messy room solution

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I found this on the John Rosemond site. It's by a mom who wrote in to him with-her solution to messy kids' rooms. It's funny.

    As with-anything, the point is to be consistent, and she clearly is.

    (I edited it just to the point where she starts talking.)


    “As I cheerfully went around cleaning up papers and trash,” she wrote, “putting books on the shelf and throwing out stuff I found laying around, I remembered how I had once nagged, begged, yelled, and generally harassed my kids to do things around the house. One day something clicked and I decided to stop fighting the same battle over and over and over again.

    “I started a service in our home called Mom’s Helping Hands. I made business cards on our home computer that listed the services I offer—room cleaning, chore finishing, picking up, kindling removal (one of our daughters stuffs paper into every available nook and cranny), and reminders. My motto, also printed on the cards, is ‘So convenient you don’t even have to call!’ When I perform a service on behalf of one of the kids, I simply leave my card behind to indicate that I expect to be paid.

    “Needless to say, the kids hate it, but not enough to never need my services. Of course, the price is often more than they were planning on paying (loss of one or more privileges, usually), to which I simply point out that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Our home stays neater and quieter, and instead of high blood pressure I now get a chuckle out of helping the kids with their responsibilities.”
  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I love John Rosemond's no-nonsense approach to parenting. I saw this article in my weekend newspaper and was going to start a post about it. You beat me to it.

    I also liked what he had to say about teenagers and whether they should also be expected to keep their rooms clean. Here it is:

    Here's what he had to say about younger children:

  3. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    I might actually try this. We have 7 kids from 17yrs to 9yrs. Talk about lazy, sassy and messy. I hate cleaning day. I feel like I am a drill sgt.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I will add, that you have to be very specific when telling a difficult child what "clean" means. difficult child has had numerous meltdowns because I simply pointed and told him to clean the whole thing. One day, the lightbulb went off, and I said, "Just pick up all the dirty socks. Then strip the bed."
    Much better response.
    Of course, picking up his baseball cards has always been an issue. He thinks it's normal to spread them all out like pieces to a puzzle. Problem is, they're on the floor!
    My dad, who has Alzheimer's, does the same thing--spreads everything out where he can see it, because he knows he'll forget if he files it somewhere.
  5. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    My son is the same way with his custom lego parts...all over and I can't vaccum.

    My grandma had Alzheimer's, Grandpa would hand her something and tell her put this on my dresser or where ever it needed to go. Well one day he found his lost wallet that never made it to his dresser, it was in their deep about cold cash.
  6. Indianamomof4

    Indianamomof4 New Member

    What fantastic ideas. I love this!!!! My 10 year old ALWAYS complains that he should be able to keep his room however he wants to. It annoys me to no end.

    I love the idea about being specific (maybe for my ADHD boy I can make a sign to put in his room to remind him what should be done that he can read to his 5 year old brother and roomate), about setting a specific time for it (like after they leave for school) and having a consequence for it being untidy (my kids HATE early bed times, so that is a great idea.

    I really like this board!!!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    talk about cold cash ...

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, grooooooooooooooooooooooaaaan! :smirk:

    Welcome, Indianamom! Glad you like it here.