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Cleaning Up

In case any one was wondering no news is good news about Little T's tumor.  I hope to have actual news on Friday.

Special K has turned six and has suddenly become more responsible.  Getting her to clean up after herself used to be like banging my head against a wall.  Now after I ask, she just does it most of the time.  Little T who is the more socially adept of my two highly social children has internalized that "cleaning up as you go along makes things cleaner".  A month ago he was dumping containers of toys on the floor for fun. 

I won't say it's been an easy month.  There were times when I got so frustrated with them.  But it finally seems to be paying off.  Tying the cleaning to some immediate reward like going to the park or a video (or getting to read in K's case) really seems to help. 

I feel proud of them and myself.  Cleaning up after myself was not a skill I was consistently taught as a child.  And I do think it's a skill like going to the bathroom or cooking. 

It's also amazing how it lifts the spirits to have a tidy house.  C tidies more too.  But our biggest problem was toys which then created more clutter on top of the toys.  

Also since the kids pick up their own toys, they want to declutter.  Special K specifically said she needed to find a space for her new toys by giving away old toys.  Last year it was a big battle.

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Comments

( 6 notes — Leave a note )
haddayr
Apr. 22nd, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Wow.

We're still battling the kids on this. No. Jan is battling while I sit passively.

Tying cleaning to rewards is a very good idea; I think we should try it!
waterowl
Apr. 23rd, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
Yeah positive reinforcement and successive approximations. I recommend Don't Shoot the Dog.
porfinn
Apr. 22nd, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I was raised by the forces of chaos with regards to "tidy". I have had to really come up with peculiar ways to look at things in order to be better about doing small amounts regularly instead of waiting until things are about to topple over on me. It is so very cool you are teaching this to your kids early.
waterowl
Apr. 23rd, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
I'm trying. We'll see if it sticks.
emerge
Apr. 23rd, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
*HUG* That's awesome. Cleaning up may not always be the most enjoyable thing but like you said it helps the soul so much to have a nice atmosphere in which to relax and live. Is there any way that Hermione could get involved in a controlled way so as to add another clean-up reward in and of itself?
waterowl
Apr. 23rd, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
Yes, nice atmosphere good. :)

Hermione is involved to help me, but she does not help the kids.
( 6 notes — Leave a note )