Thursday, April 12, 2007

Getting the Lead Out...

So now I need advice - how do I my motivate my children to work quickly? When I give them tasks, they usually take forever. Unless I set a timer and threaten and yell, which I don't like to do, they mope and dawdle and procrastinate.

They've been "cleaning the basement" all morning, a basement that was perfectly clean the day before. The task shouldn't have taken more than 15 minutes. I've been upstairs cleaning other things because I knew that going down there and seeing them dragging their feet would have driven me nuts today. And I could go rescue them, cleaning it in a matter of moments (everything has a place...) but I want them to learn something. (But I don't think they're learning anything, because the behavior keeps happening...)

I've been going round and round w/ this for the last six months or so, as many of you reading know. I've tried making it fun, rewards, timers, limiting items, explaining the place for everything, taking away priviledges/things, etc... So far I've not found a solution, other than me turning into the drill sargeant. I guess my anger/frustration about it comes from a fear that this lifestyle will continue and I'll still be arguing with them about cleaning their room when they're 15. Is there any hope??

Is it too much to expect an almost 6 & 4 year old to be able to pick up their room? Or clean up the few toys they took out in the basement? Maybe my expectations are too high.

My next "tactic" I might try next week is to make them be with me everywhere I go. Not letting them out of my sight. At least for a day. Kind of like being grounded to mom. They love to run off and play and be creative, so this might work. I'll let you know...


Lori said...

Sometimes I threatened with Casey , "whatever is not put away, gets thrown away" and then I followed about a drill sargeant! And she still doesn't clean her room! Good luck:)

Jack said...

Hmmmm, let me get this straight. You have a 5, 3, & 2 year old attempting to clean up the basement playroom, by themselves, taking their time, allowing you time to get other things done around the house. They are not glued to the TV or video games, or bothering you.

Mom and I always said you have to choose your battles, and getting children to clean up after themselves is one thing, and can and should be enforced, but cleaning up their bedrooms is one battle we decided not to engage in after a while. It was easier to just close your bedroom doors.


P.S. It was not until you moved out and had children of your own that it became apparent that cleaning up after yourself was important. :-)

BEmerick said...

Oh Pop, you are so right - excellent point in that it gives me time to get other things done. :) And I never learned to clean up after myself until I was married. In fact, even then it took two years. (I could write a book about that!) Also, in all of my diaries I say, "I will never ever make my child clean their room!!!"

But is there a way I can teach them now what it took me 22 years to learn? I figure its worth a try. :)

I'd love to hear mom's perspective!