids I have too), I still take great pleasure in throwing my clothes on the FLOOR every evening. While I do pick them up in the morn, knowing I don't have to hang them right away is just a great feeling.

My ideosyncrasies aside, try making the clean up fun - she can bop along to music (zydeco anyone?) or play "beat the clock." Set a timer and see if she can finish in before the timer goes off. Over time, you can lower the time on the timer. This was a great motivator for my kids when they dawdled over a task.

Good luck.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

bruteses! Ha! Maybe we are related somehow.

When I was about 8 and my mom was tired of yelling at me to clean up my room she said that she was going to throw everything on the floor outside.

I didn't clean my room and when I got off the school bus that afternoon all my clothing and toys were all over the front lawn for everyone to see! I was SO embarrased! I had to pick up everything off the front lawn.

Kids know how to clean, they aren't doing it because they don't want to. Cleaning isn't fun. grown-ups don't even want to do it. If their clothes don't make it to the hamper, then they don't get cleaned. If you can't see the floor of the room then maybe friends are not allowed to come over. You need to give a them a reason to clean. You can't just say to clean because it should be clean. That doesn't work.

-renee


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Em, I'm glad you're making some progress. It sounds like the two of you are on the right path.

Being neat and tidy is something that comes easily to some and is a totally foreign concept to others. Kids in the first group are easy to train, but that second group can learn also. It just takes a lot more effort, sort of like teaching a dyslexic child to read. The child may have a great work ethic, and fine intelligence, but needs different, and far more careful instruction to learn to read.

Anyway, I started this post because the discussion reminded me of the time that I was told to clean my room, so shoved everything under the bed. I don't remember how old I was, but honestly expected that to be OK. I proudly showed Mom my room, and she was utterly flabbergasted! Not sure how old I was then.


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Add storage or ditch stuff?

The floor is still clear! (Yeah!)
1/2 the closet is cleared.
The other half will be attempted today.
Under the bed is still on the agenda! luckily there alot of big items (like folded doll prams, vacumn clothes bags)under there so it shouldn't be too bad. Top of tallboy... that's later!

Now I am trying to look at her room with "kid's eyes". Putting away must be hard- as there isn't much storage compared to amount of stuff.

She has quite alot of clothing really. Alot of Barbies and Bratz and stuffed toys 'my little pony' Mc Donald toys etc. Art supplies by the truckload- BUT no desk- a desk won't fit in her room!
The closet has two shelves above my shoulder height where I keep her bed linen and some boxes of toys. She can't reach them to put away (or take them out!). Under shoulder height it is all hanging space with a small trolley on wheels which currently holds the arts stuff and shoes (not successfully- they all spill out everywhere).
There is a wide tallboy and a narrow tall boy all full of clothes, and the bed. She has a small child's table and chair which has to sit essentially wherever it'll fit- often butting up to the bed in the middle of the room. There is also a large dolls house that her grandparents gave her last Christmas (So I can't ditch it- or can I?) which sits infront of the window (full height and right near my front door!).

I am wondering if I should splurge on one of those beds with draw storage under and a roll out desk? Ditch the bigger tall boy and make half of the hanging into proper solid shelves? OR a maybe a loft bed with existing tall boy plus a desk under it?
Perhaps I need to ditch more clothes? Or put out of season clothes in the top shelves in the closet and toys boxes in our family room cupboards?

Any thoughts about storage?
Would some photos of the space help? It is a small room, but at least there is a double built in closet.

Any storage ideas that have worked for other kids?

Em

scryn- LOL! I have to say I have actually done that with school bags! The children are to hang them on their bag hooks in their rooms. Well, I ask, ask, ask and the bags sit on the familyroom floor. Not anymore... I say "At (specify time) I am throwing any bags still in the familyroom into the backyard." I have done it- I open the door and fling it out. Now they put their bags away!


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Do you think these same tactics will work on a husband?


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Just some things that are working for me, at the moment.

I have found that if I tell my DS 14yo, in the morning before he gets on the school bus...."this afternoon, can you please vacuum your room". "this afternoon, we will change the sheets on your bed".

Just very simple, and it seems to work. He seems to like planning what will happen. I lurk around helping a bit, but letting him do most of the work.

You have to be consistant.

On the other hand DD 19yo, was well trained in tidying bedroom, is now a disaster !! So what can you do.

There are other threads about this on the parenting forum.

Sometimes I think the kids just have too many things. Its that old consumer mentality.

Try not to stress out too much, remember your daughter is lovely and you love her.

Popi


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Putting away must be hard- as there isn't much storage compared to amount of stuff.

There is her problem ... either too little storage or too much stuff. Remember, the Shaker saying was not "everything stuffed someplace", it was "A place for everything, and everything in its place."

Chat with her and ask her if the problem is too much stuff or too little storage. She might have some good ideas.


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Update

The room has been cleaned.
Each afternoon before the older siblings come home we spend 10-15 minutes together. Once the room is tidy, we read a novel together (this has proved a motivator to keep the room clean).

So far, so good.
I am also reinforcing a positive message. "Wow, look at how tidy you have kept your room!" "How is it now for playing in?" (I have 'more space' she tells me) "What about finding your toys?" -it's easy because all the Bratz are in one box... etc etc

Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I'm glad to hear this is going well. I really do think the rewards (positive statements, reading together) make a big difference. We all thrive on being told "good job."

I'm curious as to how many toys/clothing really left the space and if you had to get her any additional storage containers.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Excellent job -- both of you!!! :)

Positive reinforcement can go sooo well!! :)

Way to go!


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Em,

Great progress! A loft bed may be the way to go, just remember the sheets are a major pain to change, and the lofts you buy usually come with 2 beds (which you probably don't have room for). If you're handy with tools you can build your own. Lofts are popular in college dorms (students have limited floor space and usually put their desk & refrigerator under them or whatever) so you should be able to get good plans somewhere on the internet. (Check your ceiling height!)

I also used the idea of putting small-pieced toys up high so the kids had to ask to get them down. That gave me the opportunity to remind them to put away the previous toys first--no mixing of legos and k'nex!

I would also suggest that you limit your daughter's wardrobe for the next few years to make it easier to put things away. It's lots easier to put away clean clothes when the drawer isn't already stuffed full of socks.

Congratulations on the improvement!

Julie


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Thanks Gloria, teacats and Julie.
Together what we did was reassign some spaces. A trolley that previously contained shoes on the top shelf and art on the next 2 shelves is now for art only. A tub that had lots of Mc D toys, hair ties, scrap paper, ribbons, bratz shoes, a stray alien or two (you get the picture!) and other such clutter was emptied and much of it tossed out- the tub now holds just the shoes. I did bring a new tub in for her favourite soft toys. It just fits under the bed- which works well as she can't stuff anything under the bed as the tub is in the way. PLUS all those soft toys aren't scattered over her bed anymore. Only one special one. But she is happy as she can pull the tub out and play with the others then put them away back in the tub.

What seems to help is building her sense of pride. She couldn't wait to show our neighbour's daughter her clean room. Grandma was also a great acknowledging her efforts when she showed the room off to her.

I agree with the idea about clothes. I tend to keep hand me downs from her sister, and what I need to do is be extremely selective about what I keep and what is passed on to charity. That way she can have her own taste in clothes more too.

I do like the idea of a loft bed. It would mean she could have a desk to do homework and art. I do dread the idea of changing she sheets as you mentioned Julie! : )

Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Em,

If you go with the loft, remember to consider the lighting she'll need for a desk. A desk lamp will work, but you'll have to be VERY clear on how sheets and blankets from the bed above can never fall on the lamp. (I'm the paranoid mama--ask anybody!)

We always labeled sizes on hand-me-down clothing boxes and stored them in the attic. We pulled them out in August (to check for school clothes) and May (to check for summer clothes). I also became very selective in what I kept, then very selective about what was later added to DS #2's wardrobe (a boy can only wear so many sweatshirts!).

Julie


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

As for making the bed, Lands End has sheets that have elastic on the base of the top sheet.

We had one of these and it was indeed a pain to make up. One thing I would suggest is to keep enough room on either end for you to stand up and tuck things in.

The mattress is also quite hard. My daughter soon asked for a better bed as it caused her to ache all over. It's probably ok for a skinny kid, but it seems we heavier folks require a better mattress. Just MHO.

Way to go on tackling this so well. I wish I had had the ideas of doing it like you had.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I loved reading your stories.

I am the messy daughter of a neat mother. My mother was a teacher at the same elementary school that I went to. I was an excellent student and her teacher friends would tell my mother how wonderful I was. She would say thank you, but you should see her room! They didn't believe it. So one day, while I was sitting on the floor on top of a pile of clothes doing my homework and talking on the phone, she burst in the room and took a picture. I still have that picture today!

Needless to say, the reason that I came here is that I still have organizational problems. I have a husband and son who are very neat, and my other son and I are the unorganized ones.

I agree that children don't know where to begin. I am very ADD when it comes to a room like that and I want everything to be perfect. So I start on an area, and when I go and carry it to another, I start something new there. This goes on until I have little piles everywhere and it's time to go to bed or company is coming so I stash it the away and I'm back at square one. My young son is the same.

The 15 minute ideas was great. I think that it's wonderful that you "helped" rather than just doing it (that's what my mom eventually did) and that you are teaching her how to do it. Want to come over to help me???


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I bought my son a loft bed, while it is great for organization. I HATE changing the sheets, which I do frequently since he is a nighttime "puker". No putting a bucket next to the loft bed...

Changing the sheets is a nightmare since I cannot get up there. Great for a computer area though. There are pros and cons...


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

A friend and I had give some thoughts to loft beds, since our kid's rooms aren't overly large. We both still do nighttime routines with our kids of taking a few minutes to tuck them in and sit for some kisses and hugs. The loft bed would disrupt that, so we decided to just continue decluttering. I know as I got older, my bed was my favorite spot to read. I didn't have a bunk type bed until college and we took that apart pretty fast after finding out we couldn't lounge around and talk.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Julie- you won't believe what the neighbour just gave DD- a big bag of CLOTHES! Some are very cute, but OMG! Thanks for the tip about lamps and fire risk. Especially important if I/she get slack and it degrades to a mess again. (So far, so good)
rockyn- those sheets sound good- I could take that idea and stick some elastic on her current sheets to make the bottom fitted- I must admit I have always wondered why they weren't like that anyway! Luckily for DD she is actually underweight, but she will soon grow.
kristen- loved your post. BTW it's not in your name, my other DD is a Kristyn and is neat as a pin! Bit far to commute from down under, but I find "flylady" is a great inspiration to me. Funny about your ADD comment- my DD is an absolute fidgeter, never sitting still. I think that plays as a factor in her ability to concentrate on tidying up. That's also why the 10-15 minute approach seems to suit her.
klimkm- I know this sounds a bit 'ugly' but could you mount a hook on the wall and put a bucket there at night?
Gloria- your comments about the lounging factor are important to us too. That cuddle time is so crucial, as is reading time.

What about one of those lower beds with drawers under, then the place where the tall boy of drawers are could become a desk space? Sort of a compromise? We have some beds locally that sit about hip height and include a roll out desk- now that would have to make her pack it up, as it can't roll back in unless it's clear- that said, as she ages homework isn't always finished in one sitting...

Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I obviously am avoiding going to bed. I had a captain's bed for one of my sons. Another of those "hate 'em or love 'em" things. Everytime I walked up to the bed, I kicked into the drawer section.

How about bed risers, so that you could use deeper under the bed storage? Also, how important is it that she do homework at a desk in her room? We still do homework at the kitchen table and anyone having trouble concentrating goes into the living room. All of my kids have desks in their rooms. None of them like to go there alone and work. I'm about ready to get rid of the one in my dd's room since she's actually using it as a nightstand. Does anyone's kids really use a desk?

Gloria

Here is a link that might be useful: bed risers


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

we switched to bunk beds, and immeidately I missed being able to hug my DD at bedtime (she's on the top bunk); she was 10 and getting less "huggy," but I could get in bed and snuggle w/ her in the mornings when i woke her up, or hug her at bedtime.

now it seems I never touch her, since when she's up and around, she doesn't really want to be hugged.

and I find we launder the sheeets much less.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

ah, close the door. when she runs out of stuff-- tell you think its in her room. nothing new for her-she has enough.
only wash what she sends to the laundry, don't let her wear dirty clothes out of the house. eventually it will work. in the meantime close the door. Out of sight, out of mind.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

My daughter is 18. she just graduated high school, decided to work full-time at a great job (in a day care center) rather than go to college. She's been working a lot all summer. She hasn't washed her clothes in weeks, there were knee-high piles of clothes in her room, both clean and dirty. She spilled some baby powder on top of one the piles. And her cat occasionally urinates on a pile, I guess to "mark" its territory. Her dad told her she must clean her room this weekend,but it never happened. He got so disgusted, he picked evrything off the floor and threw it down the stairs. It landed in a giant heap in a hallway. I left it there. Daughter came in tonight, looked at the mess and said "what's this?" I told her she has until Wednesday night to get rid of it all. Anything left in the hall will be in the garbage can for Thursday morning garbage pick-up. She went up to her room and was very quiet. I went in to see her, found her sitting on the floor with papers all around her. She decided, that, now that she can see her floor, she'll clean up. She's doing her desk first. Then I hope she'll take me seriously (for once) and go through all the clothes. I might even help her out by doing some laundry for her while she's at work. I think the shock of seeing her room clear of the clothes-clutter really helped. Sometimes you just need to get a jump-start. I am posting this because I feel a lot of love and a lot of hope for her. Miracles do happen.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

One of the skills needed in adulthood it making the time to take care of personal needs. Maybe you could help her purge the clothing so there won't be so much to get dirty. She obviously has too many clothes if she can go that long. If she lets everything get dirty, it's too overwhelming. I wouldn't do her laundry, though. She isn't working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, so she needs to make it a priority. We usually only change if life gets uncomfortable enough. I know it's tough to watch as a mom, but 18 is old enough to be doing this. Hugs to you.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Em--So how goes the clothes? I hope you took what your daughter needed from the neighbor pile and passed them on.

Talley Sue--I have one non-huggy teen son. He developed an alternative to connect with each another. When we pass by each other, we touch fists. Strange but true. It's our "special" thing.

Jannie--See if you can get your daughter to adopt some of the Flylady principals. I really like the routines that can keep housecleaning (or bedroom cleaning) from becoming a major ordeal.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Please dont take this the wrong way but I certainly hope that you didnt tell your daughter that she is the laziest person in the universe. Describing her behavior in such a fashion or threatening to give all her belongings away isnt going to accomplish anything beyond a bit of temporary satisfaction for your ego. When you use words like "lazy" you are describing the person not the behavior and you have to separate the two if you want to accomplish your goal of helping your daughter to keep her room clean.

Whether 8 or 80 every person wants to feel good about themselves. There are essentially four kinds of feedback:

Positive "Thanks for cleaning your room"
Negative "Your room is a mess, I dont know why youre such a slob"
Corrective "Im glad to see you put away your toys, now can you make your bed?"
None [silence]

Of the four, no feedback is the absolutely worst thing you can do. Your daughter has no idea where she stands. Her position is left to her imagination and if youve employed negative feedback in the past, shell likely interpret your lack of feedback as being negative, even if it isnt. Negative feedback isnt much better. Try to use corrective feedback where you include something positive in the feedback.

These will sound like clichs but "emphasis the positives, downplay the negatives" and "praise in public, correct in private". Find positive things in her behavior and praise them, in public. That doesnt mean you have to take a out a full page ad in the newspaper or throw a party but a simple "thank you" in front of siblings or father can go a long way towards reinforcing positive behavior.

This might sound a little crazy but you need to have a meeting with your daughter where you can discuss the problem (not her) and come up with a solution that works for the both of you. As a parent you have the absolute right to establish reasonable expectations for your daughters behavior. Asking her to keep her room neat isnt unreasonable but she also needs to understand why you consider it important.

Try to have the meeting in as non-confrontational a way as you can manage and have it in a positive setting. Maybe you take her out for lunch or just the two of you talk over an afternoon snack. Calmly and non-judgmentally explain your concerns and why they are important to you. Make sure she understands by asking open-ended questions that cant be answered by a simple yes or no. Instead of asking, "Do you understand why its important to Mommy for you to keep your room clean?" ask "Can you explain why Mommy thinks its important to keep your room clean?"

Then ask her for ways that she can help to keep her room clean. At that point its best to keep quiet and let your daughter do the talking. Silence can be a very effective tool in these kinds of discussions. Once you get hear some of her ideas, offer some of your own. The idea is to come to an agreement on a course of action but she needs to "buy into" the plan. Once youve developed a plan, summarize the discussion and course of action and thank her for helping.

Now its up to you to keep her on track. Again, keep things positive. Maybe the plan includes her cleaning for 15 minutes each day. For the first week you may need to help her for 14 of those 15 minutes. The following week, maybe 12 or 13 minutes. Or maybe the plan includes cleaning up before transitioning to the next activity. For some period of time you may need to remind her that the paints need to be cleaned up before she starts playing with Barbie. Help her to do that, keeping things positive. Dont forget to praise in public and correct in private.

Remember you trying to change a behavior that didnt develop overnight and wont be fixed overnight. Your daughter isnt lazy but rather has developed some bad habits. Its your job as a parent to help her develop good habits.

Remember too, that you need to lead by example. If you room is a mess, you cant reasonably expect for her room to be clean.

Good luck!

Mike


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Mike - I want to thank you for your thoughtful post. My particular mess-making dd is 7. It is hard to remember to be thankful that she put all the dress-up clothes away when she has immediately replaced them with a pile of books and toys, but I need to remember to do this. And, I think it would be helpful for us to have a discussion along the lines you sugggested (me doing most of the listening.)

I do think 15 minutes is a long time for a little girl - in another post someone said they took a jumprope and made a circle, and asked that everything in that circle be put away. I thought that was a clever idea. Ideally, she should get into the habit of putting things away after they're used, then it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to tidy what's left. The trick is getting her into the habit.

I can relate to Em's frustration, and I don't think it necessarily translates into being harsh and negative. I get fed up when I have cleared the dining room table and 30 minutes later in looks as if an entire kindergarten class has been having their way with it, but I don't yell about it.

Em - I don't think you mentioned if your dd is an only child? Mine is, and I think this contributes to the problem. Instead of having 2,3,4 children who all understand they are the kids and have to follow the rules, I have one kid who doesn't understand why her behavior has to be controlled. She pretty much considers herself an autonomous being, and when I ask her to do something she wonders why I don't boss Daddy around that way (or why she can't tell me to go pick up all the toys.) It was the same thing with getting her on a regular night-time schedule - when you have a crew of kids is pretty clear that it's bath-brush-story-lights out, but with just one soldier it's a little harder to be the Commander in Chief.

I don't consider her spoiled (we're quite firm about most things) but there is a different kind of relationship between onlies and their parents.

It doesn't help that she is not only OUR only child, but the only child in a family of 16 aunts and uncles. You can just imagine the birthdays and Christmases!

Any others with only children who have these issues?


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

postum,

Just make sure she has to write thank you notes for all those gifts! That tends to deflate a sense of entitlement.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

It doesn't help that she is not only OUR only child, but the only child in a family of 16 aunts and uncles. You can just imagine the birthdays and Christmases!

boy, *I* have that issue!


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Did not read this whole thread. (Will when I have more time.)

I have daughter (older) and a son (younger).

I frequently tell my daughter she has "OCS" - Only Child Syndrome - because at times, her attitude is similar to one postum describes. She needs to be picked up at a certain time: "Did you forget you have a brother who may also need something at that particular time?" The logistics always somehow work out, but her automatically assuming her needs come first is something she needs to work on. It's not even that she believes this to be true. She simply forgets there are others to consider.

Also, sometimes when she is getting something for herself (usually in the kitchen) and her brother is having the same thing, she will get only ONE of what both of them want/need. Either a glass...or a bowl...or utensils. Again, she just doesn't think. OCS.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

My BIL had that "I'm the only one in the equation" problem--he's the youngest by 7 years or so, and his big brother (my DH) was pretty self-sufficient. And his mom is a big enabler.

He wanted DH to drive him back to college (he refused to get a driver's license). I told him, bcs DH & I had jointly decided it, "you need to leave now, at 5pm, because by 8, it's going to be a really storm night."

Oh, he says--it's only a 2.5- to 3-hour drive.

"yes," I say, "and my husband will be driving HOME on the area's twistiest, least-well-lit, and narrowest highway during the peak of the storm!"

Once he was there, the trip was over, in his mind.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

The 'good news' part of the story. DD has kept her room tidy. Each afternoon she comes home, gets changed then cleans her room. I usually give a prompt- eg 'I know you'll check under the bed too' and now she has a habit of a quick cleanup the room is staying tidy. I am so proud of her.

Mike, thanks for that interesting post. I will ASSURE you I am very careful about labels I say to and infront of DD, and am mindful of not letting my own feelings shadow the big picture of getting her to learn the skills she needs. The 'laziest daughter in the universe' is my own feeling rather than a label I attriubute to her directly. I have been trying to build the positives when she packs up with phrases that motivate her instrinsically- reflecting on her ownership of the space- "How does it look to you?" "What do you like best about having a tidy room?"
Some external acknowledgement has also proved motivational for her- grandma visiting and seeing the clean room etc.
I also think that you are right, it is a habit and it can be changed. Lazy daughter is linked directly to me being a busy working mother, and I have had to make her habit building a #1 priority.

postum- She is the last of 3, with a 4 year gap between her and the middle child. So she is in some ways like an only child and likes to be 'the littlest' and try and get away with things when she can.

talley_sue- I spoke to DD about the 'hug' factor of a taller bed and she suddenly started rethinking the splendor of the whole idea. That was a great reflection on a negative aspect of that type of bed, thanks.

maura- LOL! OCS! What a riot! That describes my DD13... but that's a WHOLE NEW POST! Nothing to do with organisation in the home, maybe suited to a forum on 'self centred teenage madams'? Her motto for life "It's all about ME". The getting of a glass etc concept- exactly the same. BUT let me add, DD13 would be equally mortified if either sibling DARE to omit getting her a plate or glass! (How terribly selfish of them!) LOL

Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Em, just view it like table manners. You prompt for something like 15 years. How many years do we say, "Keep your hands off the walls." My kids are really good with this, but the prompts are still part of the process. One nice thing from a parenting view is now you are getting positive results from those prompts. Much less stressful.

I've been watching the "only" or entitlement posts. Interesting. I had an only for 10 years and can't say that he ever had those behaviors. Maybe we just see it more in the personality of the only since there isn't as much to distract up like when there are siblings? It sure isn't a pretty personality trait in an adult, as demonstrated in Talley's BIL. I think we all know someone like that. I just can't figure out how they survive without the world kicking them in the behind, big time. They must get positive reinforcement for their behavior somewhere.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Koala,

Please take this in the spirit its intended, when you "think" or "feel" your daughter is "laziest daughter in the universe" its very easy for those feelings to come across to her. You may not be consciously saying those things but your tone, choice of words, sentence structure, etc. may portray that feeling to her.

Its extremely important to remember that she had a bad habit; shes not a bad person. You job as a parent is to instill good habits. The best way to do that is through positive feedback. It sounds like youre on the right track, keep going! Giving her some "ownership" of her room is a great idea too!

Im not a working Mom but I can (or at least try to) appreciate the challenges you face. Its not easy after a long day at work to come home and just be a Mom. Unfortunately its something you have to do. I dont want to sound like Im offering too much solicited advise but you might want to consider some kind of "transitional" period on the way home from work. Maybe you stop at a park and spend a few minutes using some self-relaxation techniques that would allow you to help reduce the stress of the workday and transition from working-mom to mom-mom.

Mike


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Sounds like a case of 'over-consumerism' on *your* part~STOP. Stop buying clothes, toys, books, crayons, games, dolls/clothes, puzzles~she needs to learn to A-P-P-R-E-C-I-A-T-E, that's appreciate.

My children are adults, and I remember buying them one special thing per MONTH. These days if a kid doesn't get something new every week they'll almost accuse you of child abuse.

Tell her things are going to change, and she'll be able to choose ONE item per month, but DO have a price limit~Christmas only comes once a year.

Give her time instead of things. Love cannot be bought with a pair of designer jeans on an ipod. And don't feel guilty. Remember, you're raising this child to live in a world where she can't always have everything she wants. ;o)

patty_cakes


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Hi, I had posted about the 18-year old Laziest daughter who hadn't washed clothes in two months. She finally cleaned her room. I helped by washing all the clothes she had on the floor. Five loads over three days. But she did all the rest, organoiized her desk and closet and shelves. She put all her clean clothes away. In the process, out went six bags of garbage, a lot of clothing donated to charity, and a big box of stuff went over to boyfriend. Not sure what she threw and gave away, but at least her room is neat and liveable. And we can see her carpet again!


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Jannie
That moment when you finally see the carpet... what a good feeling.
Good on you helping her tackle the bedroom beast!

Em


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I have one daughter and 3 stepsons - all ages 8 to 10. We usually have 1 to 10 neighbor kids over a few days every week as well. I have a two story house plus a finished basement. The kids get the basement as their play area. The main level is the adults refuge. Rule - No toys are allowed on the main level at the end of each night. Any toys left on the main level will be put into a take-away box. The kid has to work them off if he wants it back. If they don't want to work for the toy, then it goes to Goodwill or in the trash after two weeks. Work is things like taking a wet rag and cleaning the hardwood floor or walls, raking the yard (nothing easy, but something they can do).

When the floor is piled full of toys, it is impossible to vacuum. Once each week they have to pick everything off the floor (downstairs and their bedroom) so I can vacumm. I found picking up the toys and clothes was much more work than vacuuming so I tended to let the vacuuming go before. Now, I'll tell them the day before and remind them again before I get ready to vacuum. It is their responsibility to pick everything off the floor. If it is left on the floor, it is immediately put in the Goodwill pile or put in the trash. I have found that this helps keep the amount of toys in check so they can keep them up and really sends a quick message that they have to take responsibility for taking care of their things. It has also taught them the value of work (hands seem to stay off walls better when they know they will be cleaning them later.

It is harder to teach them how to complete their task well than it would be to do it myself, but I know it will be much better in the long run. If they have a few things in the take-away box and the work has been good with minimal complaints, I might reward them with more than what they worked off and compliment them on a job well done. I do believe in providing positive rewards too! and bragging on them when they go above and beyond.

One other thing. I keep a large plastic container in each room so they have a place to put toys off the floor. They are allowed to keep the amount of toys that will fit in the container in their room. All other toys have to be kept in the basement where I have more storage options and room.

While my method may seem harsh, it works... and my wife and I have don't yell at them to get them to do something. We tell them what needs done, give them time to do it and then take action as necessary. If you say you will throw it away if they don't clean it up, you should mean it. I sent a stereo to Goodwill last weekend.

We also have one additional way to get things done in a timely manner. Almost all kids, when given the choice would like to stay up later than they should. Each child has a bedtime, but if they act out, break a rule, or won't do somthing, they are given a strike and each strike requires them to go to bed 15 minutes early. It is not uncommon for a child to lose a hour of more if they keep acting out. If sent to bed, it's either lights out or they may read a book. This has been a great technique to stop temper tandrums (maybe not the first one or two, but eventually they get the message). We have one boy that is a worker and three that are on the lazy side, but I've found they are ALL capable of doing a good job.

I do need to spend more time with them on organizing things in their room as mentioned in previous posts. When left on their own, they will just pile it on top of things in the room (but its off the floor).

I watch all those HGTV shows where they neatly organize things into bins and cabinets, but you have to get the kids to use the storage areas and keep the amount of toys in check so everything will fit easily(note-kids will need twice the amount of storage an adult does because they don't pack stuff nice and neat). They tend to do things the quick and easy way (some things never change).


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

jim, we have frequent neighborhood kids in the house, also. One thing I've done, and it really helps, is to set a timer for 5 min. before leave time. Everyone has to pick up before they leave. That way everyone who played with the stuff takes some responsibility and my kids don't end up with a big mess at the end of the day.

Same with cups and plates. I don't mind if the kids eat or drink in the living room, but everyone is expected to take their dishes or trash and put it where it belongs. I figure the neighborhood kids will be around for a long time, so I might as well put a little effort in right now. They get the idea quickly and I've never had anyone balk.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I'm new to the boards here but in reading this thread, it feels to me that "Karen" and "Gloria" both have the right idea. I can clearly remember when my own daughter was, well scary messy and I did the whole bit of making a game out of straightening up and the side by side cleaning and by the time she was oh 10ish her room was neat as could be but THEN the teen years arrived and it was deja vu for me and I can remember actually stressing about how she would manage when out on her own or if she'd end up living in a sty---my worries were needless. My daughter now keeps a spotless home and is a super organizer who is also teaching her children but at times she has to complain to me about how messey they can be (LOL like finding the toys that were put away.....UNDER the bed)....I guess my point is that if you take the time to teach her and work beside her she will indeed learn the skills she needs and remember that rewards and positive reinforcement work A LOT better than critisism or negative feedback!! She has a lot of time to learn, at only 8 let her learn one skill at a time, let her master that skill so she doesn't get to feeling swamped and overloaded too, those feelings will only serve to discourage a child and do your very best to NOT go behind her and redo what you think isn't perfect or she's liable to develop a "whats the use" philosophy.
Best to you both!!
lynzee


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

My 4-year-old gdd insists that someone help her clean her room. I remember one time when I was helping her and turned around and she was sitting on the bed watching me on the floor picking up stuff (LOL) Now, though, she will help to clean up the room. How do you ease them into getting them to do it on their own? If it's an age thing, what age will she need to be?


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

I think at 4 they can be told, "please pick up all the Barbie stuff" and you can walk away.

I think you teach them the most helpful strategy (break it down), and then you can walk away for short whiles and check on them.

Then you try making it a bigger "chunk" and try it out.

Also, as you watch them, you see how much they can handle, and you aim just one step higher.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

Talley Sue, that's what I also thought but I seemed to get a consensus that it's best to help the child from some of the posts. That's why I asked this question.


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

marie, when one of mine do this I say, "Hey, Your Highness!" My youngest will still do this occasionally and he's six.

My youngest kids were 1, 3 and 6 when I started with Flylady. We played beat the clock. I set the timer for just a few minutes and we worked together to see how fast we could go. The most important factor was that we did that daily, so their rooms or stuff in the living never got out of control. One afternoon's mess is so much easier to tackle than a week's worth.

I think at 4 they can't always see what needs to go where. Like Talley said, give her some directives. I would tell mine to grab all of the cars while I gathered the Legos. It gave him focus. It seemed like if I left, he would start playing rather than put them away. I really don't remember when it changed, but now at six he will put things away in his room without any specific direction on what to do.

I do notice that he will still get overwhelmed if he hauls too much into the living room and has to make several trips to put it away. If I'm paying attention, I'll get him to put things back before he pulls out more, but I'm not monitoring every minute, nor do I want to. I think as long as you are comfortable helping her, there won't be any specific time or age that will change. It's really more dependent on the child.

You could try and make it a competition. See who can clean up their designated toys first. She picks up the dolls and you put the books and crayons away Who can find the most clothing that needs to go in the hamper. I've just found mine are always up for a race or game. It goes quicker and we smile more.

Gloria


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

re: the "too many trips from the living room"--I've tried to teach my kids that when they've got a lot of things, they shoud get a laundry basket so they only have to WALK once.

Or, w/ your DGD, I'd "help" by ,keeping her company, and pointing out what next to tacklew.

Or, I'll load 12 things into a box, and say, "put these away, then do it again when she's done. (I call that "do a dozen.")


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RE: Laziest daughter in the universe- drowning in pigsty! ANY ide

The room is still looking pretty good. When I notice a few stray items gathering I jump on it early to save it building.

Still reassessing furniture and storage- but am sidestracked with bathroom and kitchen reno.

Em


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