looking for opinions...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Big Bad Kitty, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Tink is seven, going to be eight.

    I have put her disaster of a bedroom in basket C to save my sanity. Most days, any mess that she leaves out in the front room gets tossed into her bedroom. Fine with me if she wants to have her room a sty, but our living quarters are going to be clean.

    Now, while I am OK with her toys and papers all over her room, I am not okay with her clothes all over the place. Mostly because she will wear something for about 20 minutes, change her mind and then change her clothes, but leave whatever she takes off on her floor instead of putting it away. Which means that it needs to be washed even thought it is relatively clean because it is a wrinkled mess. Which means money out of my pocket since we have quarter laundry facilities. I suppose that in theory I can make her pay for her own laundry out of her allowance, but since I am as broke as I am, she rarely gets an allowance (by the way, she does not do anything to EARN one even if I could afford it).


    My question is, am I "rescuing" her (at her age level) if I go into her room daily and put her clothes in the appropriate place? The other option of course is to let her go in wrinkly clothes, and while I know that it is not a reflection on me, well it kinda is. I know that she needs to learn to be responsible, and maybe if she had to sit out from a football game because her uniform was dirty she would learn it. I am simply afraid that instead she will decide to quit cheering (putting me out that much more money) and not learn the lesson.

    This may be petty, but I am really serious.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ohhhhh, BBK- I've had that problem for a few years with difficult child. So, I guess I haven't found a solution and being a boy, maybe it's that he doesn't care, but my difficult child goes in wrinkly clothes. If they have gotten seriously dirty by being on the floor, I wash them and I will make sure any uniform or dress-up clothes stay picked up and ironed, etc., but the daily wear- I put it in Basket C. I figure when the kids at school or teachers comment it on it and HE gets embaressed, maybe he'll care. We have enough in Baskets A & B at home already. When I'm gathering stuff for laundry, I take the clothes that I know weren't worn but were taken out of the drawer and tossed somewhere and pile them up and tell him there are more clean clothes "right there piled on your chair" or wherever.
  3. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I feel for you, my L does it alot, the changing to suit her mood, all of them have been known to put clean clothes back in the laundry rather then put their pile away. Makes my head want to explode when I grab some dirty laundry and find still folded jeans in it.

    With my pcs, when they did this I made them start to do their own laundry and it worked out very well. They messed up and wore dirty clothes to school a few times but they learned.

    I truly don't think I can expect the same with my crew now. I make the kids clean their rooms on Sat. morning...then they can start their day. If they are too emotional/ in a bad place, I will tell them to clean for 10 minutes or pick up 9 things. I get something out of them. Personally, I think the benefit of an organized room is worth going in and cleaning it myself for my difficult child's, but I'm just too exhausted dealing with everything else so I ignore the rooms and shut doors during the week.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is iffy at her age.

    One thing you COULD do is to remove temptation and take her clothes to your room and only give her say two outfits a day. When she hands you those back she gets more. We had to do this in one of the places we stayed not for this reason but because of space. 3 boys...one room = confusion. They got confused over who's clothes were who's, tried on jeans..oops dont fit..tossed to floor...yada yada. I just solved that problem real quick.

    If you dont want to do that, then you could do something like every night before bed go on a scavenger hunt for clothes. Clean clothes get put back up, dirties in a hamper. If you can make it fun...like tell her the fairies come in the night to check for clean clothes on the floor and if they find any they whisk them away to never never land...maybe it would work.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The rule in my house started when my kids were 8: whatever wasn't in the hamper doesn't get washed. I did give a warning before I started laundry that I was going to do it to give them a chance to gather their clothes. easy child caught on way before Wynter.

    As far as discarding clean clothes on the floor, I'd do like someone else mentioned and limit her daily options if she can't put them away. If she can put them away, she can change clothes all day long, otherwise limit the options.
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I like the idea of limiting options. She gets to pick a couple of outfits the night before or first thing in the morning. She can change in and out of these as much as she likes but the rest of the clothes are not to be touched. If you can't put them in your room, then they stay in her room but are totally off limits unless you specifically give her permission. If she pulls out more without permission, the clothes she had on go bye-bye permanently and are not replaced. A few times of losing clothes might get the message across, especially when it's a favorite outfit. Then, in the evening, it should be pretty easy to put the dirty clothes in the hamper. Not in hamper, not washed and not your problem.

    Mine was and is a slob. She didn't change clothes constantly but clean clothes frequently end up on the floor with the dirty ones. I think it was 3rd or 4th grade when she actually wore the dirty clothes for about 4 months because she refused to put clothes in the hamper and I refused to wash anything not in the hamper. To put it politely, she STUNK! I made her sit on a towel in the car because I didn't want the stench to get into the car cushions. At home, she could only sit on her bed. The rest of the house was absolutely off limits. She fnally got tired of not being able to do anything or go anywhere and pcked up all the clothes on her floor so they could be washed on wash day (Mondays at my house). Of course, she didn't pick up anything but the clothes. lol
  7. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I have gone the limited options route with more than one of my kids when clothes began to pile up in heaps, or clean clothes got mixed in with dirty. Interestingly, daughter has thanked me when I've pared down her closet and dresser, giving her fewer choices! I don't think many kids would feel this way, but in her case she seems to get overwhelmed every so often as the clutter mounts around her. easy child 1 and difficult child didn't seem to care much, as long as there was something to wear. When difficult child would complain that he needed new clothes I'd hand him something he hadn't worn in ages and remove something else from that week's laundry. difficult child resented all limits - if he knew about them. If I removed clothes when he was at school he didn't miss them.

    Oh, and once they were teens and wanted to go clothes shopping more, it was a rule that before I would take them/let them go, they had to go through everything they owned first, weed out all worn out or nonfitting items, fill bags to donate to Goodwill where appropriate, and show me a tidy, sparse closet. It cut down on the number of shopping trips!! ;)
  8. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Another option I thought of would be to give a reward when she DID pick up and put back rather than a reducing of the allowance for non-compliance. I know you said you don't give her much and don't have much TO give. Maybe if you then did coupons or chips/stickers/points to her on a daily basis. Like-"If you do not have any clothes on your floor you will earn a chip today. If at the end of the week you have accumulated 5 chips or more you will get to watch a video" or some other special thing that works for your family.

    A personal story on topic-My ds came to me yesterday morn and said he had no pants. Now this was not because I hadn't washed any, but because there were none that fit him. We have a system in which I "recycle" clothes when they are getting too small. My kids have nice school clothes (regular stuff no uniforms) and play clothes. The play clothes are the things that are slightly stained, or just a bit too short pants that I would not let them wear to school. They still fit in waist but are just short. I don't see why they can't wear these for play and get them dirty and all because they aren't "worn out" yet.
    So, I had to go into his closet and get the NEW pants I had bought for school that DID fit him. But now I realize that I have to try on ALL of his pants, because I think some of the play clothes are getting too small in the waist and he only has 3 pairs of NEW pants. Why he didn't/doesn't tell me his pants don't fit though is a complete mystery!!
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My Duckie is motivated by greed, and I think she and Tink may be cosmic twins. :biggrin: Anyway, I'd be explaining that every extra load of laundry takes $XX.XX of money away from other stuff. Like toys, art supplies, junk food, etc. And that's why she seldom gets an allowance. I imagine it's at least $3.00 to wash & dry a load, so that adds up pretty quick. Five loads equals a new cd! I bet she'd catch on pdq!
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I like the reward approach- also, along the lines of what someone else mentioned- I do occassionally "weed out" which clothes are too small or what difficult child won't wear anymore because I know if he sees them in the drawer, they'll end up tossed on the floor or on the desk.
  11. Lillyth

    Lillyth New Member

    My husband is very much like you. (Personally, my own clothes are all over my bed, so I don't have any room to ask Adam not to leave his there). He has come up with an ingenious solution:

    If Adam wants to be read to at night, his room has to be clean.

    No clean room, no bedtime story.

    We had meltdowns the first week, but thereafter Adam has been very good about it, and while he doesn't like it if he doesn't get read to, there are no big meltdowns or anything.

    I have been surprised how well it has worked.

    You might give that a try.
  12. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    I only skimmed the responses, but I wanted to toss out another suggestion.

    In our house we have three options for clothes, "clean," "dirty, " and "active." This is because both my kids and my husband tend to shed their clothes and drop them on the floor, and I don't want to waste water washing things that aren't really dirty.

    Could you buy a laundry basket and ask difficult child to put her "active" clothes in there? It can be in the living room if that's where most of her clothes get dropped, or wherever. That will keep them contained, and maybe once a week you (or the two of you) can put things back in drawers/closets or evaluate them for washing.

    Edited to add: haha, I just realized, what I'm suggesting is a REAL "basket C."
  13. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I don't think you are "rescuing" her if you pick up her clothes. The others have good ideas about how to get her to take care of them. If it doesn't work, then I think it is ok for you to pick them up. You are the one who cares what she looks like and you don't want her to go to school in wrinkled clothes. Since you will be the one who has more work to do, if she doesn't pick them up, I would just do it.

    She's only 7 and she's a difficult child. She has plenty of time to learn to pick up her clothes.

    Full disclosure: I am currently picking up difficult child 2's room for her because she can't bring herself to throw anything away and I can't stand for it to be so cluttered. So maybe I am not a good one to give advice!
  14. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi BBK,
    I don't think you are rescuing her. I see it more as something you don't want to deal with--the clothes all over the place--and the easiest thing is to just pick them up and put them away yourself. I think that is okay. I always feel like I have some judge standing over me, saying, "oh, but other moms wouldn't do it that way, you are wrong". But if you don't really mind picking up the clothes and it isn't worth it to you to try to get her to put them away then I think it is fine! And, she is only 7 to boot!
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If you had a garage or a storage space, and things are spilling out of her room, I would be tempted to do a daily pick up of all belongings and put them into the storage without a word. She'll figure out things are missing soon enough and stop leaving it outside her room.

    Then I'd move on to anything in her room treated with disrespect. Dumped dirty on the floor with crud on it? Wash it while she's in school and stash it in the locked storage room.
  16. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    She needs to learn how to do it the right way. Show her what you expect. Make her a little checklist if you have to, with pictures even. You know it can be cute like a picture of her thinking about what she's going to wear, then a picture of her walking over to the closet, choosing one, wearing one, then, putting her clothers where you want them, if they're clean- hang them up, etc.....make it a visual, give her a reward every time she does it the right way, I don't mean one that costs money, either. Here is one idea: She likes to play a video game you have- so, only let her play it once a day when, and only when, she's done a good job for the day. Another idea (little cost)is to have her choose some beads to put on a string-a pretty necklace-now you will remove one bead from the strand every time she messes up. At the end of the week, she can have the necklace-or whatever beads are left. The entire ball is in her court. Make it a positive for her, using a reward system. She needs to learn how to do this the right way. This is what I do all day actually, working with autistic K-3rd grade children.-Alyssa
  17. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    BBK, on another note, I still pick up my teenage easy child's clothes from the floor.-Alyssa
  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Does she change her clothes just because she can? Then I would limit options.

    Does she change because some things are too small and she doesn't remember to tell you until she's already put it on? Have a box for outgrown stuff.

    Is she bored with her own clothes? Go to Goodwill and get prom dresses. Miss KT had a large selection, and it cracked me up to see this child eating breakfast on Saturday morning, dressed in a purple satin prom gown.

    Does she just not care what she looks like? Then, in my opinion, you need to not care, either, because it will make you crazy. Miss KT used to look so cute, with her socks matching her clothes, hair ribbons matching, her little dresses that my mom made by putting skirts on T shirts...and then, about fifth grade, she stopped with the fashion tips, and became a huge giant mess. At least she was a clean huge giant mess, but it took me a while to get used to.

    Do dirty clothes not get in the basket? Don't wash what isn't in the basket. Do clean clothes not get put away? Oh, well. Not your problem. Like the part about her not caring what she looks like.

    Good luck. This was an ongoing thing around here till Miss KT learned to do her own laundry. Then she would wash one pair of thong undies (because they were her favorites) all by themselves, rather than look for other clothes of similar color.
  19. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    OK, I do like the idea of moving her clothes out of her room to limit her options. See she is one of those nothing-is-ever-enough kind of kids. Even though she has a huge box of dress-up clothes to play in, she tries to get away with wearing her good dresses to play in. And when I tell her to take the clothes off (after 36 "no" from her) she will toss the dress on the floor. Arrgh.

    Rewards don't work well with her on a regular basis. I've tried it all. Right now she DOES have a reward on the line, we can decorate the house with Halloween stuff when she gets her room picked up. More and more she'd rather give up things than pick up her mess (you have never ever seen a kid throw a fit about cleaning up like this kid can) but I am not going to do a reward/punishment that I can't follow through with.

    We do go through her clothes regularly and weed out what she has outgrown. Her oldest brother (by her dad) has a 5YO sister (by HIS mom) and we pass all her stuff down to her.

    I also like the idea of an actual basket C! Gonna have to try that one...

    Oh, and Witz, I already have 5 bags of her stuff stashed away in MY closet. This was one of those "pick up your stuff or it is mine" days. Well, she did not pick up, so I have it. She seems to have forgotten about most of it, too. Probably going to have to do that again soon.

    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

    This difficult child stuff sure isn't for the faint-at-heart, is it?
  20. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    BBK -

    Do you break it down for her when it comes to cleaning her room? I'm thinking it just becomes overwhelming and then it becomes too much.

    What I have done in the past - and just did today since Wynter has been feeling so overwhelmed - is sit in her room with her and say, ok, first pick up all the trash you can see. And I'd have a garbage bag in the room hanging on the doorknob so it was easy. Then once the trash was picked up, move on to the next item...clothes, dolls, makeup, whatever. But, the important part is to make it one category at a time.

    If I would tell Wynter at that age - and up until recently to be honest - she would have no idea where to start. Part of the executive functions thing. And a HUGE meltdown would ensue. I would end up frustrated and angry and end up doing it myself, becoming more and more angry by the stuff I was finding scatteried and buried all around her room and floor. When I finally learned about the executive function stuff, it was like a lightbulb went off and I was able to approach it differently and without getting so frustrated. It went from thinking she was just be willfully disobedient to understanding that she just can't break the process down into doable steps.

    It's kind of like if you were asked to single handedly clean up the mess from Ike. Where would you start? That's kind of how our kids with executive dysfunction see things.